You knew there were good reasons for telling your kids to sit and stand up straight! Erik Peper, Ph.D., a holistic health professor at San Francisco State University, highlights these research-backed benefits for kids who have good posture.
We slouch when we’re tired, but our brains take cues from our bodies, so a hunched-over position may cause even lower energy and more fatigue. When your kids have to sit for a long time, like when they do homework, set the kitchen timer to go off every 30 minutes and have them get up and stretch or do a few jumping jacks. A quick break will help them sit up straighter and give them a second wind.
Sitting up straight puts the spine in proper alignment and gives your organs enough room to do their jobs—like digestion and breathing— more efficiently. One good-posture trick: Have your kids imagine they’re being pulled up by the back of their head. This position lifts and opens the chest.
The way we hold ourselves is a crucial part of our nonverbal communication, and standing tall has been shown to make people feel more self-assured. Good posture has even been linked to higher levels of testosterone, a hormone associated with self-confidence. Help your kids assume the position of strength: feet a bit wider than hips with shoulders back and relaxed.