Does Your Posture Affect Your Mood?
Perhaps one of the most well-known facts about back health is that proper posture is key. You probably already know that good posture is incredibly important to your overall health, but did you know it can also affect your mental well-being? Growing evidence suggests that proper posture contributes to many health benefits, from reducing back and joint pain to boosting your mood.
THE LINK BETWEEN MOOD BODY POSITION AND MOOD
When you think about someone who is feeling depressed, how do you imagine their posture? Most would say that depression can cause slumped body posture, but recent studies show that the opposite is also true — slouching can actually spark negative emotions and thoughts.
A German study divided 30 individuals that were receiving in-patient treatment for depression into two groups. The groups were than asked to sit in either an upright or slumped position. The participants were then shows 16 uplifting words like “beauty” and “enjoyable” on a computer screen, then 16 negative words like “exhaustion” and “dejected”.
Participants were asked to imagine themselves in a scene where they were connected with each words, such as a time when they felt depressed or beautiful. The participants were then given other tasks for five minutes and then were to recall as many words as they could
The slumped individuals recalled more negative words, whereas those that were sitting upright showed a more balanced memory. Published in the journal Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, these studies show links between your posture and your mood.
One of the most common problems with posture we come across is kyphosis. Kyphosis is directly related to spending a large portion of time hunched over a computer screen. The shoulder curl up, the head and neck extend toward the screen, and the pectoral muscles tighten which causes the spine to no longer be vertically aligned. Many of today’s professionals are bound to their desks, and this position often translates over to when they walk and stand.
MAINTAIN PROPER POSTURE
Standing posture doesn’t mean simply throwing your shoulders back. It is important to maintain good alignment. Position yourself so your ears are over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your knees and ankles. You want your body weight to be evenly distributed between your feet.
When you are seated, particularly when you are using a computer, focus on your posture because it can carry over to how you walk and stand. Pay attention to your posture not only while typing away at your desk, but also while driving and while using your cell phone.
So many people, especially when using electronics, sit in a hunched over position. We are seeing an increase in new back and neck pain problems in both adults and teenagers. When you practice proper posture and receive regular chiropractic care, your spine and your mood will improve!