Most people would agree that your mood affects your posture – for example, if you’re feeling a bit down, you tend to slump and slouch.
But could it work the other way around? Could your posture affect your mood?
That’s what a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of Auckland recruited 61 volunteers who showed signs of depression.
They got them to take part in two known stressful tasks, while seated – giving a five-minute speech, and counting backwards from 1,022 to 13.
The volunteers were split into two groups – Improved Posture (IP), and Usual Posture (UP). The IP group were instructed to sit up straight, while the UP group were allowed to slouch around how they normally would.
They were questioned during and after the tasks, and overall the researchers found that the IP subjects felt less tired and more enthusiastic than the UP group.
Which suggests sitting up straight, like your parents always told you to, could be beneficial to your mood.
The researchers did not do any follow-ups, so it's unclear about how long any potential benefits may last. But it’s as good a reason as any stop hunching at your desk, or staring at your shoes.