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Technology, posture and our kids!

Over the past couple of years there are increasing numbers of children who are coming to receive treatment for back and neck pain. The cause? Generally increased screen time, poor posture and less physical activity.

So is screen time, iPad time, computer time all bad for your kids? The future is going to become increasingly tech-heavy, but how do we counteract all this inevitable screen time and prevent the onset of back and neck pain in our children?

As we get older, we tend to adopt poor postures and bad habits which can then lead to back and neck pain. We don’t want this happening in our children at such a young age! So why not set up healthy habits early on which will put them in good stead for their future health?

Whilst cutting down screen time may not be a possibility (especially if kids are using devices for educational purposes), we can help set up the environment to promote better posture as well as prevent muscle shortening and weakness and thus reduce the incidence of back and neck pain.

This means avoiding positions that encourage slouching or the classic ‘poked neck’ posture and sitting in a more supported position. This could involve placing a cushion behind their back when sitting on the couch or elevating devices so they are closer to eye-line level rather than looking down in their lap.  It may also mean setting up a dedicated tech work-station where your kids do their school work when using laptops and iPads.  And it should always include frequent breaks.  Our backs are designed to move – so, sitting stationary puts increasing strain on the spine and can result in pain.  Something as simple as getting up every half an hour, turning your head and looking around or changing position regularly can make a huge improvement in your spine health.  Make some of these changes early on with your kids and it will make a big difference to their health and posture in the future.

The rule in our house – if there is any tech time, there needs to be cushions under the elbows to promote a good spinal posture.