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Posture refers to the positioning of the body while sitting or standing. In other words, it is how the spine is aligned with your head, shoulders, and hip. Poor posture, or postural dysfunction, is when the spine is positioned in a way that increases stress on the joints and muscles supporting the body.
With the advent of smartphone technology, we now spend increased time bent over our mobile devices, sitting at a desktop for work, and even our leisure time is spent slouching on a couch watching Netflix. Children with heavy schoolbags are also at significant risk for postural dysfunction, especially when their tiny bodies are struggling to balance the weight of a heavy backpack.
Ignoring your mother's nagging concerns of "sitting straight" and "don't slouch" may be setting yourself up for shoulder and neck strain, lower back pain, and even joint damage. There was a 2014 study on the effects of "text neck", also known as "tech neck", an issue that is contributed by looking down at a mobile device. When the head is held in balance to the shoulders, it weighs about 10 pounds. But for every inch the head is tilted forward, the amount of stress on the spine almost doubles.
Fortunately, there are many ways to combat the effects of poor posture. Most people spend most of their time at their desks, so this video can help to provide a better understanding of how good ergonomy looks like in our daily lives. For children with heavy schoolbags, it may be helpful to get a bag with wheels, reduce the amount of books inside the bag, or utilise school lockers to offset the load on the children's tiny shoulders. Physical therapy and chiropractic therapy are also helpful in realigning the joints and strengthening the weak or "mushy" core muscles. Combining therapy with lifestyle changes, it can pay dividends many time over with improved health and lesser risk of back pain.