From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, April 30, 1942

National Posture Week

Good posture in walking, standing, sitting, and working has a particularly vital meaning these days as a large percentage of those rejected because of physical unfitness can appreciate. There is good reason for insistence upon “chest up and tummies in” by the Army because the effect on health of a well-balanced body is far reaching. Indeed the proper functioning of the vital organs depends upon it.

National Posture Week, May 4-11, in which schools, colleges, and health and physical fitness groups are participating, should provide an excellent opportunity to check up on whether you are making efficient use of your capabilities in defense work. Perhaps you are wasting a lot of motion in working – wearing down your energies without producing as much as you might. Those who do piece work know what this may mean to a pay envelope. By learning how to conserve, you learn how to make yourself more valuable – worth more to an employer and a better provider for your family.

Your posture during relaxation hours is also important. Some people pile up more strain on muscles by poor posture in free time because they don’t know how to relax properly. As a result they are never properly rested – always tired, depressed, or fidgety.

Properly directed, exercise helps to harden muscles, maintain morale, strengthen stamina, and aid posture. Hard muscles usually accompany strong wills and decisive action. Gymnastics and hard physical exercise, however, should not be indulged in indiscriminately without first having a check up by your physician. It may be dangerous.

The slumping of the chest prevents complete expansion of the lungs and consequent full oxygenation of the blood, resulting in a poorer quality of blood which in turn leads to lowered resistance and less endurance. Continued slumping often results in gastrointestinal disturbances, constipation, and other disorders may follow.

Check your posture by these five tall points: 1. stand tall; 2. sit tall; 3. walk tall; 4. rest tall; 5. think tall. Walk instead of taking a car or bus whenever possible.

T.M. Towns, M.D.
County Health Officer