Symmetry Blog

Sit Up Straight

Symmetry Physio - Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Does the amount of time your child sits impact their posture?

Sit Up Straight!

How many times have you found yourself reminding your child or teenager to sit up straight or sit properly in their chair? With increasing workload demands at school and increased use of computers, our children are spending more and more time sitting at a desk and the effects of poor posture are starting to show.

So what can you do to help prevent excess strain on your child’s neck, back and shoulders? Follow these simple tips to optimise the health of your child’s growing spine:

  1. Follow the 20 – 20 rule. Every 20min of computer or desk time, take a 20second break to stand up and stretch.
  2. 90 degrees is the key. Ensure your child’s desk and chair is the right height and size that allows feet flat on the floor, with knees and elbows at 90 degrees. Avoid doing homework for long periods on kitchen stools, in bed or lying on the floor.
  3. Avoid laptops for long periods. Laptops don’t allow for proper ergonomics with the screen at eye level and the keyboard at elbow level, within comfortable reach.  Use a desktop when possible, or purchase an extra keyboard and mouse and prop the laptop screen up on some text books to be at eye level.
  4. Get a book stand (like ones used for recipe books). Standing a text book upright like a computer screen allows for easier reading at eye level and prevents postural strain. It also provides more space at your child’s desk for them to write notes or type on the computer at the same time.
  5. Invest in a supportive chair. Especially when getting to the later years of high school, your teenager will be spending many hours sitting and studying. If you don’t have a chair that is quite right at home, you can make it more supportive by placing a cushion or a rolled up towel behind your child’s lower back.

At the end of the day we all need to avoid sitting in any position for prolonged periods of time, no matter how comfortable or ergonomically positioned. So encourage your child to take regular breaks and ensure when they are sitting studying or using the computer, that they are in the most supportive and comfortable position.

If your child starts complaining of a sore neck, back or shoulders or you have concerns about their posture, contact your local Symmetry Physiotherapy clinic for an appointment. 

The Team at Symmetry Physiotherapy

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