Why Work on Your Posture When You Can Just Buy a Brace?

When I was in high school, I loved machine shop. My teacher was a retired toolmaker who came up the old way, through the British apprenticeship program, and he loved to make us do things the hard way. I think it was partly because, hey, his master toolmaker made him do it the hard way, and that was the only way he learned to teach, but I also think there was more to it.

He wouldn’t let us bring a calculator to class, he made us learn to use manual verniers and calipers, he wouldn’t let us touch the numerical control pads in our first year courses, and so on.

Learn the basics.

Learn why it works.

You push the buttons, and a number comes up in the window, but how do you know it’s right, if you haven’t learned to do it by hand?

When I look back on those years I realize that his hands on approach to teaching is a huge part of why I became a mechanical engineer over, say, an electrical engineer. Getting dirty and greasy, working hands on with the metal and tools honed my love of playing with tools, and seeing my work take shape.

“Okay, Andrew, but what does this have to do with posture braces?”

Learn the footwork.

I wrote about it before in “Learn the Footwork.” A technological solution is no replacement for learning:

  • What is correct posture?
  • What controls posture?
  • How do I create the strength and stability in my core and back, to be able to form and hold correct posture?

But it’s more than just learning the footwork. Understanding all of this is great, but ultimately useless if you don’t actually do the work. So Imma revise my recommendation.

Learn the footwork, and do the work.

This afternoon I was poking around on Reddit and someone told his sorry tale of poor posture and back pain. Mentioned his physiotherapist’s opinion. Then linked to a posture brace, asking if he should get it.

He’s actually seeing a PT. Who can teach him pain and posture exercises. And he wants to buy a gadget for an instant fix. Don’t be this guy.

Do your homework.

Learn the footwork.

Put in the work.

Then, if it helps to instill the habits, maybe think about buying the gadget.