Good posture is an important part of looking and feeling good, especially for short men. Here’s why.
Here at TMM, we go on a lot about finding the right clothing fit and using colors and patterns strategically. Of course. It’s an important part of looking good, especially if you’re a man of modest height. But do you know what the ultimate style hack actually is?
Well, there are two. First is keeping fit (which means something different for every body type, of course!). The second is good posture.
Now, fitness is a lifelong journey for a lot of us. You can’t just snap your fingers and be fitter than you were pre-snap. You can, however, look that much better and that much more confident by improving your posture.
And trust me, everything will look better on you when you stand and sit properly. This is particularly important for shorter men like myself.
Benefits of Good Posture
Let me first tell you why you should practice having good posture before I get into the how-tos!
You Look Better in Your Clothes
First off, no one looks good when they’re slouching. Literally no one. Clothes aren’t tailored for a slouched posture. That’s why mannequins and models on the runway literally lean back in an almost exaggerated way.
I even mention in our guide to wearing oversized clothes that the most important thing to pulling off that trend is good posture. All will drape you more intentionally when all of the seams sit where they’re supposed to.
Seams are often placed on parts of the garment as a tentpole of sorts. You can’t stick your tentpole on shaky ground. So yes, when you stand and sit properly, your clothes will fit better and will flatter you more.
For short men, you can add a good two inches to your stature by standing up straight. Have you ever heard the rumor that doing pilates and yoga can make you taller? Well, it’s likely not as true as the fact that it’s a type of exercise that helps you stand straighter and taller.
Relatedly, good posture makes your chest look stronger, and your belly area looks leaner in comparison to your chest and shoulder area. Sometimes, you don’t actually need to lose five pounds; sometimes, it’s just your posture.
You Exude More Confidence (And Likely Are More Confident)
I dare you to go into a meeting with a bad posture and see if you can close that deal. (Actually, don’t do it because you won’t be able to, and you’ll blame me for daring you).
There are countless studies that show people who hold upright posture are generally more confident. And because of this, they tend to achieve more.
I’m not saying to go into a math test underprepared or to advise your kids to do so. But good posture is one way to look and feel better, and that feeds into performance.
Here’s the thing, too. Slouching negatively affects your energy. Find that one person in your office, class, Mensa meeting, or wherever that you consider the “tired person.” The one who is always yawning despite their frequent trips to the coffee machine. I bet he’s a sloucher.
There’s also tons of research that shows good posture has positive impacts on productivity in general. I’m sure part of this has to do with the fact it alleviates neck and back pain — which leads us to the next benefit.
The most important thing about good posture is the short-term and long-term health benefits. Of course, this is inextricably related to the other two benefits.
When your body is aligned properly, you breathe easier and breathe right. You have improved lung capacity, which is why slouching causes shortness of breath. And, of course, when you breathe better, you’re happier and more productive.
Anyone who has ever been to a good therapist knows that breathing exercises are great answers to anxiety and stress.
When you have good posture, you’re very literally breathing more life into yourself.
And bad posture increases the risk of back, neck, and shoulder tension, headaches, and injury. The reason you stretch before a workout is to get yourself limber before high-impact activity. Good posture is a way to maintain limberness, preparing you for unexpected impact.
What Is Good Posture
Good posture means your stature is balanced and upright. It doesn’t mean being overly stiff, which is just as bad as slouching.
Here’s what you need to do.
First, make sure your back is straight.
Keep your head up, but look straight ahead, not like you have your nose in the air, as if you just tasted a subpar wine. This means your chin is in, not sticking out.
If it’s too far out, you’ll feel tension in between your shoulders. If it’s too far in, you’ll feel tension in your neck, and you may also be adding an extra chin or two under your one.
Relax your shoulders and make sure your stomach is in.
Your weight should be balanced equally on both feet, and your knees should be straight.
By doing this, you’re ensuring that your spine is sitting in its natural state, in an S curve. This means your shoulders are slightly out in the back while your spine curves in before curving back out as it gets closer to your seat area.
When you’re sitting, make sure your back is against the chair, maintaining that S curve. Keep your knees at a right angle and your feet on the floor. And sorry if you’re a leg crosser, but it’s important you don’t cross your legs.
Conclusion: Quick Tips on Maintaining Good Posture
I hope that was helpful!
If you sit at a desk all day, you can practice chin tucks and single leg extensions to help maintain your posture. You can also request a sit-and-stand desk that allows you to elevate your screen so you can take a break from sitting without interrupting your work.
Of course, if your lifestyle requires you to stand all day, you can more easily practice standing straight. You might also try stretches like calf raises or shoulder stretches.
The great part about good posture is that you can start practicing right away, even after years of bad posture. And you can start reaping the benefits pretty quickly.
Are you someone who’s had to correct your bad posture? How’d you do it? I’d love to hear from you!