Get rid of that slouch and see how people start taking you seriously. It has health benefits too

Which of these two would you choose a person who walks with his head held straight, a firm gait and makes eye contact or one with a slouch, aimless steps and eyes gazing at the floor? Obviously, the first. For, be it a social gathering or a seminar, posture is one of the first things that draw attention to a person. If you walk in for an interview with confident steps and sit straight, chances are that you will be graded better.

Lends height

However intelligent you are, people around assess you with the way you conduct yourself. Remember the innumerable times your parents have told you to stand straight? That was not without reason. Keeping your back straight automatically lends height and builds up self-confidence, say etiquette experts. Only those with low self-esteem tend to slouch. Maintaining the right posture is important for good health too. As Lilian, a teacher, discovered the hard way. She suffered back pain for a long time before she realised her posture was the culprit. "I feel much better when I maintain the right posture. However, it is not easy to be conscious of posture all the time," she says.Dr. G. Balasubramanian, orthopaedician at Ramakrishna Hospital, Coimbatore, explains that when we bend, the entire body weight is applied on the 30 bones in the vertebra. "The human spine is curved by nature. But, the pressure on the discs increases when our back is not straight. After some time, this develops into back pain." The problem these days, he says, is most people fail to understand the importance of good posture. "They don't care to develop the right posture. With a lot of medicines and treatment options available, many seem to prefer cure to prevention," he rues. Everything matters the way we sit, stand, walk and even sleep. So, never lean forward while walking. And, avoid standing on one leg. You have been given two, so make use of both. Bad posture can also result in etiquette-related disasters that might be difficult to set right. While sitting, keep your knees close together. In India, crossing legs in public is considered inappropriate. Remember that. And, never sit at the edge of the chair and lean forward that's a dead giveaway that you are nervous. And, don't sit in front of your boss like he is your friend. It is difficult to correct bad posture, but make an attempt. The results will be worth it. And, for those who lack the will to make a difference in their lives, the lumbar support chairs available in the market might be of help. These chairs assist you in keeping the spine in position. So, despite your not making much of an effort, it keeps your head held high!SHARON PREETI