Abstract and Figures

Body postures can project non-verbally how a human being feels. Postural changes affect thoughts, emotions, and energy levels, and conversely, energy levels, emotions, and thoughts affect posture. The purpose of this study was to explore how changes in erect or standing body posture affect positive energy levels, emotions and thoughts. For example, increases in perceived arm muscle strength as well as recall of positive emotional memories due to posture changes will positively impact client beliefs about coping with difficult life circumstances. In this study, 33 participants paired up as ‘testers’ or ‘subjects’ and took turns standing either in an erect or collapsed/slouched posture. All subjects proceeded through a manual muscle testing (MMT) procedure by raising their arms and attempting to resist the steady downward pressure applied by the tester to their forearm near their wrists. All but one (98%) of the subjects perceived greater arm strength as they resisted the downward pressure when they stood in an erect posture compared to when they stood in a collapsed/slouched posture. Similarly, testers observed that the subject were much stronger in their ability to resist the downward pressure in the erect versus slouched position (p < .01). The somatic feedback of muscle strength and the guided practice of how body position may affect recall of memories can be used to demonstrate the mind/emotion and body interactions. This study points out that psychology and bio-neurofeedback training needs to understand how important body posture, movement, and somatic feedback are as part of the therapeutic and teaching process. Somatic awareness can be used as a tool to change behavior since changing the posture affects strength and recall of memories which are important parts of the mind-body equation that underlies health and illness.
Content may be subject to copyright.
14 | BEWEEGREDEN | mei 2016
We may shrink and collapse our posture to
protect ourselves from danger when we feel
threatened because in prehistoric times this
reaction would protect us from predators as
we were still prey (Ogden, Minton, & Pain,
2006). In modern times we may still give the
same reaction when we worry or respond to
demands from our boss (Andrews, Wadiwalla,
Juster, Lord, Lupien, & Pruessner, 2007). Under
cognitive (social evaluative) threat compared
to the threat of being physically harmed we
may blank out and have difficulty thinking and
planning for future events (Fraizer & Mitra,
2007). When the body reacts defensively,
the whole body-mind focuses on immediate
survival. Rational and abstract thinking is
reduced as we attempt to escape (Ernst-
Vintila, Delouvée, & Roland-Lévy, 2011).
Emotions and thoughts affect our posture and
energy levels; conversely, posture and energy
affect our emotions and thoughts (Peper &
Lin, 2012). For example, Peper and Lin (2012)
have shown that when we are skipping our
energy increases significantly versus walking
in a slouching posture for two minutes, which
diminishes energy levels. Furthermore, if you
have reported feeling chronically depressed
over the last two years, you experience a
significant drop in subjective energy when
walking in a slouching posture for two minutes.
Posture also affects recall of positive or negative
memories; Wilson and Peper (2004) observed
that if you sit in a collapsed position, it is easier
to recall hopeless, helpless and powerless
memories compared to positive empowering
memories. In contrast, when participants sat in
an erect, upright posture it was easier to recall
positive empowering memories compared to
hopeless, helpless and powerless memories.
Body posture can project non-verbally how we feel (Coulson, 2004; Pitterman & Nowicki, 2004).
For example, when standing erect we occupy more space and tend to project power and authority to
others and to ourselves (Huang, Galinsky, Gruenfeld, & Guillory, 2010). When we feel happy, we walk
erect with a bounce in our step. We may jump with joy when we achieve our goals or collapse when
we receive bad news. More and more in contemporary life we sit collapsed for many hours with our
spine in flexion. We crane our heads forward to read text messages, a tablet, a computer screen, or to
watch TV (Straker et al, 2008; Asunda, Odell, Luce, & Dennerlein, 2010). Our bodies collapse when we
think hopeless, helpless, powerless thoughts, or when we are exhausted. We tend to slouch and feel
“down” when depressed (Canales, Cordás, Fiquer, Cavalcante, & Moreno, 2010).
Erik Peper, PhD, BCB a, Annette Booiman, MSCT, BCB b, I-Mei Lin, PhD,
BCB c, & Richard Harvey, PhD a
We thank Dr. Donald Moss for editing and improving the manuscript.
“I couldn’t believe it, I could not think of any
positive thoughts while looking down!”
