Why Your Posture Will Help You Succeed in Business


I heard it all the time in grade school:

Sit up straight, John! You’re not in a barn.

Why my teachers equated posture with farms and good manners is still beyond me. But now, those always-busy scientists are taking it way deeper.

Studies are showing that holding our heads high and sticking our chests out also leads to less depression, less procrastination, more energy, increased self-confidence -- and better overall efficiency and creativity at work.

Need more proof? A recent study examining the relatively new phenomenon called “iHunch” states that bending your head to look at your phone is the physical equivalent of holding five gallons of paint around your neck. And just as bad as the physical stress, the hunching negatively affects our mood, self-esteem and productivity.

The physiological reason for this is bad posture reduces the space between our diaphragm and pelvic floor, which compromises our breathing flow. This signals the body to produce cortisol, a stress hormone.

And when cortisol flows, we increase the feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness and depression.

Standing tall also has another benefit; we radiate confidence to others. And that will always be in style at the office.

The best way to maintain good posture: pretend that someone is pulling an invisible string that extends through the center of your body and up through your head. 

Who’d have thought that acting like a marionette would pay such business dividends?

Tip: set a daily (or twice-daily) reminder on your phone to check your posture.

Just be sure not to slouch over your phone when reading it.

John Lavallo57 Posts

John is Columbia Business School MBA with expertise in marketing, business leadership, and law. John is a successful entrepreneur who took his first company public. He currently resides in New York City.