Have you seen the new posture shirt?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get dressed in the morning and wear your posture to work?
Whose responsibility is your posture, anyway?
Is it okay to take over your own back muscles with a shirt, so that your muscles can relax and not be used? What will happen to them if you never use them?
I agree that support is helpful as a reminder. However, it’s not a substitute for the body we’re born with and are supposed to be able to use, right out of the box, nothing added.
Here’s an article in today’s Wall St. Journal: Scientific Evidence on Posture Shirts
I agree with some of the ideas, and not others. I do think that such a shirt is a good reminder to be upright.
From the article – yes, to this: “While the shirts may help provide a boost for some,
it’s also important to correct the underlying issues that may be causing posture problems, such as an imbalance between strong pectoral muscles and weaker back muscles, says Timothy Sell, a physical therapist and associate professor in the department of sports medicine and nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh.”
One issue that was not addressed is that the quality of muscular use/effort is of critical importance. What we want is to be upright without muscular effort, which is the natural state of being. Muscling through or holding on tightly to a position is exhausting and ultimately, self-defeating.
Note that “In an unpublished month-long study of 95 computer users who wore the AlignMed posture shirt at a Colorado municipal utility, posture improved and users reported reduced fatigue. The study didn’t have a control group that didn’t use the shirts.…”
One month is great, but what happens with long term use? Could it bring about a corresponding weakness in the muscles that should be activating, but don’t have to because the shirt holds the wearer?
I think posture shirts might be interesting to use at home, in conjunction with Alexander Technique lessons. The clothing reminds you not to slouch, and perhaps makes it even difficult to do so. Even so, you still need the skill of self-awareness to expand naturally into your full height and be open in the body, rather than muscling through it.
We are born to be upright humans, without effort. We only need to correct our posture because of the bad habits we’ve acquired. Who invented that shopping spree? Poor posture creates an unnecessary burden on the whole system. Think: back and neck pain.
The Alexander Technique is a very intelligent way to use our minds – our conscious awareness – to undo the bad habits of posture we’ve acquired. The Technique is a method of returning to our natural state of being. It’s a method to come back to the way we were before we started interfering by adding all the slouching, tensing, and head forward posture.
Our bodies are designed to allow us to sit, stand, walk, run, swim, and dance, without any extraordinary effort.
It’s not supposed to hurt.