28 Nov 2023

Kids, Screen Time & Posture

Child with a phone screen close to their face.

In our fast-paced digital era, ‘screen time’ has become more than just a term; it’s a key part of discussions about children’s lifestyle. As smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices become increasingly common, it’s vital for us to understand the limits of screen time, particularly for children aged 6-18.

But what do we mean by screen time? Essentially, it’s the total time spent using devices with screens, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. The issue arises when screen time becomes ‘excessive,’ which can affect health and well-being significantly.

Let’s talk posture

Poor posture is a common side effect of too much screen time. Ever noticed someone slouched over their phone or tablet? This slouching habit can lead to long-term posture issues. When kids, or even adults, spend a prolonged period in a hunched position, it can result in a condition known as ‘Forward Head Posture’ where the neck bends forward due to constant looking down at a device. This can lead to chronic neck and back pain.

Children aged 6 to 18 are particularly at risk of this since their bodies are still developing. The excessive use of smartphones and tablets can affect their physical health, leading to poor posture and related musculoskeletal problems.

So, how can you mitigate the risks to a child’s posture from too much screen time?

  1. Set Limits: Establish clear, consistent rules for how much screen time is allowed each day. You can refer to health guidelines to decide on these limits, but also consider your child’s individual needs and lifestyle. It’s about finding a balance that allows for screen time without compromising physical health and posture.
  2. Encourage Physical Activity: Balance screen time with physical activities. The NHS recommends children and young people aged 5 to 18 should aim for at least 60 minutes  of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity a day across the week, so ensure children spend time outdoors playing, engaging in sports, or other physical hobbies.
  3. Lead by Example: Children often mimic adult behaviour. If they see you glued to your phone, they’re likely to follow suit. Set a good example by limiting your screen time as well.
  4. Promote Good Posture: Teach children about the importance of good posture. Encourage them to sit properly when using devices and to take regular breaks to stretch and move around.
  5. Tech-Free Zones: Create areas in the house where devices are not allowed, like the dining table, to encourage family interaction.
  6. Promote Alternative Activities: Encourage activities that don’t involve screens, like reading, drawing, or playing board games.
  7. Regular Check-ups: Regular physical check-ups can help catch any posture-related issues early.
  8. Educational Tools: Utilise apps and online tools that encourage learning and physical movement.

By taking these steps, you can help manage screen time effectively, ensuring that it doesn’t negatively impact posture or overall health. Remember, it’s all about balance. Devices are an integral part of our lives, but they shouldn’t dominate them, especially for children in their formative years.

If you’re concerned about your child’s posture and the potential effects of screen time, Kasa Chiropractic is here to help. Our experienced team is well-equipped to assess and address any posture-related issues. We provide personalised care and effective strategies to improve posture and promote overall health – contact us today for a consultation, and let us support your child’s journey towards better posture and a healthier lifestyle in the digital age.


  • Tamsin Oliver says:

    Hi Matt, I would love you to look at my 10year old daughter Matilda’s posture. I am forever berating her for sitting hunched over her homework/supper/book and I hope a firm word from you about her posture might sink in! Also, I am suffering from my on-going neck issues and need an appointment please. I finish work at 6pm on Monday, 7pm tues-thurs and free all day Fridays- or weekends. I can call if that is easier?! From Tamsin x

  • Kay Leslie says:

    Two weeks ago I something twang in my lower back when bending over. The area was lower right side, just off centre towards the hip. Shortly afterwards I began to feel a dull ache and my mobility was restricted for a few days. However, after that my mobility improved and I thought I was getting back to normal. Then last week whilst sitting in the passenger seat of our car I felt a searing pain down my right outside upper leg and hip. It felt like my leg it was going into a spasm. No amount of wriggling or stretching seemed to ease the pain or the spasm and as we were on the motorway in a traffic jam I couldn’t get out and stretch it so the pain and spasm was prolonged. After almost a week in agony, there has been a slight improvement in the pain, less spasms, and my medication has been reduced, but I have noticed a numbness in my inner top thigh at the groin area (but not the groin itself)’ down the front of my thigh, only to the knee and the outside of my right thigh. It almost feels like something is trapped. My back is still sore, but I’m not in agony and both leg and back are almost free of pain onw walking. Sitting and trying to sleep on my right or left side at night a different matter. Sitting is only managable if I sit bolt upright and can only lie on my back to sleep. I also have occasional shooting pains run down my thing if I move or twist too quickly. I am also taking less medication during the day, but still the same amout at night and I still have a hot water bottle under my buttock wher the whole thing began as this seems to soothe that area and help me sleep, albeit only on my back. I should say that I have felt a twang in the same region a number of times during the years, but before I have always felt completely back to normal in a few days. Any suggestions of what might be wrong would be very appreciated. At the moment I’m just attending my GP.



  • Charles Herbert says:

    Hello Kay,
    Thank you for your comment. It sounds, from what you’ve described, like you’ve got an ongoing issue in your back that has worsened. I suggest you get it assessed properly by a reputable Chiropractor in your area. Also read this blog What is a ‘trapped nerve’? for more info.

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