Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Posture and morality

 •  • by Paul Ingraham

Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Postural laziness is what people picture when they think of poor posture. Thanks to the Puritans.

Most people are at least dimly aware that sexual uptightness is a Puritan thing, that the Puritans bequeathed England and her colonies with the notion that pleasure is evil … and what’s more pleasurable than sex? (Possibly massage, and I doubt they liked that either.) Few people know that the Puritans also gave us the idea that rigid posture implies moral righteousness and strength of character. Postural laziness is a great moral failing in the Puritanical world view, which still pollutes the cultural DNA of modern civilization to a shocking degree. People still exaggerate the value of “good posture” for this reason, mostly unconsciously.

This is a brief excerpt from Does Posture Matter? A detailed guide to posture and postural correction strategies (especially why none of it matters very much), Footnote #9. Years after writing that passage, along comes this to illustrate it:

Comic by MimiAndEunice.com, which is a lovely place.

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