Back in the old days, people used to obsess about posture (see this video on posture from the 50s for an example). These days we tend to think of posture as just something uptight people think about for the sake of aesthetics. Well guess what — it isn’t just about being uptight or overly aesthetically oriented (now quit calling me names!).
According to one Harvard Business School professor and researcher, Amy Cuddy, your posture makes a big difference to your performance in business. If you cross your arms or legs or slouch to make yourself look small, you’ll literally feel small.
If, however, you pose in ways that make you seem larger — chest out, arms and legs open, relaxed — you’ll get a big boost:
You pose powerfully; you perform better; you feel more confident and powerful; then you perform even better. At the same time, people respond to that confidence and performance boost and give you feedback that further elevates your feelings of confidence and power.
So good posture isn’t just good in the short term, it’s also good in the long term. The more you are able to hold your body comfortably in postures of power, the better you feel mentally and physically, the more you reinforce better performance, and the better you feel mentally and physically!
For those really interested in the nuts and bolts and for a few extra insights, read the rest of the article on posture at Inc. Magazine’s website for more on the details of how posture affects your testosterone and cortisol levels.