Lately I've been thinking about the idea of happiness and spreading positive energy to those around me. I'm a firm believer that the weather directly affects people's moods. Well, you can't change people, nor the weather, so finding alternatives would be ideal. One thing you can change that is often overlooked is your posture.
Form in general is something I go crazy about while at the gym. Regardless of the facility's "No Judgement Zone," we all judge, or at least observe others. When I notice other people working out, it's not because they look funny and I want to laugh at them or take a video (so rude, don't do that), but because if their form is wrong, it'll lead to an injury.
Currently I'm studying to be a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and the root of the certification is to help people strengthen their muscle and bones to avoid injury. At the root of that, is proper form and posture.
My cousin, who's a physical therapist, told me her client's breast cup size increased after practicing better posture by keeping her shoulders back and straight. Right now, you're sitting up straight. Good. It's also a confidence booster for yourself and others if your head is up high and your shoulders are broad. I'm not sure of the science behind that connection, but just try it.
In a study done at Ohio State University by psychology professor Richard Petty, 71 students were required to write positive or negative statements while in an upright or slumped positions. Results found that those who wrote positive things in an upright position rated themselves higher as a future employee versus the participants who did the opposite. The rating part came from taking a survey after performing the postural exercises. Petty said in the article that talked about the study, "Their confident, upright posture gave them more confidence in their own thoughts, whether they were positive or negative."
Have you ever watched a morning talk show and noticed that all of the women are sitting upright with their legs crossed and the men are as well? Despite the fact that they're on television and have to sit that way, it appeals to a viewer more. Slouching will affect your attitude and how people see you. I'm going to approach someone who is sitting upright and appears open rather than someone who is crouched over their computer and may not be aware of their surroundings.
Back to my happiness thought, this is just one small aspect of daily life that you can change to impact your mood and health. When learning about bone structures in my NASM training, it talks about how bones can break down overtime due to bad posture. It naturally occurs over time without consequence.
Whether it's slouching at your desk for eight hours each day, or walking around looking at a small smartphone screen in your hand, make the small changes today. One way to remind yourself to sit up could be to set an alarm on your watch or phone for every hour reminding to sit up or to talk a walk.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.