Upstanding Citizens: an Interactive History of "Good" Posture

Come and explore how the idea of “good” posture fits with current postural science, and learn strategies for minimising the damage of sedentary work.

Many modern jobs involve sitting down for long periods of time and the negative health effects of this are well-documented.

Alongside the genuine health concerns has developed a market for selling us various gadgets and methodologies to save us from the scourge of “bad” posture, even though many of those ideas aren’t well-supported by science.

The upshot of this is that we end up feeling guilty for doing work that we need to do in order to live, as well as feeling worse about our bodies and perhaps a bit lost about what to do about it all.

In this workshop, our coach Guy Lochhead will explore:

  • The fascinating origins of these ideas about “good posture”
  • How well they fit with the current scientific literature
  • The real health risks of extended periods of sitting and how to abate these
  • The effects on strength and mobility, and exercises and ideas that can help

Along the way, we’ll meet Flemish drill sergeants, Charles Darwin, industrialists and physiotherapists. We’ll try out popular resting postures from all over the world and consider the many reasons why we sit and stand in the ways we do.

You’ll leave with:

  • An understanding of where these ideas about posture come from and which we can knowingly reject or accept
  • The ability to broadly assess the range of motion at various joints
  • Forms of self-massage and exercise that may restore function and relieve pain
  • Ideas about how to do desk work in a way that minimises damage to your body