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Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

Posture may impact your success in the office

Just sitting up straight, a simple power pose, may increase self-confidence.” European Journal of Social Psychology

The Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body connection refers to the ways our mental state and mental processes affect our physical body. For example, when you’re happy you smile or when you’re upset, you may frown. Research has revealed that the reverse may be true as well, thus the mind-body connection.  In a 2010 study, “people who sat or stood in expansive poses for just one minute not only felt more powerful and in charge, they also had an increase in testosterone and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol.” Psychological Science. 

Knowing that it’s possible to affect the mind by being more aware of what your body is doing, let’s explore some of the ways we can apply this body-mind connection to the office or work place.

Mind Posture in the Workplace

“By simply changing physical posture, an individual prepares his or her mental and physiological systems to endure difficult and stressful situations.”- Psychological Science

Your posture can be a very powerful too in the work place. It turns out that your posture may not only affect how people perceive you, but how you perceive yourself. People that sit up straight or stand with good posture may experience a boost to their self-confidence. In a study conducted by the European Journal of Social Psychology a group of people were asked to write down their strengths, weaknesses, and a description of themselves during a mock job interview. Participants that did the task while sitting up straight with their chests out in a confident posture rated themselves higher and had more confidence in their self-attitudes than those who sat slumped, with face looking down at their knees in a doubtful posture according to European Journal of Social Psychology.

Having an increased feeling of self-confidence can lead to success in the work place. According to the job interviewing and recruiting team at RIVS, self-confidence helps you run successful meetings; dictate what type of work you do and how you do it… you can develop a greater sense of autonomy and easily convince your manager to let you work flexibly or remotely.” Furthermore, self-confidence will help you get those promotions or pay raises.

What is Good Posture?

With all of its benefits, what is good posture? As CYH defines it, “Posture is the position in which you hold your body and limbs when standing, sitting or lying down. To have good posture means that you need to be aware of always holding yourself in a way that puts the least strain on your back, whatever you are doing.”

Because having good posture means that you are putting less strain on your body, it has many benefits beyond just appearances. It can reduce the chance of injury in the workplace.

If you feel you may not be strong enough to maintain good posture due to workplace injury or lack of strength, you should consider exercising to build your strength. At Solutions Northwest, we have assembled a YouTube series which features exercises you can do at the office with only a desk or a chair. Check out this link to learn more

Be sure to share these tips with your employees, especially if you work in the Human Resources department. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more detailed information.

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