Person sitting on a bed in a bad mood with knee bent and arms round legs slouched over.

Are bad posture and bad moods linked?

Picture the scene. You’re slouched over your computer at work, trying to hit a deadline. All of a sudden, you get an email from your boss that either makes you want to cry or throw your keyboard out of the window.

Sounds familiar? Bad posture and negative emotions are more closely linked than you might think. Let’s investigate this in more detail.

Stay upright, get happy

Here are a few scientific studies that show the link between poor posture and low mood.

  • Maintaining good posture can help improve self-esteem and mood in people who experience mild or moderate depression
  • Adopting an ‘expansive posture’, i.e. one where we take up more space by standing upright, can make us feel more confident in ourselves
  • People slumped over a desk are less likely to believe positive affirmations they’ve written down

Why is this the case?

  • Bad posture causes us to hunch over and slouch, making us feel small and unsafe in our surroundings
  • When we slouch, there’s less space for our lungs, meaning we take in less oxygen. This means we may act more irrationally and impulsively
  • Poor posture causes aches and pains in our neck, shoulders, and back, which can lead to negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Good posture can result in the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. When we slump, no endorphins are released

How to turn your mood around with good posture

Adopting good posture can be hard when you’re used to hunching and slumping all day. However, the good news is that it’s not impossible! Here are some easy ways to improve your posture and reap the benefits:

  • Try a smartphone app that analyses your posture and reminds you if you start to slouch
  • Limit the time you spend on your mobile phone. Not only does this reduce the time spent ‘doom scrolling’, which is bad for mental health, but it also reduces the risk of ‘tech neck’
  • Get some exercise – even a short 15-minute walk on your lunch break will release feel-good endorphins and strengthen your core, making it easy to maintain a good posture
  • If you need a little extra help, wearing a posture corrector for a couple of hours a day will train your muscles to stay aligned
  • Eat well. Avoiding refined and processed foods can help some people manage their moods. A poor diet can also contribute to inflammation and bad posture
  • Review your office setup. An ergonomic chair with good lumbar support, as well as well-positioned computer screens, can prevent bad posture at work

Important note: While there is a definitive connection between posture and mood, it’s important to see a doctor if you feel persistently sad or unhappy for an extended period of time.

Shopping Basket