Is this you?
Unfortunately, this is most of us. We are all slouchers. Truth is, our bodies were not built for continuous hours of sitting, and our heads have not evolved to peer down at smartphones. And so, we have adopted this un-natural kyphosis to accommodate our technological, sedentary lifestyle.
What most people don’t know though is that our posture is actually much more powerful and important than you might realize. Yes, a good posture exudes confidence and control, but the benefits don’t end there…
1. Our posture is the foundation to our health and wellness
Poor posture is the number one cause of back-pain, which will affect 80% of us at some point in our lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Our posture is quite literally the back-bone of our health. Orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Michael Gleiber, explains that slouching puts strain on the discs, ligaments, and muscles in the neck and spine, and impairs the circulation of vital nutrients. This can eventually lead to chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain, and chronic fatigue. He explains that most of us have sedentary jobs and therefore “we contort our bodies so we start to slouch, lean forward, and flex our necks… After a while, our bad posture becomes ingrained in our brain and becomes part of our muscle memory.”
2. Being upright increases our confidence and generates positive emotions
A study done by the journal ‘Health Psychology’ found that adopting an upright posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative emotion, and increase positive mood, compared to a slouched posture. Professor Erik Peper of San Francisco State University was also fascinated by this phenomenon and, similarly, found that upright participants felt more energetic, happier, and positive, whereas slouched participant felt sad, lonely, and isolated. Another study by Ohio State University confirmed these findings and proved that being upright increased ones confidence in their thoughts, while slouchers felt more insecure.
3. Our posture can control our confidence vs. stress levels
Open, expansive postures reflect high power while narrow, closed postures reflect low power. A study done by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap) found that these poses not only display power, but can actually produce it. People with high power poses have increased feelings of dominance, risk-taking, and power as well as reduced anxiety. Maintaining an upright posture causes an increase in testosterone levels, and a decrease in cortisol levels (cortisol is the principle stress hormone in the human body). In contrast, a slouched posture causes a decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in cortisol levels.
4. Our posture affects our concentration and productivity
Sitting upright makes you more alert, concentrated, and efficient. When you slouch, your body takes in as much as 30% less oxygen than you’d take in with good posture making it much harder to keep your energy up. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor now includes ergonomics as an important tool for reducing workplace injury and ensuring high productivity.
5. Our posture directly affects how we are perceive by others
Within the first six second of meeting someone, they have already formed an opinion on you. Your posture is the foundation of your body language, and often dictates how you will be perceived by others immediately. A good upright posture indicated confidence and power, whereas slouched, closed postures indicate laziness, apathy, and disrespect, among other negative attitudes. Communications expert Angela DeFinis argues that you must stand up as straight as possible to project confidence, poise, and excitement.
Meet The UPRIGHT Posture Trainer
So slouching sucks, and we really should be paying more attention to our posture. Well now, wearable technology has found a way to help us our of our slump. The UPRIGHT trainer is a discreet wearable device that attaches to your back and vibrates when you slouch, passively training you to improve your posture. Emphasis on the passive training. The idea is that you only need to wear UPRIGHT for 15min to an hour a day, and thats actually enough to change your sitting habits naturally. Simple enough? It is! Now you don’t have to worry about how you’re sitting and whether its harming you… This wearable trainer, truly has your back.
So there you have it, 5 reasons not to slouch, and one great solution to help you get upright.