seminar extended outline

Why posture matters

  • Hear about the growing body of  evidence that says bad posture causes chronic back and neck pain.
  • Understand the modern influences that encourage children to hold their bodies unnaturally.
  • Learn why sitting properly can prevent injury, increase energy, and can even influence mood.
  • Instead of going to physical therapy later in life, we can influence muscle development early and build a strong foundation from the start. Breaking bad habits is much easier when young.
  • Posture and the aging process.
  • Studies show that nonverbal posture and gestures deeply influence a person’s career trajectory, social life, and self esteem.

Posture of the modern child vs previous generations

  • Evolution of clothing and cultural norms over the past 200 years.
  • Formalized posture training in schools 1915-1960.
  • The impact of screen time and iPosture.
  • Fundamental changes in the movement patterns of the modern child.
  • Cross cultural influences.

The preschool slump

  • Toddlers usually have great posture because it helps them to balance as they are learning to sit up and walk. Around age 3, when most children start preschool, their posture changes. We will analyze this transformation and learn to identify the first signs of this change.
  • Learn ways to intervene with young children to preserve their natural movement habits. Parents of preschool-age children will be especially interested in this segment.

What is good posture anyway?

  • Identify misconceptions about good posture.
  • Learn the most common posture mistakes.
  • Learn how good posture can be maintained for long periods of time in both sitting and standing positions.

The problem with nagging

  • Telling children to “sit up straight” usually results in a few moments of rigid posture, followed by a return to the slump.
  • Treating good posture as a chore makes it seem about as fun as eating broccoli! Learn strategies that enable you to be consistent but not annoying.
  • Children need to understand why good posture is important. Learn practical strategies for getting the point across.

How to change your child’s posture

  • How to be a good role model for healthy posture.
  • How to discuss posture with your child in fun, playful language (ie: superhero posture, a princess back). Ideas for different ages are given.
  • Practical suggestions about how to turn good posture into a game.
  • Children love to learn about their bodies. Learn how to seamlessly introduce simple anatomy lessons into your day.
  • Ideas for treating good posture like a science experiment. (ie: is breathing harder or easier when slumped?)
  • Positive reinforcement strategies.
  • How to get back on track if their posture deteriorates again.
  • Suggestions for art projects on the topic of posture.
  • Overview of psychological concepts about making long-term behavioral changes.

Is your child already experiencing pain?

  • When to call a doctor or physical therapist.
  • Identify furniture and household items that are causing bad posture.
  • Learn ergonomic basics for healthy posture at computer stations, in chairs, and in the car.

Stretches and exercises

  • Learn to identify the areas that need stretching and strengthening in your child’s body (and your own).
  • Learn stretches and exercises, and age-appropriate variations.
  • Strategies to make stretching and strengthening muscles fun.