Good posture: turns out, your Mother was right

postureWhen I was a teen, my Mom was always after me to “stand up straight” and “stop slumping!” As annoying as it can be to be nagged about it, good posture truly does make a big difference in how you look and how other people perceive you. For several years, I had a job where I had to pass down a hall with floor-to-ceiling windows with closed blinds behind them to get to my office. These windows functioned as full length mirrors and really made an impact on me as I could really see what others saw about me when I stood and walked… slumping and plodding along. Not very graceful. As Mom always urged me, I finally made the effort to stand up straighter, keep my shoulders back, my head high – even to walk more smoothly and confidently. What a difference.

I recently read this quote from a fashion icon in a style book,

“Style is who you are, not what you wear. Posture is very important and I have my mother to thank for that. Holding your head high, and keeping your core centered and strong creates an aura of good carriage and poise that helps you wear clothes well.”

There’s no need to balance a book on your head to check your posture. Bottom line: Your back should have an elongated S shape when viewed from the side. Follow these tips to ensure you’re in alignment.

Neck: Hold your head high and straight without tilting it forward or to the side. Your ears should be in line with the middle of your shoulders.

Shoulders: Pull your shoulder blades back and down to lift your breastbone.

Abdomen: Tuck your abdomen in, but be careful not to tilt your pelvis forward or backward.

Knees: Keep your knees slightly bent and shoulder-width apart.

There are many exercises that can strengthen your core and help you improve your posture. Yoga or Pilates can be very beneficial. Proper posture is extremely important if your job has you sitting at a computer all day like mine does. Check out these tips for good alignment and ergonomics at the office. Your back will thank you.

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