In September, Ksyusha will go to study in the first grade. Preparation for school is in full swing, the family does not hide their excitement. Parents worry not only about the girl’s adaptation to school, but also about her health. It is no secret that modern schoolchildren often receive knowledge in exchange for problems with posture and spine. Specialists of the rehabilitation and training center tell why it has become more difficult for modern children to keep their backs and how to sit at a desk correctly in order to avoid problems.
Ksyusha’s mother Tatyana is worried that recently her daughter has begun to noticeably slouch.
— She has a wheel on her back! We even fight because of it all the time. I tell her to watch how she sits and keep her back straight, but she settles down anyway in a minute in a way that suits her. Now Ksyusha spends about 1.5 hours a day in a sitting position, but with the start of her studies, she will have to sit at her desk for longer. And I’m very worried about how this will affect her health.
To improve her posture, Ksyusha goes to the pool and swims with a coach. Mom admits that sometimes you have to take breaks, and then your daughter has practically no active activities.
She is usually very calm, assiduous and quiet. Lazybones! On the one hand, it is good that she can occupy herself with something, but on the other hand, an outlet of energy must also be given. Therefore, we will definitely return to the pool.
Ksyusha’s mother’s worries are familiar to many parents in Russia. According to statistics, every fourth student has posture disorders. Do not blame the school for everything, parents also sometimes contribute. Here are some tips to help keep students healthy.
1. Do not overfeed children
If you look at the children of the beginning of the last century, it is immediately noticeable how much higher the level and intensity of physical activity was. At the same time, natural products were used in food. A thin and “smooth” child was the norm. Now the perception has changed, but this does not mean that the children have become healthier.
In a modern child, the muscular corset is most often not well developed. In addition, the number of children with overweight is growing every year. The child can be dense — mothers and grandmothers believe that this is a sign of health. In fact, the muscular corset of most modern children is completely unprepared to support their own mass.
In addition, today children are increasingly protected from physical activity. Many people spend a significant part of their time sitting at the computer, playing with gadgets. Making progress in any of the «sitting» activities, the child feels that he is being realized, and does not look for other ways to reveal his potential. Many parents encourage this, most often unconsciously: they say that the child behaves calmly, sits quietly, does not run, does not scream.
2. Teach your child to sit properly at a desk
Posture problems get worse at school. The point is a forced posture, which gradually becomes familiar. If the incorrect position of the body is “remembered”, in the future this will most likely have a negative effect on posture.
Landing must be straight. The back of the child should bend slightly in the lower back, the shoulders should be lowered. It is optimal that the child does not lean back in the chair, but holds his back on his own.
It is necessary to teach the child to sit without leaning or leaning, so he will get used to keeping in good shape the muscles that support the lumbar region, that is, the muscles of the back and abdominals.
It is important to ensure that the child does not move head forward, stretching his neck. That is, he should sit close to the table and at a level suitable for his height. This position — with a tense neck stretched forward — is called a «goose», and it has an extremely negative effect on the health and well-being of the child. There may be pain in the neck, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears and other autonomic symptoms.
For a child to get used to the correct posture, it is not enough just to constantly repeat: “Sit right!”. It is necessary to present this in a playful way so that the child is interested in maintaining the correct position. So over time a stereotype is created, and the position of the body becomes a habit.
3. Keep track of the load
If the child writes, bending over strongly or laying his cheek on the desk, this indicates that he is extremely tense. Most likely, the task is difficult for the child, he makes a lot of effort to complete it. When a teacher or parent notices such a feature, it is worth giving the load in a dosed manner. Switching attention works best for these children. Ideally, the child should sit straight, and his hands to the elbow lie on the desk. A slight tilt towards the notebook is acceptable. When tilting the letter, it is worth unfolding the notebook, and not bending.
4. Choose ergonomic furniture
The choice of ergonomic furniture will help the child «learn» the correct posture. Moreover, it is important that the child is engaged at a suitable desk, not only at school, but also at home. You can purchase a set of so-called «growing» furniture that will serve the student for several years.