Increase strength and mood
with posture1
1 The present article is reprinted with the permission of
the Biofeedback magazine
a Institute for Holistic Health Studies, San Francisco State
University, San Francisco, CA
b Biofeedback in Beweging, Wormer, The Netherlands
c Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan
Figure 1. Experimenter pressing down on the arm while
the subject resists the downward pressure
BEWEEGREDEN | mei 2016 | 15
These findings were confirmed in an elegant
study on positive and negative words recall
while participants walked on a treadmill in
two different postures for which they received
feedback (Michalak, Rohde, & Troje, 2014).
In a slouched (depressed) posture, participants
recalled significantly more negative words than
when they walked in an upright, erect body
posture as if they were happy.
Hormone levels also change in a collapsed
posture (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010). For
example, two minutes of standing in a
collapsed position significantly decreased
testosterone and increased cortisol as compared
to a ‘power posture,’ which significant
increased testosterone and decreased cortisol
while standing. As Cuddy pointed out in a
Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED)
talk, “By changing posture, you not only
present yourself differently to the world around
you, you actually change your hormones”
(Cuddy, 2012). As Booiman and Peper (2010)
reported, when an individual presents a more
erect posture to the world, the world around
him or her may respond in a more positive
way. For example, when a shy and slouched
person attempts to sit beside you at a party,
the first thought of many people is, “Oh no,
not the whole evening.” While if that person
had an open and more erect posture and
asked to join your table, your first thought
and response could be, ”Yes of course, please
sit down”. These subtle thoughts and non-
verbal communications affects people’s social
experiences (Booiman & Peper, 2010).
Subtle changes in posture affect our
psychophysiology, which is a phenomena well
known in sports as “psyching out” (Vealey, 2009).
When people are intimidated or somehow know
they cannot win, they often give up and slightly
collapse. When people are taught awareness
and change of posture in randomized controlled
trials with the educational Alexander technique,
the therapeutic Mensendieck Method, or other
somatic approaches, numerous
dysfunctions can be improved such as back and
balance (Little et al., 2008; Dennis, 1999; Jones,
1976; Haugstad et al., 2006; Haugstad et al.,
2008). The objectives of this study were: 1) to
explore how changes in body posture while
standing affect strength, as perceived by both
the experimenter and subject, and 2) to apply
this somatic feedback experience to encourage
awareness and facilitate changes in beliefs.
Methods
Participants: 33 physical therapists (5 males,
25 females, 3 not specified), average age 46.2
(SD = 12.4).
Procedure: In this study, all participants paired
up as ‘testers’ or ‘subjects’ and took turns
testing each other while standing either in an
erect or collapsed/slouched posture. Each pair
proceeded through a manual muscle testing
(MMT) procedure (Mendell, & Florence, 1990;
Schmitt, & Cuthbert, 2008) by raising each arm
and attempting to resist the steady downward
pressure applied by the tester to a forearm
near the wrists. The testers determined which
outstretched arm was stronger, then all of the
testing proceeded with the strongest arm. The
subjects stood either in an erect posture or
collapsed posture while they raised their arm
and attempted to resist the downward pressure
applied to their forearm near the wrists. The
order of collapsed or erect posture was counter-
balanced. The specific instructions were:
Stand behind your partner and ask her/him to
lift her/his right arm straight out as shown in
Figure 1. For each test, apply the same gentle
pressure downward on the right (or dominant)
forearm near the wrist while your partner
attempts to resist the downward pressure.
Apply enough pressure downward so that the
right arm begins to go down. Then relax and
repeat the same manual muscle test exercise
with the left (or non-dominant) arm. Then relax.
Thereafter use the arm that felt the strongest
and resisted the downward pressure the most.
Continue with the following sequence.
Half the subjects started with the slouched
position, followed by the erect/tall position
and the other half started with the erect
position followed by the slouched position.
The testers stood behind their partners so
there was no overt visible feedback of what
could be observed from the face of the
subjects by the testers. The subjects lifted
their strongest arm straight out and the tester
applied a gentle pressure downward at the
forearm so that the arm began to go down
while the subject attempted to resist the
downward pressure. After this manual muscle
test procedure, the subjects were asked to
relax and let their arm hang beside their body.
The subject then stood in the second position
(either slouched or erect/tall) and again
lifted the same arm straight out. The tester
applied the same manual muscle test pressure
downward so that arm began to go down
while the subjects attempted to resist the
downward pressure. Again, after the test, the
subjects were asked to relax and let their arm
hang beside their body.
Both subjects and testers recorded their
subjective experience, rating the effort they
perceived on the scale from -3 (weaker) to 0
(no change) to +3 (stronger), while resisting
the downward pressure of the arm down.
These perceptions of strength were rated while
standing erect as well as in a slouched posture.
