“Good Posture Alignment was Important, What Happened?”


I remember as a kid during my grade school years being corrected to sit up straight as I was comfortably slumped in my seat asking “What’s the big deal?”  The grade school teachers would say something like, “You don’t want to look and walk like the hunchback from Notre Dame do you?”  This was something that all kids could “kind of” relate too of the times.  Anyway we got the point and corrected our posture on the fly.  There were also many other examples given in school to poor posture effects on overall health through physical education courses back in my day.  Well this was enough information for me; I didn’t want to have a crooked spine as I grew up.  Although at this young stage in my life I really didn’t believe a crooked spine would ever apply to me.  Regardless, I became aware to correct my seating posture as I still do today.  The point is, there was enough of an educational message at a young age to get through to my immature mindset about the importance of posture on back spine health.  I’m not so sure today in our grade school system this is so.  I asked my kids and their friends about this matter and they laugh at me, like I’m crazy, or something.  No, in my small piece of the world the kids don’t appear to be getting “slouching-in-chair” correction or basic body posture education in today’s school environment.”  This should be a huge wakeup call for parents, especially if you’re an educator!

 It is interesting to note as a child I received some information on proper seating, standing and walking posture alignment awareness, but no information with regard to foot support and its connection to total body health.  During my early developmental years educators where instructed and obligated to express and impress to students proper seating posture and negative affects that could occur if one continued slouching in a seat for example.  One would think with a huge investment in human resources (especially military occupations, schools, health care education) our government/lobbyists would have a huge interest/influence in posture support prevention and correction education.  But this is not the case!  Now let’s analyze this prevention knowledge disconnect through one man’s eyes.

 So as a child vs. adult, “why would our education system make me aware of the importance of good back posture practices while sitting in grade school and the military pay no concern to posture at all as an adult, especially the feet?  Something changed in our culture’s values big time.  I believe there are a few reasons for this disconnect 1) Service connected disabilities arising from postural causes are factored into military training that can be corrected later.  2)  Military enlistees are medically screened to standard where a small percentage will suffer from foot and body postural problems.  3)  The “no pain no gain training philosophy” is alive and well.  4)  Our education system and/or parents should have prepared the youth with adequate healthy body life knowledge.  5) The civilian medical-insurance industry will take care of the unfortunate few that suffer as a result of poor posture through corrective surgery, prosthetics and orthotics. 6) Postural alignment health is not an educator responsibility, but instead is owned by the mega-health care industry.  7) Podiatry and orthopedic corrective surgical specialties; without demand, there is less need for supply (jobs).  8)  Illness and pain prevention education will not make healthcare industries and stock holders rich.  9) Pharmaceuticals, custom orthotics, prosthetics and corrective medical surgeries are services paid by most health insurers: Justifying “big money” budgets, jobs and stakeholder/industry wealth.  10) Our health care insurance and special interest groups/government depend on bodies to breakdown as we age maintaining the “status quo, circle of life economic industrial engines.”  11) Our human resources justify taxation in support of government services and jobs: Medicare, Social Security, SSD, “health care reform,” etc. 12) our educators are afraid of lawsuits. 13) Physical education budgets have been cut severely… 14) Etc.  Instead of covering each potential disconnect point separately, I believe it more fruitful if you only believe one of these connections to be true, than you understand preventative health care in America is low in the pecking order because there is no money to be made in “any” health prevention education industry!

 With so much information available to consumers on the importance of good posture and posture corrective aids such as foot insoles, why do our “current” educational, military and health care institutions give so little preventative insight to posture misalignment beginning at the feet?  The foot is the origin; problematic of much musculoskeletal misalignment and pain throughout the body when not corrected once misaligned.  This fact is recognized by podiatrists and orthopedic specialists and surgeons as of great preventative postural importance.  The lack of early detection and prevention of poor posture, I believe is the result of one or more of our disconnect points made above and many other disconnects not mentioned. 

 Our current health care industry is not so much about illness prevention education touching us early on in life, “because there is no money to be made in the preventative health industry!”  However, we somehow must break through educational-political disconnect barriers to educate our youth on the connection between good foot-body posture and overall fitness health.  And in order to do this, minimum education in this matter must be disseminated with the same importance as “sit up straight, or you’ll look like the hunchback of Notre Dame Analogy.”  Apparently, posture correction in school today is not important, or politically incorrect.  No wonder my nephews and nieces complain of back problems… For lack of posture awareness education, this is outrageous!  I never heard such things from my peers when I was growing up; disabled with acute back pain at 12-18 years of age!  I suspect there are many other reasons for our youths back pain; for example, lack of daily exercise conditioning in many schools… And other key contributing factors I won’t mention at this time.  But instead, use my personal experience and knowledge as an opportunity to stress the importance of good posture health to your kids when appropriate… Like when their slouching! 

 Think about it… If our children lack this information how will this affect them at our age?  And what financial cost burdens will this put on our already strained health care resources and parents?”  This issue should be of great concern to parents, especially if they understand the importance of good postural alignment on overall body health.  Misaligned feet can/is causing serious health problems today for many pain patients and kids!  Good foot posture, including overall effect on health is an inclusive “quality of life” topic of importance for quality living experiences as we age.  Prevention classes, e.g., “basic biomechanics and anatomical fitness healthy body principles” need to be taught early on within our schools physical education course work!  And these healthy body basics start with healthy feet.

 This article is continued titled “How Healthy Feet Equate to Healthy Mind-Body, Mirror Athlete Blog Articles, available to read, 25 May 2010.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.org,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

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