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school holidays and lockdown how to dodge pandemic posture

School holidays and lockdown: how to dodge pandemic posture

Kids feeling bored at home can be hellish for parents but boredom in Covid-19 lockdown can be a whole other level of dread. And if your children are turning to tech to escape the isolation doldrums, beware of pandemic posture: neck and back pain attributed to incorrect posture during lockdown.

What lockdown is doing to your child’s posture

Coronavirus hasn’t just impacted our lives, it has also introduced us to new words and phrases like ‘iso’ and ‘social distancing’. And now there’s “pandemic posture”: the back and neck pain we’re experiencing as a result of the poor postural habits we’ve adopted during the pandemic.

Physiotherapists are seeing the condition more commonly in young children and teens as they spend increased time slouched over screens during periods of lockdown. With Sydneysiders slapped with stay at home restrictions during the school holidays, more and more inactive youth are turning to screens – TV and electronic devices – to bust the boredom. And now the pains they’re beginning to experience in their necks and back from the poor posture habits they are adopting may be early signs of spinal misalignment.

How to put an end to the dreaded pandemic posture

Slouching can put strain on neck, shoulder and lower back muscles which in turn cause pain. If addressed early, pain associated with poor posture can be treated relatively simply and effectively with stretching exercises to alleviate muscle tension.

But left untreated, continual poor posture habits can cause long term pain that could impair a child’s concentration as well as lead to spinal alignment problems. Targeted exercises and stretches will help and manual therapy can be used to improve mobility while in more severe cases, a posture brace can correct alignment.

Listen to your body – and your physiotherapist

While our children are spending hours slumped forward looking down at their devices, adults aren’t immune to bad posture either. The pandemic is forcing many of us to work from home and our posture is slipping: the long stretches spent sitting at our desks is wreaking havoc on our own muscles.

To keep our spines in good health, we’re reminded to monitor the way we sit, move regularly and maybe invest in ergonomically designed furniture to encourage better posture.

Consult your physiotherapist for tips on how to correct your posture, strengthen muscles and alleviate pain. Your physiotherapist can prescribe a series of exercises and stretches to help improve your posture and boost your muscle strength.

Speak to us about a diagnosis specific to your symptoms.

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