Good Posture and Why it Matters 姿勢の子供への悪影響

Published on: December 27, 2017

Many parents have, at one point or another, told their child to ‘sit up straight!’ But have you explained why? Here are some reasons you could share with your child.


By Takahiro Sugaya / Translated by Ema Naito-Bhakdi [日本語記事へ]  


Have you ever felt that your kids have bad posture? I often come across parents who are worried about their child’s posture, but the child in question is not bothered at all. Why is that? And what’s so problematic about bad posture anyway? In my view, most kids simply do not realize how bad posture can negatively affect their lives. How do you tell your kids when you want them to correct their posture? Do you just tell them, “Keep your back straight!” and “Sit up tall!”? Maybe that isn’t enough. Parents need to be able to explain to their children why they should care about their posture.


What is good posture?

Anatomically, the spine has a gentle S-curve that helps the body keep balance and works as a shock absorber, similar to a car’s suspension. That curve helps ensure that the body is able to absorb shocks from walking or even standing.


How can you check your posture?

It is easy to check whether your posture is correct or not. Stand with your back against a wall. Check that your shoulders, head and hips are touching the wall. Insert your hand in the space between your lower back and the wall. If you have good posture, your hand should just fit. If you cannot insert your hand or can insert it too easily, your posture is wrong. Remember how that position feels when you are against the wall. Keep that posture and step away from the wall. Relax a little bit, and that is correct posture.


Side-effects of  bad posture

Let’s understand the ways bad posture, especially slouching, can affect us.

Your posture affects how others perceive and treat you. You might not give much weight to first impressions, but when people see you for the first time, they make snap judgments about you based on appearance alone – including posture. People use first impressions to judge your personality, background, and even your capabilities, and treat you accordingly. It’s possible that people may revise their opinions after getting to know you, but research has shown that those first impressions last longer than one may expect.[1]

Bad posture can make you feel negative emotions.  When you are worried about something or feeling sad, notice what happens to your posture: you are likely to be hunched over. Your emotions affect your posture. But this works in the other direction too: bad posture can make you feel less confident and bring negative thoughts, and make you more likely to feel down, while good posture has been shown to boost self-confidence.[2]

Bad posture causes lower back pain.  Normally the pelvic bone is tilted forward, but slouching makes the pelvis tilt backward. If you maintain this position for a long time, the natural curvature of the spine can be lost, causing stiffness of muscle and lower-back pain, and even herniated discs.

Bad posture causes stiff shoulder and neck, and headaches.  The weight of a human head is approximately 5-7kg – that is almost the same weight as a bowling ball. If you had to hold a bowling ball with your extended arm for a long time, you would get tired. It’s the same thing when you slouch: your head tilts forward, the spine comes out of its natural position, and the shoulder and neck muscles must work extra hard to support the head. This causes stiffness and fatigue of shoulder and neck, which in turn can cause headaches.

Bad posture affects sports performance. If you slouch, the range of motion of the shoulder joint is decreased. If it’s harder to lift your arm up, your speed in sports like swimming will be directly affected. Or if you slouch when playing basketball, for example, your eyes will tend to look downwards thus limiting your field of view and you may miss the chance to make a great pass. In sports like tennis, badminton, and volleyball, slouching will decrease the extension of your spine, thus limiting the strength of your spike or serve.


Tips for Better Posture

  • When seated in a chair, place a cushion against the back of the chair, so that when you sit back, the cushion supports your lower back and helps you maintain the healthy curve in your spine.
  • Sit at the front edge of your chair. By doing so, the pelvis tilts forward which helps maintain that curve in your spine. It also counters any slouching. To further increase the forward pelvic tilt, tuck a folded towel under your sitting bones.
  • When you look at your books, bring it up to the height of your eyes. Avoid holding your book/phone low and bending over to peer into it.
  • Sit on a balance ball when watching TV, eating, etc. This will strengthen your core muscles, which in turn will make it easier to maintain good posture.
  • Use a flat pillow for sleeping. However, if you already have poor posture, you may find it difficult to sleep without a high pillow; in this case, change the height of your pillows gradually, as a sudden switch may cause neck or shoulder aches.

  So don’t just tell your children to ‘sit up straight!’. Make sure you explain – over and over again –  the reasons why it’s good for them to sit and stand tall.  



[1] See for example: Naumann LP, et al. (2009), ‘Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance’, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,; and Gunaydin G, et al. (2016), ‘Impressions Based on a Portrait Predict, 1-Month Later, Impressions Following a Live Interaction’, Social Psychological and Personality Science,

[2] See for example: Briñol P, et al. (2009). ‘Body posture effects on self-evaluation’, European Journal of Social Psychology,;  Nair S, et al., (2015), ‘Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial’, Health Psychology,; and Wilson VE & Peper E (2004), ‘The Effects of Upright and Slumped Postures on the Recall of Positive and Negative Thoughts’, Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback,  


「うちの子が姿勢があまりよくないのよねー?」と気になることはありませんか?親は気にしているが、本人(子ども)は気にしていないことが多いです。なぜ本人は気にならないのでしょうか? そもそも何故姿勢が悪いと良くないんでしょう?










