Good posture helps to cope with stress

leaf-flipped.png

Upright posture is good for healthy breathing, lifting your mood and self-esteem, and reducing feelings of fear.

Ballet Class

This article was written by Dr Heidi of Haavik Research and published by Fairfield Wellness on 22 July 2021.

A study conducted in the psychology department at the University of Auckland in New Zealand looked at the effects of upright posture compared to slouched posture on young and healthy peoples’ resilience to cope with a stressful reading task.

 

The study results clearly showed that when these people were held in an upright and good posture, they could cope with a stressful task much better than if they were held in a slouched position during the same task.

 

In addition to this, the scientists found that good, upright posture also resulted in participants displaying a feeling of higher self-esteem, better mood and lower fear when compared to the slouched posture situation. Therefore, good upright posture is not only good for healthy breathing, but it can also make you more self-confident, feel better mood-wise, reduce your feelings of fear and help you be more resilient when dealing with a stressful situation.

 

Forward head posture is particularly bad, you want your head resting nicely and directly on top of your spine, you don’t want your head out in front of your spine.
A normal sized head weighs about 3kgs, about as heavy as a bowling ball.
Your spine is designed to hold your head up with no problems at all, but if it’s hanging forward, then there is a 3kg weight hanging off your muscles, ligaments and connective tissues at the back of your neck. This is not a good thing for your spine, it increases the burden, the strain and the stress that your spine has to cope with. 

Ref: Nair S, Sagar M, Sollers J 3rd, Consedine N, Broadbent E. Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health Psychol. 2015 Jun;34(6):632-41. doi: 10.1037/hea0000146. Epub 2014 Sep 15. PMID: 25222091. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25222091/