Evolution of postural alignment in preschool and school phases: A longitudinal study

<div><p>Abstract Aim: To identify postural variations in the positioning of the head, cervical spine and shoulders of children in two phases - preschool and school. Methods: This was a longitudinal study, a convenience sample with 99 children of both genders, in preschool (5-6 years old) and school (8-11 years old) phases. The postural alignment of the head, cervical spine and shoulders was evaluated through computerized photogrammetry and analyzed by SAPo software. Results: Differences were found between preschool and school phases, but only the variables of shoulder angle (SA) and forward head distance (FHD) were significantly different (SA = 32.79 [30.49 - 35.09] and 35.84 [33.53 - 38.15] p = 0.026, respectively; FHD = 8.40 [8.07 - 8.73] and 11.23 [10.94-11.52] p <0.001, respectively). A positive correlation was obtained between forward head distance and body mass (rho= 0.597, p <0.001). Conclusion: There are changes in head and shoulder alignment between preschool and school phases, with protrusion of shoulders and forward head distance findings in children who have evolved their posture. Therefore, parents should be aware of children’s posture, and health and education professionals should be involved in screening and prevention programs.</p></div>