Stop the Slouch

 

Ongoing slouched posture is linked to many health issues including headaches, neck pain, spinal issues, arm and hand pain, breathing difficulties, and an increase in Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  However, research now confirms that our posture is affecting our mood.

It is true that if you are depressed or anxious you are likely to stand in a hunched forward posture.  Conversely, it is also true that when you aposture imagere in a hunched posture when sitting at your computer, texting, watching TV or playing video games, your posture actually makes you more depressed and anxious.  All of us are spending more time in these postures, and some researches think that is contributing to the increase in anxiety and depression in society.

“While it’s true that you’re sitting this way because you’re sad, it’s also true that you’re sad because you’re sitting this way.” Richard Petty, professor of psychology.

 

Hunched posture also affects our confidence and how people view us.  It is difficult to distinguish real confidence from confidence that comes from just standing up straight…these things go both ways just like happiness leads to smiling, but also smiling leads to happiness.  Research shows that we are more likely to describe ourselves with negative traits when we are stooped forward than when we are sitting up straight.

I can’t help but wonder how this issue is affecting our daily decisions and interactions with others

What is the solution?

Studies show that just 2 minutes of proper posture can have measurable effects on your mood…without any side effects!

A few times per day picture the centre of your chest lifting up towards the ceiling, straightening your spine and pulling your shoulder blades down your back.  At the same time look up slightly and take a few deep breaths.

Here is another stretch you can try throughout the day as well – or try this yoga ball stretch out your back.

For more information in how posture affects your mood watch this Ted Talk.