What is the proper posture for a child?

What is the proper posture for a child?
October 29 03:54 2020 Print This Article

What is the proper posture for a child

We’re all familiar with the phrase “Sit up straight or you’ll get back pain”, usually followed by a pat on the back to straighten you up. Good posture in children is very important to ensure they grow up healthy and happy. With the new generation of kids spending a lot of more time hunched over, looking at their screens, the concept of good posture becomes critical to their well-being. Add to this the sedentary nature of “Virtual School” and you can see why it has become a matter of concern.

What is Posture?

Let’s start with the basics – What is Posture? Posture is the way in which you carry your body, as a result of the co-ordinated actions performed by various muscle groups to maintain stability. The main intent of good posture is to reduce the strain on the muscles holding your body up. Good posture focuses primarily on alignment of the spine – whether the spine is neutral and aligned correctly. The alignment of the neck, the shoulders, the hips and the feet are also key to good posture.

Adverse effects of bad posture

Adverse effects of bad postureBad posture can have some pretty adverse effects on the health of a growing child:

  • Chronic neck and back pain are well-known side-effects of poor posture. This can also affect their ability to concentrate, balance and general confidence levels.
  • Slouching constantly can also puts pressure on the child’s internal organs and cause digestive issues.
  • Since posture is a matter of “habit” and will be carried into adulthood, it is important to correct it sooner, rather than later. When continued into adulthood, bad posture can lead to more serious problems like scoliosis, or abnormal bone growth and has been shown to have a link with varicose veins and elevated risk of heart disease.

The right posture for a child

right posture for a child

  • The proper posture for a child, while standing, is to ensure that the weight is distributed equally on both feet which are placed hip-width apart.
  • Standing in the “Soldier Position” with an arched back, stiff neck and shoulders and head pulled back, will also have the same detrimental effects as “Slouching”.
  • The spine needs to be neutral and relaxed, with its natural curvature.
  • Ideally, they should stand tall, with their neck straight. Imagine that the head is a balloon filled with helium floating upwards, and the string of the balloon is the neck – This is what we’re going for.
  • While sitting in a chair, the child’s feet should be able to reach the floor or the chair should have a cross-support at a comfortable level for them to rest their feet. The ergonomics of the chair, especially one that the child sits in for extended periods of time, is very important for this.

Techniques to build postural awareness in children

The biggest hurdle parents are confronted with when teaching their children about good posture is that children are often not conscious of the way in which they are holding their bodies. You can try the following techniques/activities to build postural awareness in your child:

  • Try showing them pictures of different postures and play a game of spot the difference or imitate the posture. This would give them a clearer idea of what good posture feels
  • Try out a body-mapping activity with your child – This is where you trace all the different movements that go into performing an action, like picking up a pen from the floor. The child’s instinct might be to bend at the spine and pick up the pen, but the more efficient way is to bend the knees.
  • Practice sitting on stools that don’t have back support for short periods at a time (maybe 5 mins) and take stretching breaks in between. This will help strengthen the child’s back muscles and make maintaining good posture easier.
  • During screen use, prop up the computer at eye level so the child doesn’t strain their neck or slouch.

Trying some of these techniques will make your child more aware of their body and can help create a habit of good posture.

If you’re concerned that your child’s posture is abnormal, it’s a good idea to check with a paediatrician.


Kauvery Hospital is globally known for its multidisciplinary services at all its Centers of Excellence, and for its comprehensive, Avant-Grade technology, especially in diagnostics and remedial care in heart diseases, transplantation, vascular and neurosciences medicine. Located in the heart of Trichy (Tennur, Royal Road and Alexandria Road (Cantonment), Chennai, Hosur and Salem, the hospital also renders adult and pediatric trauma care.

Chennai – 044 4000 6000 • Trichy – Cantonment – 0431 4077777 • Trichy – Heartcity – 0431 4003500 • Trichy – Tennur – 0431 4022555 • Hosur – 04344 272727 • Salem – 0427 2677777 • Bengaluru – 080 6801 6801

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2 Comments

  1. Venkat Ram
    November 03, 10:06 #1 Venkat Ram

    Very informative article.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Yasmin Dass
    November 09, 22:50 #2 Yasmin Dass

    Good read! starting early ensures children do not suffer from health issues later on!

    Reply to this comment

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