2014年05月30日

Why Japanese women tend to have rolled shoulders

Many Japanese women complain about shoulder stiffness and upper back pain. According to my friend (a professional physiotherapist in Japan), it's because many Japanese women tend to slouch/roll their shoulders.

I always thought it was because Japanese people don't care about their posture and how they present themselves, but looking at primary school kids, I thought my hypothesis was wrong.

The Japanese Education


Almost every Japanese school does this military position: "attention." (picture from Japanese wikipedia)

This position is taken a lot. At homeroom sessions, at the beginning of each class, at school meetings, and at sports day.

When taking the position of attention, it is important to stand up straight, placing the arms beside the body, facing the palm inwards.

Problem with this position


The carrying angle (the angle of the elbow) tend to be larger in postpubescent girls. But if a girl who has a large carrying angle tries to take the attention position without rolling her shoulders, the lower arm sticks out to the side.

As a reference, please look at my carrying angle. When I don't roll my shoulders, my hand sticks out.
carrying angle

When I do roll my shoulders, I can place my arms right beside my body.
nijuusanku2.JPG

So, anyone with a large carrying angle will have to roll their shoulders in order to avoid poking the kid standing next to them during school years,

It's not just in Japan


Girl scouts also take positions similar to the attention position in Japan. When a girl with larger carrying angle is forced to take this position over and over again, they become used to rolling their shoulders, and many roll their shoulders even when they are not required to do so.


To roll or not to roll


Chronic rolling or hunching of the shoulders is not good for the body. However, having a broad shoulder and large carrying angle is not easy too. When I walk around without rolling my shoulders, my hand sticks out to the side a lot, and I look ridiculous walking around like that.

Rolling, or no rolling, I look weird.
If I roll my shoulders forward, I look like I'm slouching and I look bigger (because the wider part of my deltoid points out).
If I don't roll my shoulders, I look like I'm welcoming someone or mimicking a penguin.
carrying angle


But I wear a skirt that flows out, my elbows don't stand out as much, so I guess I just have to keep wearing a skirt or a dress.

Other English Articles


About me
Where/How to find bras in Japan
Ill fitting bras and "boob migration"
Finding large size bras in Japan
Size comparison of Japanese bras and UK bras
Large breasted women underestimate their breast sizes?
Most of the breast cleavage we see are made from ill-fitting bras
How does a petite goblet body type woman look like wearing a dress?
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