American Social psychologist Amy Cuddy talks about how posture improves confidence in her Ted talk. Open and relaxed poses increase testosterone levels which makes you feel powerful, and lower cortisol levels which reduces your stress, she says. And she’s not the only one convinced about the link between the two.
Participants of a study were instructed to list three positive or negative personal traits about themselves, and half of them were allowed to sit in an upright posture while the rest were told to slouch. Findings show that those who sat up straight were more certain that they had the traits they listed. In another study, students with poor posture had lesser confidence about their math abilities.
If you find yourself nodding off during meetings or lectures, your fatigue could also be caused by poor posture. When your body is slouched, your organs work at a slower rate and fail to function at their optimal level. If you’re reading this while hunched over your laptop or phone, your lungs may be compressed by up to 30%. This compression limits your breathing and oxygen intake, and consequently makes you less energetic. A study observed that slouching can drain one’s energy, and participants described how this posture made them feel “zombie-like.”
So the next time you’re feeling down and can’t figure out why, check if there’s room for you to perk up a little.