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In shulchan aruch (siman 2, saif 6) the author writes:

It is forbidden to walk in an erect posture.

Does this mean that good posture is forbidden or is the author referring to something else?

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The way I always understood this was referring to walking with your chin/head held up in a haughty manner. If I remember correctly, one of the commentators write that the walking that is forbidden is a type of walking where you can't see the floor in front of you (bolstering my belief that it's referring to holding the head up in an arrogant manner). – Salmononius2 May 13 '14 at 13:54
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Aruch Hashulchan Siman 2 Sif 9 addresses your issue directly. He says 'erect posture' doesn't mean that therefore one should walk hunchbacked, rather he shouldn't walk with his 'neck sticking out like a haughty person'.

And as I mentioned in my earlier comment, I recall reading somewhere that the 'measurement' for what is considered holding your head in a haughty manner is being able to see the ground in front of you, although I don't remember the source for that. If I find it later, I'll try to edit it in.

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Perhaps, all the yeshiva bochrim spending hours hunched over a sefer should also practice good, erect sitting posture as well. I don't think there's any mention that one cannot sit erect as that may represent "arrogance". – DanF May 13 '14 at 14:22

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