Researchers in New Zealand have found that poor posture could lead to a lower libido, feelings of anger and even depression. Slouchers are also more prone to using negative language and are more likely to feel self-conscious.
Maintaining an upright position while sitting and standing is important to ward off back and neck pain. But stressful and sedentary lives can be blamed for an increase in slumping.
"As well as the more obvious problems, slouching squashes the abdominal area, reducing its supply of oxygen and nutrients," Sammy Margo, a spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists said.
"This impairs digestion, leading to feelings of lethargy and sluggishness.
'An upright seated posture can maintain self-esteem and increase positive mood'
"When [shallow breathing also] occurs the body perceives itself to be under attack and this exacerbates feelings of stress, which hampers sleep and energy levels."
With all these things going on, it's no surprise we could be less energetic in bed or that we might not even fancy sex at all.
The study took into account 74 people in New Zealand. Participants were told to adopt either an upright or slumped position and physiotherapy tape was used to hold the posture. None of them were aware that the way they were sitting was being assessed.
The participants then carried out a reading task and were given the Trier Social Stress speech task, which induces stress and measures the response. Their mood, self-esteem and perceived threat were all taken into account.
Those sitting upright experienced higher self-esteem, a better mood and more arousal. Slumped participants spoke less and, when they did, used more negative words. Slouchers were also more focused on themselves.
"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," the study concluded.
"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."
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