From back pain to bedroom olympics – who knew!!

Sit up straight for a better sex life! Slumping at your desk can ruin your libido and make you angry and depressed. Bad posture can make you depressed, angry and less aroused, study finds Led to speaking less, using more negative words and being self absorbed Sitting up straight led to higher self-esteem, more arousal and better mood.

Previous research found positive thinking was easier while sitting upright By Madlen Davies for MailOnline

Published: 14:59, 19 September 2014 | Updated: 16:39, 19 September 2014

It’s well-known that slouching is bad for our backs.

But poor posture can make you depressed, angry and can even kill your libido, according to a new study.

People who slouch also use more negative words and become more self-conscious and self-absorbed, researchers found.

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Slouching at your desk can make you depressed, angry, more sad, more self absorbed and can even kill your libido, according to a new study

Slouching at your desk can make you depressed, angry, more sad, more self absorbed and can even kill your libido, according to a new study

Good posture means keeping your body in correct alignment by maintaining the natural curves of the spine when sitting, standing or lying down. It’s essential to prevent back and neck pain, among other things.

Yet our stressful, sedentary lives are causing us to develop bad habits such as slouching, slumping and a lack of exercise, according to Sammy Margo, a spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

‘As well as the more obvious problems, slouching squashes the abdominal area, reducing its supply of oxygen and nutrients.

‘This impairs digestion, leading to feelings of lethargy and sluggishness.

Poor posture also leads to shallow breathing. ‘When this occurs the body perceives itself to be under attack and this exacerbates feelings of stress, which hampers sleep and energy levels.’

This, in turn, means we’re less likely to have energy for any action between the sheets at the end of the day – or even want it in the first place.

As part of the new study, researchers looked at the effects of slumping or sitting up straight on 74 people in New Zealand.

The participants were randomly assigned to either a slumped or an upright seated posture, with their backs strapped with physiotherapy tape to hold this position throughout the study.

They were told a cover story so they didn’t expect any effects from slumping or sitting straight that could impact on the results.

Then, they had to carry out a reading task, with their heart rates and blood pressure were also continuously measured.

They were assessed on the Trier Social Stress speech task, a test which induces stress and then measure’s a person’s response, and were assessed on their mood, self-esteem and perceived threat.


Use the ‘BBC technique: put your bottom in the back of the chair. Get it right into the back, as if you were sitting on the lower part of your jean pocket, rather than the top. Sitting correctly will re-align your pelvis into the correct position.

To stand tall, stand evenly on two feet, keep your back straight, knees soft and buttocks squeezed. Imagine a string in the middle of your head pulling you tall.

Regardless of whether you’re standing, sitting or walking, pull your tummy muscles in all the way then release by half so you can still feel them working. This helps tone them and reduces the risk of lower back pain.

Don’t use laptops for long periods of time.

Try not to sit for more than 30 minutes without standing up, even for just a few seconds. This will allow different muscles to contract and blood to flow round

Good posture leads to having higher self-esteem, a better mood and more arousal, researchers found

Good posture leads to having higher self-esteem, a better mood and more arousal, researchers found

Upright participants reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood and lower fear compared to slumped participants.

Speech analysis showed slumped participants spoke less than those sitting upright.

When they did speak, they used more negative emotion words, more first-person singular pronouns showing they were more self-focused, more words linked to sadness, and fewer positive emotion words than those sitting up straight.

Writing in the study, the authors concluded: ‘Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture.’

They added: ‘Furthermore, sitting upright increases rate of speech and reduces self-focus. Sitting upright may be a simple behavioural strategy to help build resilience to stress.’

The study was published in the journal Health Psychology.

Previous research from York University in Toronto, Canada, found that 92 per cent of people found it easier to generate positive thoughts while sitting upright, rather than in a slumped position.

Several studies have confirmed that posture can also affect performance; non-slouching students generally achieve better grades than those who slump.

Ms Margo likens it to the saying ‘smile and you will be happy’ – good posture projects a more upright stance both physically and mentally.

‘It could be that poor posture creates a bad mood – or vice versa,’ said Ms Margo. ‘I suspect it’s probably a bit of both.’

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