Schoolchildren today are advised to buy Vyrastayka chairs. They have a special double curved orthopedic back that provides support for the lumbar region, one of the most problematic for schoolchildren. At the same time, the child will still train the muscle corset, maintaining a straight back and straightening his shoulders. It is important that the child, sitting, feels support under his feet — he reaches the floor or the steps of the furniture.
Sitting at the table, the child should comfortably fold his elbows on the table, relaxing his shoulders. This is the most suitable position for writing or drawing, as well as the key to the formation of the correct posture.
It’s good if the student’s table or desk has an adjustable lifting table top. Thanks to this, you can set the appropriate angle of inclination when writing and reading. In addition, the lifting tabletop eliminates the need to buy bookends and other accessories.
The distance from the child’s eye level to the working surface should be at least 30-35 cm. If the child bends closer, there is a risk of developing myopia. Therefore, it is extremely important that the chair and table fit the child in terms of height and build.
5. Regularly visit the orthopedist and optometrist
If the child is uncomfortable sitting upright, do not dismiss such complaints. The thing is, we are all asymmetrical. There is a significant asymmetry in the pelvis, in the length of the legs and arms. The child may unconsciously strive to adopt a body position that compensates for these nuances. It happens that such a seemingly innocent complaint helps to find an orthopedic problem.
Many parents unreasonably believe that the child has «scoliosis». It is important to distinguish this disease from a violation of posture. Scoliosis is a serious pathology that can only be diagnosed by an orthopedic doctor.
The causes of scoliosis are many. But mostly they find idiopathic scoliosis — that is, «appeared from nowhere.» Genetics is often blamed: if parents have a pathology, then there is a high probability of finding it in children.
Unfortunately, there is still no universal remedy for the treatment of scoliosis and its prevention. Usually, with scoliosis of the 1st and 2nd degree, a corset correction is performed. In more complex cases, surgery is usually recommended.
We also recommend that all schoolchildren, without exception, have their hearing and vision checked regularly. It happens that due to the characteristics of health, the child chooses a position that allows him to better hear and see what is happening at the blackboard.
Most often, ophthalmologists diagnose beginning myopia in schoolchildren (nearsightedness — ed.). The specialist can advise on seating arrangements in the classroom and prepare a vision correction plan.
6. Let the kids blow off steam.
It can be very useful for children to scream — purely psychologically. If there are negative emotions, shouting helps to reset them a little and vent them out without real aggression. In addition, the cry helps the child to relax and even has a beneficial effect on posture.
For example, children who are under pressure and pressure often unconsciously raise their shoulders — this is a defense mechanism. This posture can become a habit and start a series of posture problems. And crying will help to throw out tension and allow the child to feel freer.
In Scandinavian schools, such practices, for example, have long been in use. In addition, training classes are organized there. Desks with chairs stand in a circle, and the teacher walks around the classroom, paying attention to all the students, not disregarding the back rows, as happens with us. This helps to perceive the teacher as a companion and not as an icon.
7. Encourage movement
Children need regular outdoor play. At breaks, it is worth involving children in motor activity as much as possible.
A set of exercises to strengthen the muscular corset, which a teacher or parents can carry out with a child in between classes, will be extremely useful. It is worth working out two main areas: the lower back and neck. Exercises like “boats” or “planks” are well suited, as well as static exercises for the muscles of the neck: tilts and flexions.
Unfortunately, the general level of physical activity is catastrophically reduced. Parents need to understand that activity is the normal state of the child, it does not need to be suppressed and restrained. Children should have an awl in one place! If so, great, if not, it’s worth finding an activity that will support your level of physical activity.
At the same time, you should be careful with active activities at an early age. Often, parents give their child to the sport even before he can really somehow develop in this vein. Too much stress can lead to stress. If the child only learned to walk yesterday, you should not immediately give him to basketball or put on skates. Haste can lead to the fact that in the future, any physical activity in the child will cause rejection.
It is important to strike a balance and act primarily in the best interests of the child. No need to plan for the future without it. You can offer sports sections as you physiologically mature — and the more options, the better. But only at the age when the child already understands whether he wants something or not.