We've all heard, "Sit up straight!" more than once, usually while sitting in a classroom many years ago. Posture was not taught, it was demanded. In an effort to weigh the possible benefits of back education, a group of researchers led a two school-year study of Belgian schoolchildren that concluded positive immediate and long-term results.
The study involved more than 350 9- to 11-year-old children. The program consisted of lessons on good posture, positive reinforcement from their teachers and the addition of exercise balls and sitting wedges in each class. The students, under the supervision of their teachers, were evaluated with a pre- and posttest that included 10 questions on the content of the lessons, a section on general posture knowledge, and an evaluation of back and neck pain in the previous week. In addition, three children in each class were randomly selected for observation of their posture.
Results showed that students who received back education showed increased back posture knowledge, improved posture, and a decrease in how often they sat with their backs bent forward and their necks craned at school.
Are your children aware of the benefits of proper posture and how to achieve it? If you aren't already doing so, now's the time to take them to an expert on appropriate care of the back: your chiropractor. To learn more about the essentials of good posture and musculoskeletal health, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/musculoskeletal.
Geldhof E, Cardon G, Bourdeaudhuij I, et al. Effects of a two-school-year multifactorial back education program in elementary schoolchildren. Spine 2006;31(17):1965-1973.