When you’re a parent of young children, it’s easy to underestimate how the physical demands of the role can affect your posture. The constant strain of lifting, carrying, and even playing can cause repetitive stress injuries that’ll leave you feeling like old-man sore for days afterwards!
This doesn’t just happen in our back muscles – by becoming aware with how we move during these common tasks parents are able to adopt some good habits so they don’t get hurt after doing them every day all day long.
Is Poor Posture Bad For Your Health?
Poor posture can lead to a whole host of health problems, including scoliosis and chronic lower back pain. Dr. Wilson Wang, DC notes that poor posture leads to strain on the body over time which could have negative effects on your overall health in the long run as well as leading to short term issues like neck pain or headaches right now
Poor posture increases stress and strain on your joints and muscles. This in turn can lead to excessive wear and tear of your joints.— WILSON WANG, DC
Common Parenting Activities That Cause Poor Posture
As a human jungle gym, parents of young kids do more than just their share of bending and heavy lifting. A chiropractor at West University Wellness has found that many injuries sustained by her patients are from being the person who is constantly forced to carry about 60 pounds without realizing it!
Carrying and Playing With a Child
Babies may be light and easy to hold, but picking up a baby still requires bending over the crib, the bouncer, the stroller, etc. As each month passes these babies grow without realizing it parents are soon lifting much heavier children in and out of vehicles on playground equipment and stairs. In addition, excess use of one side can lead to spinal issues or pain
Tips For Carrying and Playing With Your Child
- If you can, avoid bending over and picking up your child with a back hunched. Instead, bend at the knees to get lower so that they are close to your body. Then use leg muscles in conjunction with buttock muscles for lifting them off of the ground – but be mindful not to strain too hard if they’re heavier than ten pounds or more!
- Balance while holding your little one in front of you and make sure they’re not dangling from a hip. And if you plan on going out, don’t forget the stroller!
- You might want to consider baby equipment that is designed high off the ground if you are constantly bending over to put down or pick up your child. This will save a lot of painful back pain in the future! To prevent constant and arduous picking-up, place higher positions for your kids at home so they can have an easier time playing with their toys.
Loading and Unloading a Vehicle
The repetitive motion of carrying all those bags and strollers is exhausting. It’s no wonder that parents are fighting a constant battle with their backs or shoulders, not to mention the fact that they’re always in pain from lugging groceries up three flights of stairs at home! This life can be tough on everyone involved, but there are some things you can do to protect your whole family.
Tips For Loading and Unloading a Vehicle Safely
- Multiple trips will save your back and posture. Making a single trip might be more convenient, but it can also make you sore in the morning from carrying everything on one continuous journey.
- To avoid putting unneeded stress on your back, shoulders, and arms when carrying an infant car seat with one hand in front of you. Carry it with the handle or strap instead so that both hands work together for a more steady grip.
- When you’re out and about with your little one, try to consolidate the baby gear whenever possible. For example, there are newer models of infant car seats that turn into strollers reducing how much loading/unloading you have to do for each trip!
Ways Parents Can Improve Their Posture
Add Strengthening Exercises
Improving your core muscle strength will automatically improve your posture. Although new parents do not have a lot of free time to spend at the gym, even just 10 minutes each day with hand weights and a yoga mat can help you decompress spine muscles and lengthen them. According to Dr. Long in his article “The Importance of Posture” from The Spine Journal; this is an important part of recovery after birth as well because it helps build back lost stamina so that mom’s physical activity level returns quickly once she has her baby home.”
Wear a Posture Corrector
Posture correctors are a must-have if you’re looking to improve your posture. They work like braces, providing support for the spine and helping guide it into its natural position by reminding muscles around it when they should be activated. This is especially important in instances where people have difficulty activating their own back muscles due to pain or injury.
The good news is that you can do plenty of things to reduce the strain on your body. Here are a few tips to get started!
1) Get off the couch and walk around every hour or so, even if it’s just for 5 minutes 2) Take care not to overload yourself by picking up too much at once
3) Use an ergonomic baby carrier
4) Stretch out before bedtime
5) Try some gentle exercises like yoga
6) Go with lighter bags
7) Remember that sitting all day isn’t great either
8). If you find yourself in pain after doing any of these steps, talk with a doctor about what might be happening. Let us know how this list helps!