Straight talk about bad posture

By Lori Borgman

Stand up. Stand up straight.

When was the last time you heard that? You were probably a kid.

Many of us don’t pay much attention to posture today.

I slump, you slump, we all slump.

As a nation, we have become a chiropractor’s dream.

We see somebody slouching and we don’t say, “Stand up straight,” we ask, “Who are you texting?”

The good news is that I now know where you can go to learn good posture. I was looking at photos of a recent wedding and one of the women commented on the bride’s good posture. Another woman agreed and at the same time they both said, “Show choir!”

You may have thought high school show choir was where young people danced and sang and moved their arms in the same direction at the same time, but it is actually one of the last vestiges on earth where you can still learn good posture.

And you thought there wasn’t any good news in the world.

True, if you’re reading this, you’re probably too old for show choir, so maybe it’s not good news for you, but at least there’s hope for others.

And the ladies were right. The ladies are always right. The young woman’s posture was excellent. Her neck was extended, her shoulders were square and her back was straight. Her posture was so excellent that she towered two feet above everyone else in the photo. Not really. But good posture does give you additional height.

Good posture also helps combat chronic fatigue and neck and back pain, gives you a more powerful personal presentation, a better memory, a better mood and more testosterone. Oops. That was on a website about good posture for men.

A diagram for good posture for men and women who run says to keep your head up and your back straight, lean forward slightly, not raise your knees higher than your waist (as if), step from the middle of the front of your foot and, above all, do what comes naturally.

What comes naturally is walking. And slouching.

I’m one who needs to tune in to my posture more. And not just because I’m short. I wear heels to fix that.

I need to tune into my posture because I tend to slump in my computer chair. Ergonomic nothing. Sometimes I jump up to make sure I’m not prematurely aging and that my poor posture is from being at the computer too long.

How will any of us know if our backs are rounding or if we’ve simply spent too much of our lives hunched over mobile devices?

Personally, I pity those who have poor posture and slump due to sports — sprawling on the couch for days on end watching football, that is. Concussions aren’t the only risk that come with the game.

One last question: If I improve my posture, does that mean I stand corrected?

The husband just shouted, “Yes!”

Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to editorial@therepublic.com