When we think about our posture, we tend to come up with all sorts of physical reasons why it is the way it is. We’ve carried one too many bags or just don’t sleep great at night, so that’s why our posture is kind of poor. But did you know that your personality can actually affect your posture as well?
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Researchers at McGill University and the San Diego University for Integrative Studies set out to discover if being an introvert or extrovert changed the way a person stood. They took 100 people and grouped them together according to four different posture types:
- ideal: when your pelvis, spine and head are neutral.
- kyphosis-lordosis: when your head is forward, your lower back is arched too much and your upper back is rounded.
- flat back posture: when you’ve got a flat lower back and forward head.
- swayback: when your knees are overextended and your lower back is flat.
The study found that extroverts were more likely to have kyphosis-lordosis or ideal while introverts had a flat back, so either flat back or swayback postures.
When you think about it, it’s not super surprising. Extroverts are often more confident and stand more upright and forward, while introverts may want to withdraw, hence the flat back. This becomes habit and eventually your posture type, but you don’t have to live with anything other than ideal if you try the four posture-correcting steps below!
1. Phone A Friend
The first thing you need to do is ask a friend for help. Don’t rely on your own analyzing of your posture in a mirror, as it’s misleading. Looking at a photo will allow you to be more objective.
Ask a friend to take a photo of you from the side. Stand like you usually do, don’t change your normal posture or try to stand up more straight. While you’re having the photo taken, think about how you feel.
Look for muscle tension to see how you’re being pulled when you stand. For instance, note if your lower back is tight and causing you to lean forward, or if your stomach is contracting, which will pull your head forward.
2. Take A Good Look
Study the photo after it’s been taken. Note the positions of your head, lower and upper back, spine and pelvis to determine which posture type you are. Ask your friend to look as well and get a second opinion to ensure you’ve got the right posture type. If you’re ideal, you’re all set, but if not, you’ll have to work to improve it.
3. Pay More Attention
Start paying attention to how your feelings affect your posture. How do you hold yourself when you’re happy? Confident? Stressed out? Note the position of your head, pelvis, back and spine when you’re experiencing different things.
Once you’re aware of how your emotions are dictating your sitting and standing posture, you can correct any problems when you’re experiencing an emotion that impacts how you hold yourself in a way other than ideal.
Work on your posture when you’re exercising, too! Since you’re not distracted by a million and one things while working out, it’s easier to practice ideal posture during your fitness routine.
4. Check In
Set a timer on your cellphone to go off throughout the day. The intervals depend on your schedule, but you should try setting it to go off every 10 minutes when you first start out. Check your posture when it goes off and correct any problems. See how long you can hold the ideal position, as it should improve with practice!