Dinosaur Hands

In Blog, Confidence, Corporate Etiquette, Dining Etiquette, featured, Social Etiquette by system review

A blue sign with white text
Description automatically generated

Dinosaur hands are not very attractive when we eat.

‘Please don’t be a sloucher.’ That’s a request from etiquette expert William Hanson. 
‘We don’t sit with our back touching the back of the chair when we eat,’ he declares.
‘It forces us to have “dinosaur hands” when using a knife and fork and that’s not very elegant.’

Dinosaur Hands

The solution?
‘Instead,’ says William, ‘sit with your bottom pressed back into the seat as far as you possibly can. ‘Your back doesn’t actually touch the back of the chair.’
And we keep low wrists when we cut. Much more elegant.’

Would the correct posture for dining apply to every type of restaurant? Or could exceptions be made for somewhere more casual?
William told MailOnline Travel: ‘The context of the occasion always overrides any hard guideline, but generally it’s quite hard to eat when sitting way back in the chair and slouching.

‘It’s also not ideal for digestion. Medical bods will confirm that the digestive tract needs to be in as straight a line as possible, rather than hunched, in order for us to process what we have just masticated properly and not put on as much weight.

Is ‘dinosaur hands’ a known issue in etiquette circles?
‘It’s certainly something my fellow industry professionals and I worry about at night,’ says William.

On the whole, are restaurant chairs designed to support the posture he advocates?
William told MailOnline: ‘A dining chair is engineered differently from a chair you may use to relax in at home or in a bar, which is why we should be able to sit up straighter more easily.’

Are there any other advantages to ‘low wrists’?
William said: ‘Yes, keeping your wrists as close to the plate as possible – except for the hand holding the fork, which conveys the food into the mouth – is generally better for easy access to the cutlery.’
Is it ok to lean right back on the chair once the meal has finished?

William added: ‘It is more permissible, especially if everyone else is doing it. But again, context matters. Are you at a very formal meal in smart clothes? Then probably don’t. But are you at your friend’s house in Elstree, having just enjoyed a microwaved meal? In which case, lean back as you please.’