Let’s get one matter out of the way. Vinh Pham is an American physio spruiking a business and catering for celebrities, and his new book, “Sit Up Straight: Futureproof Your Body Against Chronic Pain with 12 Simple Movements,” is partly a marketing tool. I found myself irritated by that aspect of the read. But fear not, reader, for Pham is also most generous with his teachings and advice. I try and incorporate up to an hour of stretches (handed down from a lifetime of physios addressing my structural maladies), so I’m naturally drawn to the author’s basic premise: “future proof” your body, especially your spine, by moving more and better, and specifically by toning up a holistic set of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. At one extreme, “movement is life,” the heading of one of Pham’s dozen chapters, is the core precept, and it is so, so apt. At the other extreme, Pham includes a dozen daily routines, in the chapter “The Posture Hygiene Plan,” timed for fifteen minutes (in practice, my initial trial took a bit longer), that are a goldmine for a receptive reader.
Structurally, the book is somewhat chaotic, but have patience. Sink in and explore. Take advantage of the advice and recommended routines in Sit Up Straight. Otherwise, dear reader, you may well find yourself in the hands of a physiotherapist prescribing something similar as cure.