Teenagers and children’s postures

You certainly have noticed how our young population, mainly our teenagers, have adopted bad postural habits. They seem to be glued into this hunched over posture over their cell phones or tablets and stay in these weirdest positions for hours on end being entertained.

These prolonged tensed postures, combined with repetitive motions on very small keyboards all contribute to lack of energy and aches and pains that these young people complain more frequently about. It is time to react and help our new generation to be aware of the importance of a proper posture and how it affects their health.

We see more and more young people complaining of neck and back pain. At the time of their first visit to our office, they often tell us that it is difficult to maintain a good posture because it is painful to sit or stand straight. It is obviously not normal to feel pain while maintaining a proper posture.

The crunched over posture and forward neck flexion have unhealthy consequences on the spinal muscles and nerves. As the head moves forward, the centre of gravity shifts and the weight of the head dramatically increases. That provokes muscle strains in the neck and back, nervous interference and weakness of breathing muscles.

Because muscles need a proper signal from the brain through nerves to function properly, interference in the transmission of nerve impulses may alter spinal muscle contractions. With time the spine is forced into new unbalanced and unhealthy patterns that will eventually lead to poorer posture and pain.

This is why a combination of bad posture and little physical activity contributes to this lack of energy many children complain about. Not only do they feel pain and discomfort but they also cannot breathe properly to bring all the oxygen needed for concentration and wellbeing.

Posture is more powerful than previously thought. Not only does a bad posture create pain and discomfort and influences lung function but it also influences thoughts, feelings, and actions. Poor posture can affect our physical body, but it’s also been shown to affect our mood, self-perception, and how others see us.

For example, slouching compresses our internal organs, restricts their function and makes a person appear heavier.

On the contrary, an open, expansive, upright posture is considered more of a “power posture” and shows self confidence.

Many studies have shown that posture influences the way someone feels.

When sitting in a collapsed position and looking downward, participants in a study found it much easier to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless and negative memories, than empowering, positive memories.

When sitting upright and looking upward, it was difficult and for many of the participants nearly impossible to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless and negative memories and easier to recall empowering, positive memories…

Sitting up straight helps increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain and, according to some accounts, by up to 40%.

Poor posture can have wide-ranging detrimental effects on your body. Therefore, paying attention to your posture and your children’s posture – which includes the position of the head, neck and shoulders – should be an important part of your overall health plan.

Empower yourself by getting more active and encouraging your children to do the same. Teach them to leave their cell phones and go for a walk, a bike ride, a swim, whatever you enjoy doing as a physical activity and do it as often as possible.

All parents are interested in the very best for the health of their family. As they take their children to the dentist for regular check-ups they also take their little ones to their chiropractor to have their spinal development and postures monitored. With its safe and natural approach, chiropractic care helps maintain the fine balance between spinal motion and nervous system function.

There is no need to wait for symptoms to appear to seek chiropractic care. One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Children of all ages can benefit from a well adjusted spine, improve their posture and get a good healthy start in life.

By Sandra Genest-Boudreau
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Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra | 282 312 853
969 397 375