Could sitting up straight with good posture make us happier? According to a German study, good posture can have positive effects on our mood, as well as our heart rate.
Sitting up straight could be a mood booster. As well as being better for your back, good posture can have positive cognitive effects, it seems. In fact, according to research from Germany, published in the journal Acta Psychologica , good posture could be beneficial to our mood, blood pressure, heart rate and concentration.
Physical and psychological benefits
To study the effects of good posture, researchers from Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany studied 82 students in their 20s. The students thought that the study was assessing their concentration, rather than their posture. The researchers were able to manipulate the study participants into either sitting upright or slouching by changing the height of their desks and chairs.
The researchers asked the volunteers to self-evaluate their mood. The students sitting up straight recorded their average mood as 3.77 out of 5, compared to 3.43 for those sitting in slouched positions. According to the study, sitting up straight could be more conducive to positive thoughts than sitting slouched or slumped. "Slumped postures may signal to someone that they are in a potentially threatening situation and need to adopt a protective posture, and hence they experience negative mood," explains Sarah Awad, one of the study authors.
Good posture also appears to bring physical benefits, according to the researchers, such as lower blood pressure. "Sitting upright is linked to a lower blood pressure, slower heart rate and lower temperature," explains the author.