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Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position while completing a task.  This can be sitting at a table/desk (sitting balance) or when walking or running in the school environment (dynamic balance) or when standing in line (static balance).  To develop balance, a child has to lay a foundation that begins when they are babies and then changes as they grow and mature.  How can you tell if your child has problems with balance and posture?  Many children with balance deficits might have some of the following difficulties: 

1.    Fall easily, trips often or can’t recover quickly from being off balance.

2.    Moves stiffly and lacks coordinated body movements.

3.    Late in achieving developmental milestones (such as crawling, walking, etc).

4.    Have difficulty completing daily activities, such as dressing.

Posture is the position in which  you hold your body and arms/legs when standing, sitting, or lying down.  To have good posture means that you need to be aware of holding yourself in a way that puts the least strain on your back whatever you are doing. 

Good posture means that your bones and joints are in line so that your muscles can be used correctly.  Good posture also means that you maintain the three natural curves of the spine (neck, middle back and lower back).  To have good posture, you need to have strong, flexible muscles of your trunk muscles, including the muscles on each side of your spine; and you need to have muscle balance, meaning that muscles are equal on both sides of your body or surrounding your spine. 

Posture is also important in school because you are sitting at your desk for much of your day.  You should try to avoid leaning forward on your desk, especially when using a computer.  You should bring your chair close to the keyboard so that you can rest your arms on the chair or desk and keep your shoulders relaxed. And, you should avoid slumping your shoulders forward and take a break about every 30 minutes from your sitting position to stretch out your neck and upper back muscles. 

It is important for sitting posture to make sure that you have a chair that fits correctly.  You should be able to sit comfortably in your chair seat  with your feet flat on the floor with your arms relaxed at a table top or desk in front of  you.