Linguistic analysis showed slumped participants used more negative emotion words, more sadness words, fewer positive emotion words and fewer total words during speech.
Their conclusions were quite interesting:
- "Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture".
- The main conclusion I liked was when they said “sitting upright may be a simple behavioural strategy to help build resilience to stress”.
If you are reading this at work or on an iPad or phone, what is your posture like? Are you sitting with good posture? We are all exposed to stress, the key point for general health and wellness is how well you are able to adapt to it. Next time you are in a stressed state remember to try and improve your posture, sit up straight and see if it makes a difference.
What is a good way of sitting up straight? Here is a simple technique to try
Simply pulling the shoulders back is not a good way of improving posture. This movement will never be sustainable. A good way to improve your sitting posture is described by Dr Kelly Starrett in his book "Becoming a Supple Leopard". This is a small part of an overall postural correction but is a good place to start. Here is how you do it:
- Turn your hands outwards as far as you can. Think of it as unscrewing your shoulders. This motion will pull the shoulders back and down into a natural position and take out that rolled forward shoulder positioning.
- Holding the shoulders in this position, you can then bring your hands back to the front to their normal position.
Nair S, Sagar M, Sollers J, Consedine N, Broadbent E. Do Slumped and Upright Postures Affect Stress Responses? A Randomized Trial. Health Psychol. 2014 Sep 15.