Results
An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed that
subjects subjectively felt stronger and were
more able to resist the downward pressure
when they stood in an erect/tall posture as
compared to a collapsed posture F(1, 58) =
85.9, p < .001). 98% of the subjects felt that
their arm was stronger when standing erect.
ANOVA also showed the ‘testers’ felt that the
subjects were much stronger in their ability to
resist the downward pressure in the erect/tall
versus collapsed position F(1, 59) = 74.6,
p < .001), as shown in Figure 2. The subjective
rating of the subjects and the testers pressing
down on the arm were not significantly
different as measured with t-test (erect p =
0.46; collapse p = 0.50).
Figure 2. The perceived strength to resist the down pres-
sure on the arm in either the erect or collapsed position
as observed by the subjects and the testers.
“Don’t slouch! How many times do I have
to tell you to sit up straight?”
16 | BEWEEGREDEN | mei 2016
There was a negative correlation between
perceived strength and severity of reported
depression (r = -.4).
Discussion
The subjective experience of strength is
a metaphor of how posture affects our
thoughts, emotions, hormones and immune
system. When slouching the subjects
experienced less strength to resist the
downward pressure and feels weaker. In
this state it is much more challenging to
project authority, to think creatively, and
to solve problem successfully. Obviously,
the loss of strength relates to the change
in the shoulder/body biomechanics and
affects muscle activation recorded from the
trapezius, medial and anterior deltoid when
the person resists the downward applied
pressure. The SEMG of the upper trapezius,
medical and anterior deltoid muscles is
significantly higher when erect as compared
to slouched position (Peper et al, 2015).
In the slouched position, the subjects felt more
hopeless, helpless, and powerless. Memories
are embedded and conditioned with our body
posture and body postures covertly evokes the
associated memories, thoughts, and emotions
as well as shifts our energy level.
In a therapeutic/educational setting with
sceptical clients, this exercise can be repeated
numerous times and the outcome will be
the same, no matter which arm, which order
of position or how often it is repeated. The
clients can use the change in body posture
(e.g. collapsed to erect posture) to learn
to identify internal and external cues that
trigger the change in posture, and substitute
alternative behavior (Peper, Lin, et al., in press).
For example, students at San Francisco State
University have often reported that they blank
out on exams or class presentations while in a
collapsed posture. When they become aware
of their collapsed posture, and then shift to
standing erect, in an assertive power posture
while breathing slowly and diaphragmatically,
they report feeling calmer and can think again.
Similarly, clients who are experiencing worry,
sadness, and discomfort may be able to shift
their posture and look upward with their eyes.
In this new posture they often find it is easier
to think of positive options.
The power of posture on memory recall can
also be experienced in the following exercise
(Wilson & Peper, 2004; Gorter & Peper, 2011).
Posture Affects Memory Recall
Sit comfortably on a chair and then collapse
downward so that your back is rounded like
the letter C. Let your head tilt forward and
Figure 4.
Sitting in an upright position
(photo by Jana Asenbrennerova). Reprinted by
permission from Gorter and Peper (2011).
Figure 3.
Sitting in a collapsed position
(photo by Jana Asenbrennerova). Reprinted by
permission from Gorter and Peper (2011).
You can lighten your mood and give
yourself the opportunity to be empowered
and hopeful when you shift your posture
Increase strength and mood
with posture
BEWEEGREDEN | mei 2016 | 17
look at the floor between your thighs as
shown in Figure 3.
While in this position, recall hopeless, helpless,
powerless, and depressive memories one after
the other for thirty seconds.
Then, let go of those thoughts and images
and, without changing your position and
still looking downward, recall empowering,
positive, and happy memories one after the
other for thirty seconds.
Shift position and sit up erect, with your
spine slightly arched with a functional curve
and your head held tall while looking slightly
upward as shown in Figure 4.
While sitting in this position, recall as many
hopeless, helpless, powerless, or depressive
memories one after the other for thirty seconds.
Then, let go of those thoughts and images.
Without changing position and while still
looking upward, recall as many empowering,
positive, and happy memories one after the
other for thirty seconds.
Ask yourself: In which position was it easier
to evoke negative memories and in which
position was it easier to evoke empowering,
positive, and happy memories?
Overwhelmingly participants report that in
the downward position it was easier to recall
negative and hopeless memories. By contrast
in the upright position they report it was easier
to recall positive and empowering memories. In
many cases, participant reported that when they
looked down, they could not evoke any positive
and empowering memories. It is not surprising
that when people feel optimistic about the
future, they say, “Things are looking up.”
