I have a confession to make. I have bad posture. On my blog I have been advocating on how important it is to look confident, walk straight and face the world with confidence. Truth is though, that although I have the confidence,  my slouching habit doesn’t actually show that to the world.

How I developed my bad posture

I’ve known this for quite a while. In fact I can still remember my mother telling me as a nine year old to walk straight, stomach in, head forward. Problem was, I didn’t have the confidence to face the world head on then. I was born severely crossed eyed, which has never been perfectly fixed. At that time I was mercilessly teased, so I guess my natural instinct was to just lower my face and hide my eyes.

Even though I have risen above all that and now feel confident about my appearance and myself, the slouching habit has stayed. And although I have tried over the years to improve it, I have never succeeded. The problem is that when you have been slouching for as long as I have, your whole body adapts to it. Your neck changes, shoulders are turned inward, stomach is at a different place from where it is supposed to be. So when I sit  as I’m supposed to, everything hurts. It’s a position that is just so uncomfortable for my body that I can’t maintain it for much longer than 20 minutes.

Time for a change

But it’s now getting to a point where I can no longer ignore it. I have constant lower back ache, my frequent headaches may be caused by my poor posture as well, and my appearance suffers greatly. Not to mention that all of this will get even worse when I’m older. Something needs to change and I need to start taking action right now.

I have started to take action and this what I’m doing.

  1. I’m very aware of my posture now and walk straight whenever I can. Sitting (and I do a lot of that…) is far more of a challenge though.
  2. I am seeing an osteopathist. Before that I went to a chiropractor and another posture improvement specialist, but I did not feel that their therapies were working or connected with me. Sofar I’m happy with the osteopathist I’m seeing, who is now mainly working on balancing the body and stretching out certain muscles.
  3. I am getting a new back support for my chair (which is already in broken state for quite some time).
  4. I will start sitting properly in my chair. If I start finding my straight sitting position unbearable, I will have to start doing yoga or other exercizes or do chores around the house.
  5. I have started to take pilates classes to get more strength in my core, which will  help to get the strength to keep my back in a straight position.
  6. I have started to do regular yoga classes to improve strength and flexibilibily in my entire body which will also help to open up the shoulders and maintain proper posture. A lot of the strength from staying upright actually comes from the legs and yoga really helps to strengthen those.
  7. I’m going to kickstart the process with one special week, next week in fact, of which I will be telling you more about soon.

How about your posture?

Initially, I thought that I would do all this and then, when I would succeed, I could write this fantastic post on how to improve posture and how I did it. But I thought it may be interesting to get feedback from some of you on this issue as well. Perhaps you had similar issues and overcame them? Or perhaps you want to start improving your posture with me so that we can do it together and hold each other accountable.

Here is what Tim Gunn says

Truth is, posture is an important aspect of style. I recently read Tim Gunn’s book who spends almost a whole chapter on the issue. He writes: “No matter how spectacular a look, if the person inside it is bent, lopsided, crumpled or otherwise hunched, there is simply no saving it. Far too many people, men and women alike, are walking around completely unaware that with a few simple adjustments they could look and feel immeasurably better. It’s time to streaighten up and fly right”.

I totally agree! I know it’s going to be tough, but I will need to beat this thing. If I want to grow old healthy and walk with confidence and style the slouching will have to go!

So who’s with me? And tell me what are you doing or have done to prevent slouching or improve your posture? 


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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