Slouch at your peril

 Slouchy-me and bestie who used to be in fashion – I’m her tomboy friend – not quite a helpless cause, but definitely echoes of the teenage me ?

Actually, excellent posture is a very nice thing – both to behold, and it makes you feel good about yourself… no noses in the air – but chin up, rather than tucked into your chest. Draw your rib cage up and out of that tummy too.  Shoulders back! As we get older we tend to hunch over, as do some taller women. Stand and sit tall and proud. NO HUNCHING EVER!

This isn’t just to look better than slouchy-you, it’s for the sake of your health too. Believe me, I’m a slouch. I slouch over every inch of our sofas in the most ungainly positions – unless we have guests, of course, when I’m the epitome of decorum. No crossed legs. Ankles may be crossed – and fingers too ? but not legs.

LOL – when I entered my teens I was such a tomboy – and painfully shy – together with the wildest of waist length red hair and freckles – that my parents despaired and sent their wild critter to be trained by Lucy Clayton – then a famous model agency. Like the touch-typing my mother also decided I must master, so I could always earn a living, these seemingly shallow skills of learning how to walk and sit and get out of a car without showing my knickers, have been invaluable throughout my life. (thereby hangs many a tale!)

When I learned to play the piano at the age of four, it was impressed upon me that my arms must be at right angles to the keyboard – not that I ever understood angles etc, but I did understand what felt comfortable. My mother even found half sized music so I could keep my chin level rather than crane my neck to see the notes. Starting with Tunes from the Farmyard, I progressed to simple Bach – all in half sized music books – I can still remember my absolute joy at turning those black dots into recognisable music – and without any aches and pains at all, even when I reached the Royal College and was practising for at least 6 hours a day. (no half-sized music by that time! But my learned posture saw me through)

Of course, when I took up singing as a career and wrote books about it posture and breathing was one of the most crucial elements to delivering a good, steady sound that could be adapted as necessary to whatever part I was playing, and so the good posture habit continued.


A couple of years ago I was in such agony that I thought ‘this is it’ I’m going to be a creaking, aching wreck for the rest of my life. I couldn’t even put my socks on. My usually bendy back refused to bend. A physiotherapist reviewed my sitting position at the keyboard, and threw a complete epi-fit when she saw me swinging around to use my iPad. ‘But your spine is twisted,’ she said. ‘Also, your heels aren’t on the floor, and your arms aren’t level as you work on the keyboard – and you’re working at the keyboard all day long!’

All those lessons learned in my youth had been cast aside by me and boy, did I pay the price!

Ditching my posh office chair, I use a dining chair that supports all of my back and keeps all the angles where they should be. No swivelling around for the iPad. I remove my wireless keyboard and put the iPad in front of me. I rest my feet on an old Apple box so that my feet are flat – and hey presto! I’m bendy again.

Don’t make my mistake. Respect your body and it will serve you well ?

Love to all,


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