(Telegraph) Standing up straight could help symptoms of depression – study
Study co-author Elizabeth Broadent said: “Compared to sitting in a slumped position, sitting upright can make you feel more proud after a success, increase your persistence at an unsolvable task, and make you feel more confident in your thoughts.
“Research also suggests that sitting upright can make you feel more alert and enthusiastic, feel less fearful, and have higher self-esteem after a stressful task.”
The new study involved 61 participants with mild-to-moderate depression on a screening test, who were assigned to either an upright-posture group or a usual-posture group.
Those in the former were instructed to straighten their backs, level their shoulders, then think about stretching the tops of their heads toward the ceiling while drawing their shoulder blades down and together. Tape was placed on their backs to help them maintain this position.
All participants were then asked to undertake a stressful task – delivering a five-minute speech, on which they would be judged, and counting backwards from 1,022 in steps of 13.
Discussing the research findings Broadbent said; “In our study, asking individuals with mild to moderate depression to sit upright reduced their fatigue and increased their enthusiasm over a short time period, compared to individuals who sat in their usual posture.
“In addition, participants sitting upright spoke more words in total during the stressful speech task, but reduced how much they used first-person singular pronouns (such as ‘me’ and ‘I’). This suggests that they had more energy, had less negative mood, and were less self-focused.”