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A straightforward look at posture

Nonfiction book extends beyond standing and sitting to other areas of life.

January 04, 2011|By Lyda Truick

I am not the biggest fan of nonfiction reading. Plop me down with a good novel any day, and I am a happy camper. As a reviewer, the possibility of finding an entertaining, informative nonfiction title has about a 50-50 chance of success—half the books I happen upon are great, the other half, not so much.

So when faced with a book about posture, I must admit I was prepared for a long, boring book. Fortunately, this was not the case with “Change Your Posture Change Your Life!” written by Dr. Mike Spearman and La Crescenta resident Susan B. Stroh. I was pleasantly surprised to be reading an insightful, enlightening book about more than posture.

The book defines posture outside of the physical realm, delving into political, social and mental descriptions of posture and the effects of posture on your overall well-being. Spearman does a great job of relating posture in its many forms to all areas of life. He discusses posture in relation to gravity, energy and biomechanics, which seem like overwhelmingly complicated topics, but the author presents these in a way that are easily understood.


The entire flow of the book reads as if you are gliding along, something the author also talks about in relation to posture while walking or running. For example, Spearman states the body is naturally built to walk and run, but not jog. Walking and running move you forward, when done properly, in a smooth, gliding fashion. Jogging, on the other hand, disrupts proper posture as it exposes your body to jarring up and down motions that affect soft tissue and joints.

This book provides an intense break down of posture while standing, sitting, moving, as well as sitting, studying, reading and sleeping. Each chapter provides an itemized list of how to improve your posture in any given situation. There is even a section devoted to correct posture while wearing high-heels, which I did not think could be comfortable in any standing position. However, I did attempt the suggestions made by the author while wearing heels at a party one evening, and found that I could tolerate wearing them a lot longer than I normally could.

What I really liked was the chapter on “Correct Posture for Artists” that goes through quite a number of art-related activities and the associated proper posture techniques. There are chapters dedicated to stretching that I also found helpful, and a brief novella called “Dancing with Gravity” at the beginning of the book dealing with the health and healing of a young girl whose posture was apparently having a negative effect on her life.

This book only took a few days to read, despite it being almost 270 pages long, and I will be passing it on to many friends so its words of wisdom may benefit them as well.


What: “Change Your Posture Change Your Life” by Dr. Mike Spearman and Susan B. Stroh

Publisher: Spearman Better Health Center Books, 2010

Cost: Paperback: $29.95

Available: local retailers and online

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