[Updated on 1 June 2020] All humans possess the natural ability to read body language, and while you could go to school to learn how to comprehensively analyze every single human body movement and posture, our inborn intuition can cover the basic ones. According to research, about 55% of human communication is done through non-verbal communication such as posture.
So, what does posture have to do with human interaction or communication?
Your body language can give away a lot about you than words. Sitting, standing, and speaking straight are more power positions compared to a stooped or slouched posture. Talking while in a straight posture says a lot to the person you are communicating with. Often, it means you are interested and value the ongoing conversation. Slouching and stooping, on the other hand, indicate a lack of interest in the other person. Poor posture is also indicative of a lack of self-esteem.
What impact does poor posture have on my health?
Modern lifestyle greatly affects human posture. Sitting all day on your computer, texting, or wearing high-heel shoes all day will put a strain on your muscles, causing fatigue. Having proper body alignment means that your head, shoulders, hips, spine, ankles, and knees relate properly and can line up harmoniously and work together. Having body alignment helps prevent muscle strain as well as joint pain, helping you use your muscles more efficiently.
What does bad posture feel like?
For most people, the worse their posture, the more they feel pain and discomfort. Pain that comes with poor posture can manifest itself in several ways from your head to your toes. Having bad posture will not just affect you physically but also emotionally.
According to research, there is a strong correlation between your body symmetry and higher sexual prowess, fidelity, emotional stability, and physical dominance. A depressed individual will give off some signs with his or her body postures; for instance; they will have their shoulders rolled forward, with their arms crossed. Their facial features will also have some always give, such as a dropped chain, with a face that has negative feelings — ever heard of the saying, “Carrying the weight of the world over your shoulders”?
It goes without saying, individuals with bad posture often feel less of themselves and suffer from low self-esteem. It’s often hard for the individuals themselves to decipher the situation has been in a bad posture for a prolonged period.
Over time, as bad posture progresses, individuals will feel like they are falling apart, feel less energetic, and fail to achieve things they were able to achieve in the past. It’s often a frustrating feeling that is confused with aging.
It’s important to note that lifestyle habits often have more influence on the posture of individuals that genetics or even age.
Posture and Interaction
So, what does posture have to do with your interactions, both in your careers and other social interaction situations? Well, posture affects a lot of your interactions.
According to research, having a confident pose increases the testosterone levels in your body lowering the cortisol hormones. This is often associated with confidence and power. With this in mind, it is easy to see how your posture can influence your social interactions.
Having a slouched, closed body or hunched back posture can indicate that you are tired, unapproachable or disengaged. This kind of position also reveals a lack of confidence, something that can be quite limiting in a social gathering.
Hate it or love it, human beings judge body language, and your posture is a determining factor in that judgment. Your social relationships will improve significantly based on how you present yourself in public.
How does posture affect how people judge you?
While it might feel like a foreign concept, studies indicate that your body language can have a significant impact on the way you are perceived by others.
According to a study by Harvard Business School, a powerful stance can greatly increase your power hormones, decreasing your stress hormones.
If an individual can feel these psychological changes in themselves, it will be directly reflected on the way others can perceive them.
Your posture is affected by your overall physic from the ground up. Many people today walk with feet that have an externally rotated position, or otherwise known as duck feet. This action greatly compromises your gait cycle, which is how you walk. The effect is walking with a shuffling step with more clomping as opposed to a confident stride with a spring on each step.
Walking in a shuffled stride creates more sway that required, giving off an unsteady appearance; this stride looks inflexible and awkward.
If you constantly sit, it could greatly affect your pelvis, giving you an awful pelvic posture and leading to a posterior pelvic tilt. Your body typically needs to have an arch in the curve found on the lower back. Some are overarched, however, with excessive sitting, the predominant deviation morphs into a non-existent lower back curvature. Having a posterior pelvic position gives no shape to your body. Your gluteal muscles are placed in a position where they can’t fire since the pelvis is tucked under, leading to a wide and flattened behind instead of round perky butt cheeks.
Dreaded mid back
Having roundness in the middle of the back is becoming more and more common, and 16-year olds are beginning to have an old slouched posture common with 60-year old. These postures are so rounded you could lose an inch or two in height, and perhaps we could be the first generation to shrink in size due to poor posture.
