What came first, the chicken or the egg?
You might think that confident people stand up tall… but what if I told you that, “people who stand up tall are more confident”? It’s true. In fact, posture can affect the way you feel and perform in several ways. I’m going to tell you why that’s true, and what you can do about it.
A 2009 article in Science Daily (1) cites several studies, concluding that posture gives people more confidence in their own thoughts. Other research (2) supports that Idea, by proving that cognitive performance is reduced when using bad posture. This might be because Oxygen delivery to your brain is compromised up to 30% by poor posture.
In terms of your physical body, you already know the consequences of poor posture: back pain, increased risk of injury, reduced efficiency/strength/endurance, chronic aches and pains, etc.
So, posture affects how you feel inside and out. It also affects how other people perceive you. Upright posture projects confidence and assertiveness. Rivals respect those with good posture more readily. Women are more attracted to men with strong posture (3).
So what should you do about it?
Posture is an outward manifestation of your internal beliefs and your daily actions. If you’re consistently taking action, you WILL stand up taller.
Prioritize training for posture and core strength FIRST in your workouts. Everything else will follow. Stretch what’s tight, strengthen what’s relatively weak, and aim for a structurally balanced body.
Strengthening the muscles that support upright posture, first, will cause standing/sitting up tall to be your default position. You’ll feel more confident, alert, and assertive. Other people will perceive you as more powerful. Your body will hurt less and be able to achieve higher performance in training over time.
- Check your posture when you wash your face or brush your teeth. Stand up tall and look your reflection in the eyes, proudly.
- Try sitting tall for your whole car ride. Exaggerate it, and remind yourself by holding 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. Challenge yourself to hold posture for longer and longer drives.
- Try a standing desk, or sitting on an exercise ball at your work station. Don’t settle for slouching in crappy chairs, if you don.t have to.
Just stand up tall, FIRST.
- Ohio State University. “Body Posture Affects Confidence In Your Own Thoughts, Study Finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2009. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005111627.htm.
- Tom Jacobs. 2016. https://psmag.com/social-justice/posture-inspires-passion