How To Self-Assess Your Child’s Posture With 2 Quick and Simple Tests

Child Reading


Many of us have been told by our physiotherapists, doctors, or maybe even grandmothers the importance of having good posture. It’s true, posture plays an important role in preventing/managing neck and back pain and is often a key component of rehabilitation for a wide variety of injuries.

What many do not often consider is the importance of posture in children. It is never too early to get your kids thinking about having good standing and sitting posture and to start cueing them on how to obtain good posture. Posture in children has become even more important over the last number of years as the time that children spend sitting has increased– playing video or computer games, watching TV, etc– so now is the time to act!

To help you and your child become more posture-aware, we’ve outlined a few important characteristics of “good” and “bad” posture and described two versions of a quick and easy test, called the Wall Test, to help you assess your child’s posture at home.


Key components of “good posture”:


  • Good vs. Bad PostureFrom the front:
    • Shoulders and hips are level and head is straight
    • Spaces between arms on each side are equal
    • Kneecaps are level and face straight forward
    • Feet are pointing slightly outward and are symmetrical on both sides
  • From the side:
    • Head is upright and not slumping forward, chin is parallel to the floor
    • Shoulders are not rounded forward and are in line with ears
    • Stomach is flat
    • Low back has a slightly forward curve

Key components of “bad posture”:


  • Rounded upper back
  • Forward shoulders
  • Flattened lower back
  • “Chin poke”
  • Hips forward

2 Simple Self-Tests for Evaluating Posture

Here are two great tests that you can do with your kids to assess their posture. You only need a wall for these tests and they’re quick and easy to perform.

Posture Test


The Standing Wall Test

1. Stand with feet 6 inches from the wall
2. Stand with your head, shoulders and buttocks touching the wall
3. Using your hand, check the distance between your low back and the wall as well as between your neck and the wall
4. If you get within 1-2 inches at the low back and 2 inches at the neck, then you have the indicators of good posture


The Snow Angel

1. Stand with feet 6 inches from the wall
2. Stand with your head, shoulders and buttocks touching the wall
3. Have your forearms flat against the wall with your palms facing forward
4. Try to raise both your arms over your head (like you are performing snow angels) while keeping your forearms against the wall
5. If you are unable to raise your arms all the way above your head, this is an indicator of poor posture, more specifically shoulder and mid-back tightness


If you discover some signs of poor posture from these tests then you’ll want to have some further evaluation to see what can be done.

To book an assessment with one of our physiotherapists please call 1 (780) 980-5443.