How does your family move together? Is family time also TV/couch time? Did you know that there is an epidemic in our society that is causing sickness and disease? And that this epidemic is caused by poor posture and a sedentry lifestyle? The research demonstrates that 90% of the population presents with postural distortions that will negatively affect their health. Think about your child’s growing spine and how their lifestyle may be effecting their health.

Helping your kids get great posture carries a multitude of health benefits. It keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that your muscles are being used properly and efficiently. It helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis as well as decreasing the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together. Having good posture also increases your lung capacity by as much as 30%! That is hugely important for any person, but particularly those playing sports and being active. More importantly, having a good posture improves organ function, optimises breathing and circulation and it just looks good!

An amazing resource for your whole family, to get them moving and improve their posture is the straighten up exercises recommended by chiropractors across the world. They are fun and easy to use.

posture

You can download a free A4 wall chart to use in your home here.

It starts with the “Inner Winner” which encourages you to stand up tall and moves onto the “Trap Opener” which helps open your chest and get you breathing deeper. Next the exercises move on to a range of fun and highly beneficial exercises that can we done by adults and children alike.

The principles of posture

There are 5 main principles to posture, as explained by Dr. Steve Wieniger the Author of “Stand Taller-Live Longer. I’ve expanded these for you below.

  • Posture Principle 1: Movement- The body is designed to move.
    • How much time do you and your children spend sitting down in one session? If your answer was more than 20 minutes at a time, it’s time to get moving. Set an alarm for every 20 minutes during your day, and every time it buzzes, stand up and go for a quick walk to get a glass of water. Make it a game for your children. Keep them moving. Use this as an opportunity to do some straighten up exercises with them.
  • Posture Principle 2: Balance – Posture is how you balance your body against gravity
    • Are you pregnant, carrying a little more weight through your middle or rounded through the shoulders with your head forward? All of these things affect gravity’s affect on your spine and add to any existing stresses. For your children, as they go through the stages of crawling and learning to walk, gravity will be shaping their spine to better prepare them for later life. Allow them to crawl, cruise and walk. Let them learn to find their balance.
  • Posture Principle 3: Movement Patterns- The pattern of a body’s chain of motion follows the path of least resistance.
  • Posture Principle 4: Compensation- The body learns to move in the patterns you teach it; and pain teaches you to move differently.     
    • Be aware of your body and how it feels when you are in different positions. If something doesn’t feel right, it might be tome to take action. The same is true for your children. Watch how they stand, sit and move. Is their head tilted slightly, or their one shoulder higher than the other? All these things may be a sign their growing bodies need some support.
  • Posture Principle 5: Adaptation- Changes in posture and motion cause the physiology of the body to change.
    • As we’ve already discussed, when posture of “off” your health and your child’s health won’t be at its best.

So get your family moving and you’ll be amazed at how it can help your kids great great posture.

 

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Shira’s background as a competitive swimmer is what steered her towards a profession helping people unleash the untapped potential of their bodies. As a Family Wellness Chiropractor in Auckland, she enjoys helping babies, children and adults reach their full health potential.

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Thanks for this Shira. Such an important topic. Also for those with very young babies we can make a positive difference to our children’s future postures by giving them loads of time flat on the floor on their backs to build up all those critical supporting muscles and let them develop their movement naturally, at their own pace, without trying to hurry them along by “teaching” them to roll, sit or walk. NZ experts such as Marianne Hermsen Van-Wanrooy and Pennie Brownlee make strong cases for not putting children in containers such as bouncers and baby walkers, even car seat… Read more »

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