We know that good posture is essential for physical well-being – but did you know that research has found your posture also influences your mental state as well?
Physical benefits from good posture include better breathing which has been linked with better concentration (the brain needs about 20% of oxygen supply). Some experts estimate posture makes up to a 30% difference in our breathing capacity.
Good posture is also good for backs. I see people every day who suffer physical problems owing to their posture – in fact at least 90 per cent of injuries I see can be related to incorrect posture. Sitting posture has become the most important to address as so many of us live more sedentary lifestyles.
But perhaps the most powerful impact good posture can have is on our mind. A San Francisco University study found that adopting a more upright body posture – a healthy posture – can improve mood and energy levels. The study also found that a slouched or poor body posture can lead to ‘feelings of depression or decreased energy’.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School – takes it one step further. Her research has showed that just adopting high power or low power poses for a period of two minutes has a measured hormonal effect.
Ms Cuddy’s research found that high power poses – good, strong posture – leads to higher testosterone, which is linked with higher confidence levels. High power poses also lower the “stress hormone”, cortisol. Only two minutes is enough to make you feel more assertive and confident.
The opposite is also true: adopting low power posture leads to lower testosterone levels and higher cortisol. It’s not a stretch to say that correcting poor posture is among the most important things anybody can do.
Here are some keys to improving posture:
Using 3000 reps as a rule, it means if people do 200 reps per day they will achieve good posture in as little as 15 days.
So how do we achieve 200 reps per day?