Stop what you are doing right now and think about your posture. Are you slouching forward with rolled shoulders? Is your head protruding forward like a chicken? Hopefully, you said no to both of those and you are sitting tall with your shoulders back and head aligned with your body. Let's be honest , most likely your shoulders and head were in a bad position. It is okay though, we are going to change that behavior and from here on out you are going to have good posture whenever you sit or stand. So before you continue to read, do me a favor, pull your shoulders back and sit up nice and tall like someone is pulling your whole body up with a string. Perfect, now let's dive into this weeks topic.... posture.
Take a look around at all the other people you see. Look at their shoulders, neck and stomach, most likely you will see a forward head, rounded shoulders and a protruding gut or a massive curvature in their lower back. You could say that technology is playing a part in our evolution, and it will be interesting to see how our bodies are shaped in twenty years from now. Will forward head posture and slump shoulders become normal? I hope not, because I do not find that look attractive at all. Actually, most of us don't and we associate bad posture (rounded shoulders, forward head) with losing. I mean just take a look at end of a match, usually you can tell who won just by their body language. The winner, has much better posture, standing tall with their shoulders back, head up and chest open. On the other hand, the loser, is bent over, shoulders rounded and head down. Even studies have shown that when a person with no sight wins a competition they mimic the winning posture automatically without even seeing anyone else doing it.
So does this mean that certain postures are encoded in our DNA? Well, luckily, there are much smarter people in this world than me and they answered this question for us. A study done by Dana R. Carney , Amy J.C. Cuddy , and Andy J. Yap showed that someone's posture had a huge impact on a person's testosterone levels.
" High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.In short, posing in displays of power caused advantaged and adaptive psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes, and these findings suggest that embodiment extends beyond mere thinking and feeling, to physiology and subsequent behavioral choices. "
People tend to forget that our bodies are very good at remembering things,. Aristotle figured it out hundreds of years ago, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Every single thing you do your body tries to make a habit of it to conserve energy. So if you are constantly mimicking bad posture your body is going to get really good at being in that position. This information should not discourage you, if anything, it should motivate you. You now know that you are the one in control of your body, you control your posture and how your body looks. All you have to do is mimic good posture and overtime your body will adapt to that shape. For example, the study listed above found that a person can change their mood by performing two one minute poses. Does this sound to good to be true? If so , then give it a try right now. Stand up, roll your shoulders back, stand tall, open your chest and don't forget to smile =].