If your kids are complaining about back & neck pain, it could be due to poor posture. Do you often find your child hunched over a tablet, or lying awkwardly on the couch while watching TV? There’s no doubt that the summer months have meant a lot of screen time, especially with the COVID-19 lockdown that kept so many families indoors. But with the return of school this fall, you might find your child spending just as much time hunched over a computer for homework and e-learning.
The good news is there are several ways to encourage better posture, which can help reduce chronic pain. And of course, these tips are also helpful for adults struggling with less-than-ergonomic setups while working from home.
1) Avoid unsupported surfaces
Floppy couches, bean bag chairs and even floors are bad news. Many of us spend long amounts of screen time in non-ideal areas. Although convenient, these unsupported surfaces can twist our bodies into odd positions as we struggle to stay upright.
Try to create a setup in your child’s bedroom or living room that supports their neck and back. To help straighten up their posture, Invest in a well-supported chair or use firm pillows instead. You’d be surprised at the difference a few minor adjustments can make.
2) Encourage breaks
Whether your child is watching a movie or playing video games, it’s easy to lose track of time. That’s why small breaks are critical. Use a timer to remind kids that they should stand up and move around after 30 minutes of screen time. This doesn’t mean they have to stop everything they’re doing -- just change up their position.
3) Consider a sit-stand setup to reduce back & neck pain
A sit-stand accessory is a cheap way to convert any desk into an ergonomic one. Working on the computer while standing is a good strategy to force better posture. By raising the screen and keyboard to eye-level, it forces the user to straighten their back and relax their shoulders. Kids can also avoid carpal tunnel by keeping their arms at a 90-degree angle while typing.
These sit-stand contraptions can be purchased easily online. Check out Amazon or any office supply retailer. The only issue is that this accessory cannot be moved easily from one desk to another. If you have multiple studying areas in your home, you may need to invest in a couple of these.
4) Use a therapy ball
There are fun ways to encourage good posture, even when the kids are engrossed in their screens. Sitting on a large therapy ball will allow your child to work critical trunk muscles while studying or playing video games. These balls will not only reduce pain, but also release pent-up tension and address structural issues. Your kids will also enjoy trying to balance themselves as they bounce around.
5) Seek professional advice to reduce back & neck pain
If your child is still complaining of pain, consider seeking help from an expert. Many health care professionals work with kids and adolescents to address chronic discomfort caused by too much screen time. The overall process will also encourage your children to make healthier lifestyle choices early on.
Physiotherapy is an effective way to improve your child’s body function, without the use of drugs or invasive procedures. Chiropractic treatments can also alleviate chronic pain. The process is so safe that even babies can receive this kind of care.
Whether you’re a teen or middle-aged parent, rely on Physiomed to care for the whole family. Don’t let back & neck pain keep you from doing the things you love. With a bit of advice from our friendly team, plus a few small adjustments at home -- your child can be on their way to a happier, healthier lifestyle!
For more information on managing chronic pain or to book an assessment, contact us here.