We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Posted on 27 August 2018 by Sarah Lawrence
Tags: Back2School, Back-to-School

Sitting for Success: Your Child's Posture in the Classroom

Of the 1330 hours that children and teenagers spend in school each year, the majority will be spent sitting down in class, whether at a desk or on the floor. Incorrect sitting posture can affect blood flow to the brain, which causes tiredness amongst other nasty things—not ideal when you’re supposed to be learning!

In primary school the ultimate mark of power is when you get to Year 6 and graduate from sitting on the floor in assembly to sitting on the bench at the back. The floor is cold, hard, uncomfortable and hurts your back, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, sitting cross-legged on the floor can actually be good for your spinal and pelvic health—if done correctly. By sitting in the correct cross-legged position on the carpet in class or on the floor in school assembly, your child will be strengthening their lower back, hips, and flexibility, all of which make for a healthier posture overall.

It is easy for seated posture to slip into the unhealthy “slouch” position, bent over like a C shape (picture a cashew nut), that has become associated with prolonged sitting. Many people assume that the correct thing to do is to overcompensate by sitting bolt upright, but this position tightens the back muscles and does not support the natural curve of the spine. Sitting in this tensed position will quickly tire the muscles and tempt you to collapse and slouch for relief.

students-377789_1280.jpg

This C-shape is a dangerous position for the spine, because it compresses the intervertebral discs, as well as the internal organs. It crimps the arteries in your neck which bring blood and oxygen to your brain. This makes you tired, which makes it difficult to concentrate. Sitting this way often leads to postural changes which can be difficult to reverse. The spine naturally sits in an S-shape—since the majority of the school day is spent sitting, all that time with your spine bent into unnatural and uncomfortable positions can mean that will begin to form that way.

Unfortunately, during class time the choice to sit or not sit, and the choice of seating setup, is not something that your child can control. The school environment makes it impossible to tailor every child’s seating setup. Lacey, one of Willow’s chiropractors at the Yate clinic, advises that the best thing for your child to do in this situation is to keep their body moving as much as possible. Locking their body into one position for an extended period of time will be uncomfortable and stressful on the spine, which will encourage them to slouch over into the C-shape we discussed above (this applies to desk sitting as well as floor sitting).

Regularly switching positions and getting up to move about the classroom as much as is reasonably possible will ease the effects of a mostly sedentary school day. Encourage your child to spend their break and lunch time on their feet too!

View all blog posts

willow chiropractic

Recent blog posts

Circadian Rhythm is Responsible for the Winter Blues - Here's How to Handle It

Posted on 15 November 2018 by Sarah Lawrence
Tags: Health

If you have felt a little out of sorts this autumn you can thank your circadian rhythm. There are ways to work around this though!

Read full post

Your New Favourite Sport: Nordic Walking

Posted on 06 November 2018 by Vicky Welsh

Nordic Walking is great for your physical and mental health, as well as strengthening and conditioning, whilst being gentle on the joints.

Read full post

How to Cut Sugar and Calories From Your Christmas Menu Coffee

Posted on 02 November 2018 by Sarah Lawrence
Tags: health

There are many little tweaks to allow you to enjoy your favourite Christmas drinks & cut a few unnecessary calories too.

Read full post

Are you in pain?

Call us on 0800 511 8966 or fill in the form below and one of our Bristol Chiropractors will get in touch.