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The Funnies

Are you a sloucher?

Ned Hickson —

Hey, straighten up because this is National Good Posture — Month!

I discovered this, of course, while slouched so far over — my computer keyboard that the curvature of my spine resembled a bell graph. — On the screen was the news headline "Are You a Sloucher?" and a warning — from the American Chiropractic Association explaining that, aside from — alcohol and the invention of the reclinable chair, slouching is the leading — cause of bad posture in America - and the main reason why taverns have — stools instead of La-Z-Boys.

According to the ACA, bad posture is most prevalent when — we are standing, sitting or lying down. On behalf of the ACA, I urge you — to stop doing these things immediately! It may sound tough, but it can — be done through sheer determination, planning, and the purchase of a $300,000 — anti-gravity chamber.

Unfortunately, for many of us, the anti-gravity chamber — isn't really an option. This is because 1) our fear of confined spaces — is greater than our fear of slouching, and 2) sheer determination and — planning has left us with less than $30 in our bank account.

This means finding other, less expensive options when — it comes to improving posture. The first step in this process is to determine — if we actually have bad posture. To do this, the ACA suggests having someone — - such as a co-worker who doesn't mind losing their job - watch you throughout — the day to see if the center of your ear stays over the center of your — shoulders as you work. Studies show that, for every inch your ear extends — beyond the center of your shoulders, it takes 10 percent more effort for — neck muscles to support the head.

I should also mention that, for every hour your friend — spends staring at your ear lobes, the more uncomfortable you're going — to feel the next time you two get together for a beer.

If, after the experiment, you determine that you are, — indeed, a sloucher, then the next step is to begin practicing better posture — habits. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have your newly unemployed — co-worker follow you around with a bullhorn yelling, "straighten up, sloucher!" — This is not only an effective way to ensure good posture for yourself, — it's also a good anger-management tool for your friend between job interviews. — However, while this is an effective option, it can also be a really annoying — one, especially if you're caught slouching in a high-profile place - such — as the men's room at a hockey game. If that happens, trust me: Bad posture — will be the least of your problems.

Finally, as we enter into National Good Posture Month, — remember to keep your back straight, your chin up, and your ears toward — the center of your shoulders. Let me know how it goes.

I'll be the one with the bullhorn.

Contact Ned Hickson at

nhickson@oregonfast.net.