Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

The practice of squatting

Options
  • 18-07-2015 7:11am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 393 ✭✭


    I noticed that in Asia and some parts of the middle east people are more prone to squat in social settings. For example taxi drivers waiting for fairs on the side walk.
    Yet in the west the practice is almost non existent.
    I was providing security outside a bank last week and standing for about 8 hours. I had an instinct to squat when I got tired, which I did for a few seconds now and again, but it seems almost socially unacceptable to squat in public places in the west.
    Why is this? It's such a natural thing to do.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,831 ✭✭✭Torakx


    Maybe in "civilised" societies we live more so in a state of fear. Going prone might not feel safe.
    Also the poor tend to lower themselves(or forced to do so through circumstance). The rich like to stay up high.
    A taboo might exist to an extent there, where the way and place you stand suggests something about the person you are.
    You don't often see a guy in a suit squatting down to rest.
    But you might see guys in jeans or track suits do that more often.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,236 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    There does appear to be a greater proclivity to squat, kneel, or sit cross-legged in non-Western cultures. This probably occurs due to different norms and protocols by culture, along with expected variation and degree by culture. According to a review conducted by Susan Mulholland and Urs Wyss in their "Activities of daily living in non-Western cultures: range of motion requirements for hip and knee joint implants," International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: September 2001, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 191-198, such posturing behaviour requires a greater range of motion in Asian and Middle Eastern countries when compared to Western postures.

    Yes, there appears to be differences, but I would be reluctant to place a value on such differences. They are just different by culture, and such differences between cultures make them interesting.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,308 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    I noticed that in Asia and some parts of the middle east people are more prone to squat in social settings. For example taxi drivers waiting for fairs on the side walk.
    Yet in the west the practice is almost non existent.
    I was providing security outside a bank last week and standing for about 8 hours. I had an instinct to squat when I got tired, which I did for a few seconds now and again, but it seems almost socially unacceptable to squat in public places in the west.
    Why is this? It's such a natural thing to do.

    An argument could be made for the opposite. Ashvin Thambyah (2008) suggests
    repeated squatting causes 'a reversal in the tibiofemoral shear reaction force from posterior-directed to anterior-directed, occurring under full compressive load and within a fraction of a second'. In other words this unnatural position over time compromises the joint cartilage in the knees. Indeed it is the practice of squatting that may be a contributory factor in the high incidence of tibiofemoral osteoarthritis in Asian populations (see also Liu & Xu 2007**).
    Black Swan wrote: »
    There does appear to be a greater proclivity to squat, kneel, or sit cross-legged in non-Western cultures. This probably occurs due to different norms and protocols by culture, along with expected variation and degree by culture. According to a review conducted by Susan Mulholland and Urs Wyss in their "Activities of daily living in non-Western cultures: range of motion requirements for hip and knee joint implants," International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: September 2001, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 191-198, such posturing behaviour requires a greater range of motion in Asian and Middle Eastern countries when compared to Western postures.

    Yes, there appears to be differences, but I would be reluctant to place a value on such differences. They are just different by culture, and such differences between cultures make them interesting.

    I would agree as regards culture being a factor too. The squatting position is for the most part universally viewed as a defecation position and historically the Greeks were said to view it as 'uncouth or primitive' (Hewes 1955***). Of the time, it was mostly slaves (on vases and reliefs) who were shown to be in a squatting position (Bremmer 1991****). It is reasonable to suggest that the reason why it never took off a cultural practice in the west has roots going back to that time, and maybe even before that.


    * Thambyah, A. (2008). How critical are the tibiofemoral joint reaction forces during frequent squatting in Asian populations?. The Knee, 15(4), 286-294.
    Chicago

    ** Liu, C. M., & Xu, L. (2007). [Retrospective study of squatting with prevalence of knee osteoarthritis]. Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi= Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi, 28(2), 177-179.

    *** Hewes, G. W. (1955). World distribution of certain postural habits. American Anthropologist, 57(2), 231-244.
    Chicago

    **** Bremmer, J. (1991). Walking, standing, and sitting in ancient Greek culture. A cultural history of gesture, 15-35.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,236 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    Dlamini, N and Morris, AG (2005), An investigation of the frequency of squatting facets in Later Stone Age foragers from South Africa, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Volume 15, Issue 5, pages 371–376, found distinctive morphological changes attributed to a habitual squatting posture, but no significant sex differences between squatters and non-squatters. The availability of furniture and cultural differences in resting posture suggested differences between groups.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 I like cheesepuffs


    Indeed, I have been witness to the art of squatting myself.

    I believe it originates from the Greek goddess, 'Sultana'.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,308 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    The presence of squatting facets (Dlamini & Morris 2005) and beveling of the acetabulum (Pfeiffer, 2011) suggests that Later Stone Age (LSA) foragers of the South African Cape were petite but also lean enough to adopt squatting postures. This suggests food energy could have been a limiting factor thus making the energetics of gestation and growth (EGG) hypothesis a possibility (Pfeiffer et al. 2014).

    Dlamini and Morris (2005) An investigation of the frequency of squatting facets in later stone age foragers from South Africa. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 15 (5) (2005), pp. 371–376

    Pfeiffer, S., Doyle, L. E., Kurki, H. K., Harrington, L., Ginter, J. K., & Merritt, C. E. (2014). Discernment of mortality risk associated with childbirth in archaeologically derived forager skeletons. International Journal of Paleopathology, 7, 15-24.
    Chicago

    Pfeiffer, S. (2011) Pelvic stress injuries in a small-bodied forager. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 21 (6) (2011), pp. 694–703.


Advertisement