Being told to stand up straight is a rite of passage for most teenagers. New research is showing that there is more to gain from having good posture than just a healthy spine. Your posture and body language have now been shown to affect the way you feel. Most people recognize that when you’re unhappy or tired you naturally slouch and when you’re feeling confident your shoulders are set back and you have a spring in your step.
What is more difficult to understand is that the reverse is also true. It seems that your posture can also affect your mood. In a recent study, people who adopted a posture of confidence for two minutes before a job interview reported feeling more confident and actually performed better in the interview than people who adopted low confidence postures for the same period of time.
You already knew that a good posture could make you feel better but this adds a whole new dimension to the issue. It also seems that you actually can run away from your problems. A study of college students suffering from mild to moderate depression showed improvement of their mood after starting a jogging program. When they were compared to students who took anti-depressants instead, they found the jogging students felt better quicker with fewer side effects.
By no means is exercise a replacement for supervised treatment, but it has a very useful place. Patients who combine high intensity exercise with other treatment types are also less likely to have recurring episodes of depression than those who don’t.
So along with less pain, increased strength, lower risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis, you can add mental well being to the list of reasons to move well and stay active.