Surprising Side Effects of Slouching
What Science says SURPRISING SIDE EFFECTS OF SLOUCHING
The shoulders-rolled-forward effect of too much time hunched over your desk (also associated with overactive pectorals and anterior deltoids) can do more than give you a slouched look. Studies have connected poor posture to:
- Depression. A 2012 San Francisco State University study published in the journal Biofeedback found that a slouched posture can increase feelings of depression.
- Higher Stress. Harvard Business School researchers have found that people who slouch have lower testosterone levels and higher cortisol levels than people who stand in more powerful poses-both of which are signs of stress.
- Low Confidence. The same study found that slouched posture-and the associated hormonal shifts-also leads to low self-confidence.
The good news: Research has shown that standing in a more erect, open position (straight and tall with hands on hips, for example) for as little as two minutes can create a positive changes in mood and stress levels. Specifically, it can increase testosterone by about 20% and decrease cortisol by about 25%. Posture matters-in more ways than you think.
Excerpted from The Training Edge magazine