LOOKING TO IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE? START WITH YOUR POSTURE

Take a minute and think over the scenarios below and your body language in each of the instances:

  • How you walked off the stage or left a meeting after knocking your presentation out of the park.
  • How you left the field or the gym after giving it your all.
  • How you left a date or networking event when you knew you made a connection.
  • Or even how you felt when you were engaged at work or in class. 

At Corpore Wear we would be willing to bet, that after each of the occasions listed above, you left the situation with your head held high and with strong posture leading the way.

This is not a coincidence.

The relationship between our bodies and are minds is strongly connected and there is plenty of research to back this up.

Good posture improves concentration and confidence:

In professor, Erik Peper´s, Holistic Health Class at San Fransisco State University, every thirty minutes or so he encourages his students to get up and do some exercises – and the results have been profound.

Peper has devoted a great deal of his career to the idea that posture can influence your state of mind, and encouraging the students to get up and move their bodies serves as much more than a “simple mental break”. 

“Students are exhausted, they are tired,” said Peper. “The body for a moment gets more activated, and their energy levels go way up.” He went onto add that, “After a few minutes of wacky exercises, students return to the lecture, now seated upright in their chairs, alert and engaged.”

Alert and engaged being the key words when thinking about someone who has strong posture. 

Running along the same lines that forcing a smile can trigger positive emotions in a person, Peper argues the same can be said by demonstrating strong posture, and his work has been substantiated by other researchers, namely Harvard´s, Amy Cuddy, whose work and ground-breaking TED talk, backs up Peper´s when stating that, “Our minds look to our bodies to see how they should feel.” 

After seeing the positive effects of standing up in class and moving around, Peper ran a subsequent study comparing the energy and mood levels of the participants who skipped down a hall (try skipping with bad posture….impossible) to those who walked with poor posture and their heads facing down. The results showed that increased negative feelings arose in the slouching subjects, and energy and mood levels rose once again in the participants who held their bodies in a positive way. 

Good posture boosts self-image and enhances first impressions:

Self-confidence and believing in one´s abilities are key in building a happy career and life, and once again “posture” is present in this equation. Ohio State University ran a series of tests where they asked participants to either sit straight with strong posture, or slump in their seats and think about the possibilities of being selected for a job and their positive traits. The researchers concluded that those who demonstrated strong posture were more inclined to believe that they were indeed qualified for the position, while those who were slouching experienced more self-doubt.

Richard Petty, co-author of the study and professor at Ohio State University, came to this conclusion after reviewing the results, “ The results show how our body posture can affect not only what others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves.”

In line with the discussion in the “Improved Confidence With Postural Awareness” post and postures role in first impressions, our performances are often judged in how we look, and not always what we say. 

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, it was discovered that 90% of listeners’ first impression of a speaker did not change after hearing the actual spoken words, meaning that the first impression (the body language and facial gestures) from the outset of the speech played a huge role in the perceived success of the performance, supporting the notion that If you want to make a strong presentation, make sure it begins with confident body language. 

Our performance is based on a number of things, but the odds of success increase if we bring with us loads of energy, a positive mood and self-confidence, which are all proven byproducts of focusing on demonstrating good posture.

Take note this week of the people in your class or office who are making moves and doing big things.

Check out how they are seated at their desk and the body language they possess in social settings. 

Those who perform well, not only talk the talk, they walk the walk, it just so happens they do so with strong posture.

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