Your Posture May be Making You Sad
Your mother may have been more right than you know — some new studies have found some evidence that slouching may be problematic, not just in how you look — but also how you feel.
Many of us are stuck hunched over at a desk nowadays, or we’re on the train looking at our phones. It is not a pretty sight. New studies are finding links between our posture and our sense of well-being. One study found a direct connection, according to this article:
“We’ve looked at brain activity using EEG, and we found the brain had to work harder to invoke positive or optimistic memories while [a person was] slouching compared to sitting up,”… People prone to depressed mood, negative thoughts or low energy may be exacerbating those mental and physical states with poor posture…
Other studies have tested people’s moods and their postures and found some evidence that seems more than just coincidental that if we’re sitting up straight we’re going to be happier, even if initially we just want to be hunchbacks all day.
So what can you do about it, especially if you’ve had bad posture your whole life? That same article has some exercises you can do to straighten that spine and potentially put yourself in a better mood. Those include back stretches, shoulder exercises, planks and other techniques.
But an even easier way to help yourself slouch less is to get out of that chair as often as you can and go for a walk. When you walk squeeze your shoulders back, keep your head up and draw in your belly – for at least part of the walk. If you’re near Cardio High Fitness, you can also visit Aaron Brooks at Perfect Postures right around the corner. He can give you a postural assessment, and he’ll show you how poor posture can create chronic pain. And – then he’ll give you specific exercises to correct your postural imbalances.