Posture Problems in the Device Era: What to Know

A physical therapist weighs in
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Most parents know that when children have poor posture, it can lead to slumped shoulders and a rounded back. What you might not know is that incorrect posture can also lead to back and neck pain, and have lasting effects on a person’s posture throughout their lives. Because young bones are still developing, they have the capacity to mature into a bad posture, meaning they are more difficult to correct as the child ages. Children are often looking down at phones and other devices, which can aggravate posture even more because the weight of their heads pulls on their neck as they stare down at the screen. Debra Myhr, a physical therapist with OrthoCarolina Ballantyne, suggests parents avoid “text neck” and encourage children to maintain a healthy posture with these things in mind.

* Make sure your child is in a proper chair when using a digital device. If they are slouching over with rounded shoulders, place a pillow under their arms to retain better posture through the thoracic spine.

* For younger kids, attach their device to the wall or fridge in order to have them standing in front of it to prevent slumping and slouching.

* Don’t allow your child to play with the device/phone in or on a bed because it is more conducive to poor posture.

* Have your child exercise to develop muscles that give them strength to prevent slouching. When they’re on a device ensure they take breaks every 20 minutes.