Picking through the celebrity images from the 72nd annual Golden Globes, as we do, there was one looming trend we couldn't help but notice: poor posture.
Truth is, it doesn't matter how fabulous your dress and make-up is, if you're not standing tall, you're not doing yourself any favours, case in point, Golden Globe attendees, Rosamund Pike, Sienna Miller, Tina Fey and Katherine Heigl. As TriYoga teacher Nadia Narain explains, "bad posture on a woman is not just ageing but when she walks into a room she doesn't shine."
So why the stooping ladies? "It's probably all that high heel wearing," says George Ashwell, rehabilitation specialist and trainer at Twenty Two Training. "They exaggerate the natural shallow 'S' in your back, pushing out your bottom, and causing the top of the back to curve even more. Repeated wear just increases the natural curve, so that the upper body slumps and the shoulders move forward."
"The whole trend for sticking your bottom out doesn't help either - women force themselves to change their spine's natural position when they poke their bottom's out, which causes the lower lumber spine to slouch. Rather than working the muscles in the bottom so it becomes perky, women tend to just stick it out, which actually causes the whole body to move out of sync. Then there's those backless dresses which don't offer the back any support, instead just tighten your shoulders which tends to pull the whole body forward," adds Ashwell.
But we'd do well to stand a bit taller, just like Kate Hudson and Heidi Klum demonstrated last night - and not just because it adds grace, decorum and confidence to your stature. Red carpet ladies should take note that there are immediate physical benefits too.
"When you stand tall, with your shoulders back it opens the lungs. Breath is improved, so that you feel brighter more energized. It is a posture that symbolises fearlessness as apposed to one that feels insecure and fragile," explains Anusara yoga teacher at Triyoga. "Then again some actresses might want to look fragile so someone will take them under their wing."
Ashwell explains that good posture starts with good core strength and work on your abdominal muscles, "plus mid-back strengthening, with any rowing movements on the TRX or rowing machine helping the way. Keeping your hip flexors, hamstrings and pelvis stretched out and loose will also allow your body to move more freely so you spine moves more freely."
But let's not be too harsh, as Narain explains, "posture is a huge problem with many people, especially if you have to sit at a desk all day," or wear heels might we add? "But it's like any bad habit, you have to work on it daily. Awareness is key. You can't pay someone to have good posture for you. Like breathing well or catching negative thoughts, good posture takes discipline! I need to constantly check my posture, and notice when I'm slumping or hunching or tilting."