If you’re one to tell your teen to sit straight every time you see them slouching in their chair, then you’re one of many parents who share this concern. Posture problems in teenagers can have long-term effects on their health and we know it.
Teenagers belong to the most important age group in which, the body goes through many changes. Changes in the structure and posture of the body are most visible during these years. Identifying the causes of posture problems is very important to ensure your teen grows into a healthy adult.
Causes of Posture Problems
Smartphones, video games, obesity and general lack of physical activity can affect the posture of your teen in different ways. They may feel more tired and look less confident as their shoulders roll in while the neck and back shift forward.
Over time, poor posture may cause muscle strains, abnormal bone growth, and mobility issues in teenagers. What’s important to understand is that posture problems during the teenage years can have far-reaching consequences as they transition to adulthood.
Obesity and Posture Problems
Posture problems may also be caused by obesity, which is becoming a growing health concern for parents. A 2013 survey of 380 teenagers looked at their general habits and ways of spending leisure time.
It stated that obesity-related changes, such as reduced physical activity or lack of participation in sports, led to an overall reduction in fitness levels, which could be the cause of posture problems in teenagers.
A study published in the European Journal for Paediatrics involving posture examination of 2732 children and teenagers showed that posture problems were higher in children with obesity than those with normal or overweight body mass index (BMI).
Common Posture Problems
Knock knees and flat feet are commonly observed posture problems in teenagers, especially with obesity. Because of the increasing load on the knees, there is a greater risk of having knock knees where the knees angle in and may touch each other while standing.
Flat feet may impact body posture and may cause pain in the knee, hips, and the lower back. As the foot arch collapses, it causes the shin bone and thigh bone to twist inwards, adding stress on the knee and hip joint. This causes the hips to push forward and the lower back to become overly curved.
What Parents Can Do
Get your child’s full body posture examined by a health care expert. X-rays may be required for better diagnosis and to provide a detailed treatment plan. If your child has flat feet, you should also get their walking patterns checked to know how much foot posture is impacting the alignment in the rest of the body.
Encouraging your child to exercise and take up healthy habits can benefit them in many ways down the road. Education is very important to help your teen understand the importance of an active lifestyle and the risks of posture problems developed during teenage years.
If your child has foot posture problems, MASS4D® foot insoles can be recommended as a preventive care option. MASS4D® helps protect teenagers from developing posture problems caused by foot posture and promotes alignment from the feet up to the knees, hips, and the lower back.
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Reference: Maciałczyk-Paprocka, K., Stawińska-Witoszyńska, B., Kotwick, T., Sowińska, A., Krzyżaniak, A., Walkowiak, J., Krzywińska-Wiewiorowska , M. (2017) Prevalence of Incorrect Body Posture in Children and Adolescents with Overweight and Obesity. European Journal of Pediatrics: February 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s00431-017-2873-4
Reference: Motow-Czyz, M., Orczyk, A., Orczyk, M. (2014) Postural Defects Correction in the Process of Physical Education and Sport. Physical Activity Review: March 2014, Vol. 2, pp. 31-36
Reference: Latalski, M., Bylina, J., Fatyga, M., Repko, M., Filipovic, M., Jarosz, M. J., Borowicz, K. B., Matuszewski, L., Trzpis, T. (2013) Risk Factors of Postural Defects in Children at School Age. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine: February 2013, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 583-587
Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.