HANGING UPSIDE DOWN

November 22, 2019


The importance of allowing your children to hang upside down

Rather than head this up with the title The Vestibular System, I’ve named this Hanging Upside Down. Why? Well because hanging upside down is very important to body and brain development via the vestibular system. Without sounding too obvious, body and brain development are key for growing up and being accepted in the world. Without the body the brain cannot develop and mature. This is necessary socially and educationally.
The world has changed! There is no doubt about this. We move less, we all do… TV, gadgets, cars, computers all mean that we are much more sedentary. What is wrong with that you ask? The answer is brain development. Babies, infants, children develop their brains through movement.



Today I am talking about hanging upside down to help the vestibular system. Who remembers going to the park and hanging upside down on the monkey bars? Or who used to place their tummy on the swing, leaning right over and swinging? Who used to hang off the sofa and watch tv upside down, head on the floor? Whose children are daily at the park hanging upside down?
The vestibular system is a sensory system and hanging upside down stimulates this system. Briefly, our vestibular system is our inner ear. Its function is to help with balance, spatial awareness (knowing where our bodies are in the world), coordinating balance and movement. If this sense is not developed then children will exhibit the following {amongst others):-
Fidgeting, can’t sit still, no spatial awareness (eg problems lining up), hyperactivity, impulsiveness, rough play. Also problems copying from the board, reading, writing.
So what can be done about this? The park is important, hanging upside down is important, balancing on one leg and then the other is important, riding bikes, scooters, climbing trees, slowly spinning round, ring o roses, touching toes, leaning frontwards and backwards on a gym ball, going swimming, playing in the water and jumping into the swimming pool, any kind of physical play involving moving the body and especially the head.

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