Celebrities often parade poor their posture down the red carpet like it were a prerequisite for paparazzi attention: Kim Kardashian's sway back is definitely in your face; Emma Watson's slouch with shoulders forward seems demure, but she's not doing herself any favors; and Justin Bieber often juts his head forward as if he would like to crawl right into the lenses that are tracking him.
What these folks may not know is that your posture affects more than your appearance. It shapes your psychological well-being.
Research shows that if you are feeling a lot of stress, one good remedy is to put your shoulders back (and down) and look the world straight in the eye.
In addition, a study out of New Zealand found that in addition to being associated with reduced fatigue and an enhanced feeling of being in control, good posture promotes a significantly healthier systolic blood pressure.
And a study in Health Psychology found that if you're feeling stressed and you make yourself sit upright, you can better maintain your self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.
To improve your posture, the American Chiropractic Association suggests when standing that you:
• Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet with knees slightly bent. Soldiers standing in parade formation do that.
• Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
• Stand straight and tall with shoulders pulled backward.
• Tuck in your stomach.
• Keep your head level and your earlobes above your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.