Posture and fitness are related: Joanna Farmer’s research


During her career as a teacher of Physical Education, Dawson’s Joanna Farmer has developed expertise in teaching posture.

“Teaching posture became a specialty for me,” said Joanna, who will be retiring in December 2020.

About six years ago, the Nursing Department requested that Joanna develop a course to help their students reduce the risk for back pain. Joanna has been the only teacher to deliver this course.

Athletes have better posture

Joanna was aware that athletes in her class had good posture, better than most students.  She began a research project to test the hypothesis that muscle development and body alignment are connected.

During the Fall 2019 semester at Dawson College, 502 students voluntarily participated in Joanna’s study on posture, fitness and lifestyle.

The main conclusions of the study are:

  1. most students have alignment deficits
  2. posture and fitness are codependent – students with good posture had better fitness results
  3. cell phone usage is creating a new techno-posture
  4. underweight, not overweight, is a significant deterrent to good posture.

Book project

The findings of the study will be incorporated into a book Joanna is developing on Posture Education with the CCDMD (Centre Collégial de Développement de Matériel Didactique). The timeline for publishing is about two years.

Joanna’s purpose in writing the book is to leave behind a quality manual for other teachers and to make the book available to teachers outside of Dawson.

Thank you’s

“I am grateful to many members of the Dawson community,” Joanna said, adding, “my colleagues in Physical Education, members of the Office of Academic Development: Louise Paul, Rafael Scapin (who created the computer link for data collection) and Mary Jorgensen for data analysis.”


Posture in College Students: a quantitative analysis of the relationships between body alignment, physical fitness and lifestyle habits. An independent study by Joanna Farmer supported by Dawson College. May 2020

Last Modified: June 22, 2020