Nowadays, it seems so natural to think that looking at a hunched back is hard on the eyes, or that it can cause a string of disadvantages to our overall health. Don’t get us wrong though, these are both true - but when did we really start telling each other to fix how we stand? When did good posture have more weight in society and where in history did we start to learn it had a big impact on our wellbeing, to the point of inventing posture correctors?
The military man of the 16th century
American historian Sander Gillman once wrote that the idea of standing upright was first brought about by a military drill formation back in the 16th century. It was agreed to be the best stance when handling heavy weapons with long shafts. By the 18th century, the military regarded good posture as a means to shape an ordinary man into a disciplined soldier. From then on, posture was considered an essential factor in the maturity of a person, making one look more dignified and controlled, not only in the military but among civilians as well.
The Swedish gymnastics and a German anatomist
Having good posture became more and more important in daily life. The fashionable and the rich would even pay for instructors to teach them how to carry a proper stance, so as to seem presentable enough to society. Fast forward to the 19th century, this was when we started to see the connection between posture and our health.
Swedish and German gymnastics were considered the best form of physiotherapy at the time. Because of its practices, the idea of attaining the best possible spine alignment and stance were then connected to a healthy body rid of any illness. Self-care books all about posture started selling out as well. Good bearing was also studied by German anatomist Christian Braune, who fashioned the first makeshift posture corrector using a weighted line that was tied to the subject’s head and hung down their backs. This served as a stepping-stone to modern orthopedics.
Age of consumerism
Towards the end of the 19th century, stiff and formal was out while relaxed and comfortable was in. Everything the masses consumed from clothes to furniture all were advertised to be more for pleasure and leisure. Etiquette was no longer a strong enough reason to achieve good posture – this is where medical premises were stronger than ever.
The argument was that the body needed to be kept properly aligned to function well. Slouching was thought to constrict the organs and lead to various illnesses. To further advance their advocacy, chiropractors even hosted contests for who had the best spinal alignment. Despite their efforts, liberal consumerism won, leading to the relaxed and slouched demeanor we all take part of today.
The modern posture corrector
While many of us prefer the relaxed lifestyle, we can no longer deny that the medical doctors who exerted all that effort in the past were right after all. Especially with the use of modern technology leading us to sit by our desks for hours on end while looking down at our computer, mobile phones, or tablets – we can feel the tension build up on our shoulders, neck, and back every day.
While morality and dignity are an outdated argument for proper posture, pain relief, improved mental health, and good physical health still reign true today. We have come a long way from Braune’s first corrector. Through technology and research, we can now offer advanced posture correctors such as our recommended list below:
Are you someone who is suffering from chronic neck, back and shoulder pain? If so investing in a self-care tool like a posture corrector can make a huge difference in your quality of life! AlignMat is Australias number one provider for posture braces and other wellness devices to help improve your posture & decrease pain in a natural way. Posture correctors will gently pull your shoulders back, eradicating slouching and joint pain. Natural realignment of the spine also occurs after just a few days of wearing a posture brace, promoting positive blood flow throughout the back muscles.
Our posture correctors are designed to fit both males and females, no matter the age or size. Easily concealed under clothing, our AlignPosture braces can be worn at school, driving in the car, working out at the gym or in the office!