Is your posture affecting your response to stress?

13/10/2016

In our day to day living we are often confronted with stressful situations that affect our emotional state. How well we deal with these goes a long way to determining their impact on us. It is a common occurrence for clients to report a positive change in their mood in conjunction to receiving care in our office so when a study on the correlation between the bodies stress response and our posture was published by a group of psychologists in New Zealand it got our attention.

The 2015 study (1) compared a slumped posture and an upright posture and their effect on a stress speech task involving assessments of mood, self-esteem and perceived threat as well as measuring participant’s blood pressure and heart rate.

The study size of 74 subjects showed that an upright posture resulted in higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood and lower fear, compared to slumped participants. Linguistic analysis showed slumped participants used more negative emotion words, first-person singular pronouns, affective process words, sadness words, and fewer positive emotion words and total words during speech. It was also found that upright participants had a higher pulse pressure (a good finding) during and after the stress test.

Their conclusions were that upright posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture.

It’s important to note that in order to maintain upright posture the study used physio tape to hold a person upright. ABC™ aims to correct bodies so they hold themselves upright without any effort or outside measures required. We would argue that could create an even more significant result as this is a more natural and balanced posture than physio tape would allow.

It seems research is starting to demonstrate that mood changes and emotional stress responses are related to posture. It helps to give weight to the perception of improved mood many people report once starting care. That is another reason why your adjustments can impact your health beyond just aches and pains in muscles and joints.

“Change your posture, change your life!”

(1) Do slumped and upright postures affect stress response? A randomized control trial. Nair S et al Health Psychol 2015

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