“Of all the things you wear, your posture is the most important” – unknown.
Why is posture important?
Did you know that for a child to sit up straight and focus on the activity at hand, they need a strong, healthy body to support them? Good posture creates a wonderful basis for movement and learning. It helps provide a stable foundation to allow children’s energy to be directed to a task, to promote focus and also encourages skilled execution of both gross and fine motor tasks.
If your child appears to fidget or adjust their posture when sitting, slump or slouches at the table, seem less confident on challenging playground equipment or appear to fatigue more quickly with physical activity it may be they have weaker core strength.
Our top 8 ideas to promote postural strength with children include:
- Praise when you see your child sitting or standing well
- Having suitable size furniture so their body is well supported, for example, using a table and chair suitable for their size to enable feet can be flat on the floor, back supported and the table is at elbow height
- Spend some playtime standing e.g. playdough at a table, painting at an easel
- Check posture when they are using electronic devices and change positions e.g. lie on their tummy on the floor with the screen propped up in front
- Activities such as swimming, bike riding, bushwalking, climbing gyms, kids yoga, tug of war, musical statues, wheelbarrows (walking on hands and holding the child at knees or ankles) are all great activities to strengthen and support a good posture
- Helping with chores around the house e.g. sweeping, carrying a basket of washing, pushing a pram or wheelbarrow, gardening
- Pushups on the wall or in your chair (hands beside your bottom and push up), animal walks (be a crab, duck, frog, kangaroo, snake or bear)
- Movement is great for little bodies. Older children might like to try some online fitness or yoga classes, PE with Joe and Cosmic Kids Yoga are designed for children and lots of fun!
Lastly, demonstrate by doing! Keeping in mind your child’s posture can help you too! Make sure you’re not slouching over a device, be a good example with a straight back at the dinner table and join in on the physical activity with your children.
Looking for more fun activities?
Written by Liz Seaton, Group Program Coordinator at The Shepherd Centre