壁に背中をつけて立ってください。骨盤、肩、頭を壁につけます。そして腰と壁の間に手を入れてみます。その時に手がぴったり入るくらいがちょうどいいです。 その感覚をキープして壁から一歩前に出て少しリラックスした状態が良い姿勢です。 頻繁にこのチェックをすると自分の今の姿勢が良いか、悪いかをチェックすることができます。



見た目が良くない。 たかだか見た目が悪くなるだけだと思われるかもしれませんが、人は他の人を判断する時にまず「見た目」で判断します。見た目の第一印象80ー90パーセントでその人のことを判断するとも言われています。 もし、見た目でマイナスでも話してみて判断が変わることがあると思いますが、見た目が良くて中身が良い方が見た目が悪くて中身が良いよりも相手の印象は良いでしょう。[1]

考え方がネガティブになりやすくなる。 実際に猫背になると自信がなくなり、考え方がネガティブになりやすくなります。気分も落ち込みやすくなります。ネガティブ思考になると何事もうまくいかなくなったり、他の人から敬遠されてしまいます。[2]

腰痛になりやすい。 腰の骨は本来前に反っているのですが、猫背になると背骨が丸まり、前に反るはずの腰の骨が反対に後ろに出てきます。長い間猫背になっていると段々と腰のカーブがなくなり、腰回りの筋肉が硬くなり腰痛になったり、ひどくなると椎間板ヘルニアになる可能性もあります。

肩がこる、頭痛が出る。 猫背になると首と頭が前に突き出る姿勢になります。人間の頭の重さは5-7kgと言われています。女性用のボーリングの球と同じくらいですが、ボーリングの球をずっと手を伸ばして持っていたら疲れますよね?それと同じことを、首と肩の筋肉が行っています。

スポーツのパフォーマンスが下がる。 猫背になるとスポーツにも影響が出ます。まず猫背になると肩関節の可動域が下がります。人間の肩関節は背中をまっすぐにしていた時の方が、動かしやすいです。背中が猫背になると腕も上げにくくなります。 水泳などでは、肩関節が動かないとタイムに直接影響が出ます。また、マラソンや短距離の選手が走っているのをテレビで見ても猫背で走っている方はあまり見かけませんよね?バスケットボールにしても猫背になると目線が下を向いてしまうため、視野が狭くなりパスが出しにくくなります。バレーボールにしても猫背になると背骨の可動域が減るため、アタックの時に体が反りにくくなります。当然アタックの力も弱くなります。 このように猫背はスポーツにも色々と影響を与えます。  







  • まず座る時に腰の後ろにクッションを置き、奥の方まで深く座りましょう。(クッションが腰の骨を支えることにより、背骨が正しいカーブを保つことができます。)
  • 椅子の前方に浅く腰掛けてみましょう。椅子の前方ぎりぎりの部分に座ることで、骨盤が前傾して腰の骨のカーブを保つことができます。腰の骨のカーブが保てれば、背中の猫背も連動して治ってきます。(この座り方の時に尾てい骨の下にタオルを重ねて置くとより骨盤を前傾に保ちやすくなります。)
  • 携帯電話を見たり、本を読む時は、なるべく覗きこまずに目と同じ高さで見るように心がけましょう。携帯電話を手元で操作して、下を覗き込む姿勢が一番良くありません。
  • テレビを見たり、食事をする時に、バランスボールに座ってみましょう。バランスボールを使うことにより体幹の筋肉が鍛えられます。体幹の筋肉が鍛えられると正しい姿勢を保ちやすくなります。
  • 最後に、寝る時に低めの枕を使ってみましょう。本来枕は低い方が姿勢を正すには最適です。ただし、姿勢が悪い方は枕なしでは眠れません。少しずつ枕の高さを低くしていってみて下さい。急に低くすると、首や肩が痛くなる可能性があります。


About the Author

Taka is the CEO of PainAway Clinic. He has travelled around the world to find the best pain treatments available. Having established PainAway, he hopes to offer the best worldclass treatment and hospitality to patients and continue improving treatments based on such therapies as Thai massage, physical therapy and chiropractic. 横浜出身。20代の頃から世界各地を回り異文化に触れる。タイマッサージや理学療法、整体、カイロプラクティックなどを学び独自の治療を開発してペインアウェイクリニック設立。今後もさらに治療を進化させて、世界中から治療に来てもらえるトップレベルの医療機関を作りたいと思っている。

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