Tall order: stand up for men with good posture

Some men have presence. They walk into a room and own it. Rest assured, a good percentage are faking it, but making it all the same. Another percentage owe it all to their bearing.

"It's gorgeous, a man standing upright with an open chest," says Rebecca Gardner. "He probably feels better about himself. And it shows."

Gardner is one of the most sought-after certified pilates instructors in Melbourne's south-east. She works with both men and women who are deskbound in their working lives to stand tall in perfect, comfortable alignment.

"Men tend to tighten in places women don't – the legs, hips and chest – and it can be ignored for a long period of time," says Gardner.

"They don't stretch out as often as women tend to do. They need to, especially if they're interested in keeping mobile and active as they get older."

Tall order

A tall stance is desirable because it is seen as commanding, according to image consultant and stylist Bronwyn Fraser. Indeed, posture is one of the key elements that will be taught in a deportment school she is launching for teenage girls in Melbourne.

"It is arguably even more important for young men – all men – to have good posture, to be seen as having confidence, even a confidence they may not necessarily feel," says Fraser.

Gardner says working at keyboards and with a mouse, and sitting at desks, can put the spinal alignment out: "As soon as the breast bone drops, you see that classic flat back posture and rounded shoulders."

Very hip

Gardner, who operates from PainFit at Edithvale, suggests changing positions frequently and walking around.

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"Some of the banks have work stations at different heights so you're not always stuck in one place. I wish more places with desks would do that."

She suggests "wiggling out" on a fit ball. Cringe worthy at the office perhaps, but a shortcut to releasing tension in the hips at home.

"We're working longer and longer hours these days and with lots of sitting tasks. It's important to move, to get some sort of exercise," says Gardner.

"The demeanour of a man looks better if it's posturely up."

Do you feel as though you are standing tall? Let us know in the comment section. 

A journalist with a history of covering style with style and flair, Natasha Hughes has reported extensively on men's grooming and presentation. With Spit & Polish she also has a commission to write across presentation and deportment.

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