94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
Unhunched by Aesha Tahir is an excellent health and wellness book that focus on the topic of posture and its importance to everything we do in life. Indeed, our posture influences how we walk, how we run, how we stand, how we sit, how we sleep, and even how we think. Few things are more important for the mind and body than good posture.
Tahir takes a fascinating dive into the cultural and evolutionary history of posture, exploring almost every aspect of it imaginable. We learned a lot!
One of the things that really stood out to us as interesting was how the author discussed how hunching became a “style” during the 20th century. Families sat on couches, sitting around radios and television sets while leaning forward, something that is portrayed in many pictures, commercials, and ads from the 20th century. This style/issue became even more pronounced as cell phones and computers came into play. Many people found themselves sitting at desks or in office settings where it became normal to have one's chin and head down, leaning with the head, chest, and shoulders forward.
This is something we didn't really think about.
The author made special note of how head and shoulder positioning influences not only our posture but our overall heal outcomes. We were shocked by some of the statistics and research that the author mentioned.
Here are some of the most shocking:
- A UCLA study found that bent over, hunched back posture was found to double the risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
- The inability to hold a single-leg stance for 10 seconds by a middle-aged and older adult doubles the risk of death from all causes
All in all, poor posture increases the risk of death from many disease including cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic ones. It actually makes perfect sense. How we sit, stand, walk, and sleep influences things like our circulation.
One of our favorite things about this book is that the author reiterates that good posture isn't “forced” or “robotic.” Rather, good posture is something that should come naturally. Usually, the advice you get from “experts” is to force your shoulders and head back into a position that seems overcompensatory and unnatural. This is why many gimmicky “posture” device and apparatuses exist. We've seen our share of Amazon and “As Seen on TV” products that claim to fix your posture.
When you squat or deadlift a lot of weight, the issue of posture really rears its ugly head. You start to realize that overcompensating by posterior pelvic tilt and “arching” can actually be just as destructive and dangerous as the anterior pelvic tilt that gets most of the attention. A neutral spine is not the same as an arched spine. That is a gross misconception that this book thankfully shines light on.
Despite its somewhat mundane subject matter, this was a really fascinating read!
Check this out on Amazon!