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Sit up! How slouching leads to posture problems

CALGARY- 18-year-old Allison Pritchard admits her posture is a problem. You’ll often find the field hockey athlete bent over her smart phone or computer.

“I have the classic rounded over [posture], head hunched forward – just like every teen, I think,” she says.

The average teenager sends 70 to 80 texts each day and spends at least an hour watching videos or checking social media sites on their mobile devices. That means that each time a device is out, the user’s head is hunched forward.

“We’re really afraid that this continual postural habit is going to create so many health issues in the future,” says Eva DaSilva, a Calgary pilates and posture educator.

DaSilva and her associate Kathleen Keller became concerned about teen posture habits after noticing a growing number of teenage clients coming in with neck, shoulder and back pain.

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“[Teens] need to be educated about what their core truly is, the deep muscles inside that stabilize their core and lengthen the spine up,” Keller explains.

Her practice, ‘The Keller Method’ has developed a workshop specifically for teens to improve their posture.

“We focus on strengthening the core as well as the muscles in the spine and around their rotator cuff, in particular the shoulder girdle muscles that prevent the arms from coming forward.”

If young people don’t have the time for a full exercise program, Keller also says a few minutes a day can also help correct posture problems.

“Just lifting up, rotating around and stretching throughout the day can stop that pattern.”

Holding devices at eye level can also be helpful.

For more information about the Keller Method’s workshops for teen posture improvements visit: http://www.thekellermethod.com/Slouchitis.html