Many American workers spend a large portion of their day sitting, usually slumped in front of a computer. Others spend their work hours standing or walking constantly and there are those who perform manual labor that requires them to lift, bend, twist, or carry something heavy. Whatever the worktime assignment, your back and spine takes the brunt of the abuse, affecting your regular posture. A poor posture can actually affect your mood, health, productivity, and even success.
Research shows that the majority of Americans spend only 36% of their day in good posture – that’s 64% of their day spent slouching. Women, surprisingly, have worse posture habits than men, by 20%.
Proper posture requires your head to be held up, your shoulders back and should reduce the strain on your muscles to support the rest of your body. When you maintain a proper posture, especially at particular times, you can be more successful. Here’s how:
- Good Posture Increases Your Productivity
One of the leading reasons for decreased productivity is worker absence. When a company does not have the proper staff, they are not able to achieve workplace goals. Besides missing work for a cold, the second biggest reason for seeing a doctor is back pain. In fact, back pain is the number one listed reason for disability claims for individuals under 45.
Poor posture is linked to increased back and neck pain. When you sit or stand at work or at home with the proper posture, not only do you reduce the risk of having to miss work for a doctor visit, you will also see other health improvements that will increase your workplace productivity. Having a good posture can actually improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and help you to focus.
- Good Posture Boosts Your Confidence
Keeping a “power pose”, which is with your head held high and your shoulders pulled back, for at least 30 minutes will trigger your body to release certain chemicals in the brain. Testosterone, a hormone linked to increased confidence and power, is released along with cortisol, a hormone that reduces stress levels.
- Good Posture Reflects Authority
Increased confidence can reflect greater authority but maintaining good posture to reflect your power and success goes beyond just chemicals. Good posture is a form of body language that tells others that you are in charge, or someone that can be looked to for leadership.
Consider the animal kingdom, many animals poise themselves to appear larger than they really are to scare off predators and maintain control of their pack. Humans can mimic this behavior and utilize it in the workplace to guarantee their success by exuding confidence, power, and leadership skills to those around them, higher level employees in particular.