Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Posture, darling

What's one of the first things our grandmothers tell us in church? "Stop slouching!" "Sit up straight!"

My seventh grade teacher told us that when you sit up straight, you feel more awake and your brain functions more efficiently  The following 30 minutes were probably the longest I've ever sat up straight in my entire life.

I am definitely a sloucher. More than that, I'm a mover--I absolutely cannot sit still. I twitch, I kneel, I tuck one leg under me, than the other. My favourite position involves being slouched down in an armchair, my computer in my lap, and my legs preferably leaning against some kind of ottoman or table. Obviously this is incredibly elegant, and you would not be at all surprised by how many men I have attracted this way.

I'm paying for it now. I've been having back problems for about two weeks, and obviously the first thing I did was check WebMD which, as everyone knows, is the best for inducing paranoia ("Oh, great, I have cancer."). I wisely decided to follow up my diagnosis with a professional. It's still not really clear what's going on, but my massage therapist suggested stretching and strengthening. Basically, I've probably put too much pressure on my spine with all the slouching and bed-writing I'm doing. (It probably doesn't help that I carry about a million pounds worth of crap around in my Longchamp, either.)

This is a pretty accurate depiction of how I look when I'm writing my blog
So I've been making an effort to sit up straight, and even stand up straight. And after looking into it, I've realized that my seventh grade teacher was onto something. There are numerous advantages to good posture, including:

1. Making you look more confident: Not only does good posture make you look more confident to other people, it makes you feel more confident, too.

2. Making you look (and feel) more put together: How many times have I tried something on in the store and loved it, only to catch a glimpse of myself wearing it later, and wondered why I looked so unkempt? When we try things on in fitting rooms, we stand up straight, sucking in our stomachs and pulling our shoulders back. I almost never do this anywhere else. But if I did, my clothes would probably look a lot better, even out of those deceiving fitting-room lights. It also helps you look slimmer and I would imagine, taller.

3. Helping you breathe better: The more air you can breathe, the better your brain operates. Which is also going to help me feel more confident, so...win-win...win.

4. Good overall health: having good posture helps make you more resistant to future strain and back pain.

I also just like the idea of having good posture  It seems like a lady-like thing, and reminds me of the scene in "A League of Their Own" when all the players have to attend finishing school.

So far, I am spectacularly hating having to keep both my feet planted on the ground. But I've also been really hating being in so much pain, so I'm willing to give this more of a shot.

There are plenty of resources for instructing on good posture. I referred to here, here, and here


  1. I have been doing ballet for a decade, and I can tell you - posture is NOTICABLE! People ask me if I dance and when I ask how they know, they always say "You have the posture of a ballerina!" Maybe when you're just chilling you don't need it, but out in public it definitely makes you look/feel more confident.
    Great post :)

    1. Thanks! I will definitely have to remember that. I always wanted to dance (I'm way too klutzy) but maybe if I work on my posture, I'll be gifted with some of that elegance, too? Here's hoping :)