This posture is commonly known as the fatigue posture, where individuals assume as rounded forward with a middle back that has a protruding hump. These postures often cause a lack of energy, with individuals looking older, lazy or tired. Individuals with this kind of posture often look like they lack confidence. It’s a common posture with smartphone-addicted individuals.
It’s not difficult noticing individuals with this kind of postures, they are conspicuous, and this posture is the first thing anyone notices when they see them. It’s difficult to make a first impression with a smile when the first thing that is noticeable when you get into a room is larger than life forehead. It’s very difficult to fulfil your potential when a few inches of your height is hidden in your cervical spine.
It’s difficult to find an anxious person who had a leaned back chill walking posture. However, it is very easy to spot an anxious person with a forth head-first posture walking down a hall. This posture can quickly indicate that an individual is dealing with inner turmoil. According to studies, this posture often reveals that an individual is anxious with a mind on information overload.
Swaying in a standing position
When you sway as you stand, it often makes it difficult to get stability in your body posture, and according to experts, this posture often indicates a person with a weak personality. You will come off as an individual with a fragile body and mind, indecisive with high levels of anxiety. An easy way to curb this habit is to keep your feet firm on the ground while standing and concentrate on your breathing. The result is you stay firmly rooted to the ground giving strength to your muscles.
When is a crossed arm position viable? Most times, individuals get into this position is during cold freezing conditions while in line, or during an argument. This posture signifies quite a lot of things, but in most cases, it shows anger. A crossed arm position is a defensive posture, and it’s closing oneself from others by placing your hands in front. A better posture to welcome or show openness is to have your hands comfortably on your side.
Improving your Posture for better interaction
Having a straight or relaxed posture has a lot of benefits, and since your body language determines your mood sitting or standing in a relaxed position is a great way to raise your mood, offering more energy. A straight posture during interaction gives an active and confident persona. Poor posture, on the other hand, is indicative of poor negative feelings and poor self-image. This can be a temporary state when we are upset about feeling down or can be as a result of habits that have accumulated over the years. Also, avoid getting into a hunched or slumped shoulder posture, it often shows people that you are lazy or sad.
What does a correct posture look like? Well, it’s quite simple. Ensure that you always have your head held high in a neutral position with your ears parallel to your shoulder lines. Your shoulders need to be resting down. Have your chest open and breath down deep into your abdomen. It’s important to note that your chest needs to be open and not puffed up. While standing, ensure that your feet are firmly on the ground, this helps distribute your weight evenly between your heels. Watch your back; do not over-extend the curve of your back to making it difficult to move.
Why should I Maintain Good posture?
Sitting, lying, or standing in a poor posture for any length of time puts a lot of stress on your muscles, joints, and ligaments. The result is a lot of pain and damage to your shoulder neck or back. This often makes your MS symptoms worse and extremely hard to heal. Fortunately, doing the opposite has a positive effect. Spending some time to improve your posture will significantly improve your MS symptoms.
Having a good posture requires very little energy, whether you are using your muscles or a supportive chair. You will notice that your core muscles located in your abdomen work more efficiently when they are correctly aligned. In this position, they are better placed to support you and allow your limbs to move more freely. The more comfortable your body is, the more energy is saved up for movements.
Having good posture will positively have stronger muscles, relieve pain and fatigue, as well as spasms, coordination problems, and tremors. Having a good posture is especially beneficial if you are unable to move your body on your own.
Today more than ever, people are more aware of the importance of food, exercise, and sleep. Add posture to that list too. Posture problems are more common today than ever since we are living in the digital age of heavy computer and smartphone usage. However, we can still take the appropriate steps to correct these issues. Take some time off your schedule each day to check yourself. Do you require a posture shape-up? Consider simple to do ways to improve your posture for the benefit of your overall health.
Assuming good posture isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s a matter of habit, and with time and consistency, it will change. The benefits of good posture are definitely worth the effort required to achieve them. The moment you notice you are slouching or slumping or feeling down, turn to a straight position, and after some time, you will begin to feel a lot better. Getting that great posture is all about commitment, awareness, and dedication, there are no shortcuts here. In today’s world, it can be extremely difficult to stand straight or sit in a straight position, especially when you work around computers. A good way to maintain a good posture in such conditions is to take a break once in a while, walk around. Circle your shoulders in a smooth slow motion. Take breaks; you don’t need to carry the entire planet on your shoulders.