Mind and body affect each other. The increase
in depression and fatigue may be in part be
caused by sitting or standing in a collapsed
posture at work, at home and/or walking in
a slouched pattern. When an individual shifts
from a collapsed, slouching body posture to
an erect posture or switches from walking in a
slouching position to skipping with one’s head
held high, a sense of subjective energy may
significantly increase (Peper & Lin, 2012; Peper,
2012).
You can lighten your mood and give yourself
the opportunity to be empowered and
hopeful when you shift your posture. When
feeling down, it is okay to acknowledge
the feeling and say, “At this moment, I am
feeling overwhelmed, and I’m not sure what
to do.” When your energy is low, again
acknowledge this to yourself: “At this moment
I feel exhausted,” or “At this moment, I feel
tired,” or whatever phrase fits the feeling.
As you acknowledge it, be sure to state “at
this moment.” The phrase “at this moment”
is correct and accurate. It implies what is
occurring without a self-suggestion that the
feeling will continue, which helps to avoid the
idea that this was, is, and will always be. The
reality is that whatever we are experiencing
is always limited to this moment, as no one
knows what will occur in the future. This
leaves the future open to change and new
possibilities.
Remind yourself that you can shift your mood
by changing your posture as well as with
movement (Martinsen, 2008; Carek, Laibstain,
& Carek, 2011). For example, when you are
outside, focus on the clouds moving across the
sky, the flight of birds, or leaves on the trees.
In your home, you can focus on some inspiring
art on the wall, or photos of family members
you love and who love you. To increase access
to positive feelings, hang the positive pictures
slightly higher on the wall so that you have to
look up. You can also put pictures above your
desk or as a screen saver on your laptop or
smartphone to remind and to evoke positive
memories. In addition, when using your car,
adjust the inside rear view mirror so that you
sit more erect to see. Observe that at the end
of the day you tend to readjust the mirror
when you are tired. Instead of adjusting the
mirror, adjust your posture by arching your back
slightly while breathing out and stretch your
neck to look upward with a smile. Or, before
driving away, walk a little bit farther by putting
your car at the end of the parking lot instead of
as close as possible to the front door.
Conclusion
An essential part of the holistic approach to
health and wellness involves incorporating
awareness of body posture, movement and
providing some form of somatic feedback as
part of the therapeutic and patient education
process. Without teaching that a collapsed
body posture may impact the healing process,
only one half of the mind-body equation that
underlies health and illness will be impacted.
The body affects the mind/emotions just as the
mind/emotions affect the body; shifting posture
will shift mood. The somatic feedback approach
is another strategy for clients for whom
cognitive therapy approaches are challenging.
Using the concepts derived from these studies,
apply them to yourself and clients.
Each time you collapse or have negative
thoughts, change your position to a more
erect position. It only takes two minutes of
posture change to initiate changes in your
hormones, energy levels, strength and moods.
These two minute changes done often may
change your life. Think about—and change--
your posture while standing in line, sitting at
the computer waiting for the microwave to
heat the food, or the printer warm up, etc.
Finally, instruct yourself to get up and move
about frequently to prevent low energy and
depression. Stretch and walk around, stand
straight and feel the weight on both feet while
you imagine you are like a tree -- rooted in the
earth while reaching upward to the light.
Voor de literatuurlijst verwijzen we u naar de
website Bekendheid Beweegreden
After having done these two practices, I realized how powerful my body effects my mood
and energy level. Now each time I am aware that I collapse, I change my posture while
breathing exhaling, and often stand up and stretch. To my surprise, I have so much more
energy and my negative depressive mood has lifted.
I never realized that changing my posture in a more straight position makes my exercises so
much easier. Now I can repeat them many more times with less effort.
--21 year old male student
Correspondence should be addressed to:
Annette Booiman, Biofeedback in beweging,
Roerdompstraat 35, 1531 XE Wormer,
tel 075-6426265, acbooiman@zonnet.nl,
www.mensendieckmoves.nl
The clients can use the change in body posture to learn
to identify internal and external cues that trigger the change
in posture, and substitute alternative behavior
... This pattern resembles "freezing" and "fear bradycardia" observed in many biological species as protective responses to threatening stimuli, which is mediated by the psychophysiological mechanisms contributing to survival [126]. Contrariwise, it has been shown that the presence or absence of support afferentation influences the valence of emotional response [127]. In particular, students in the sitting position with support on the feet perceive images more positively than sitting without permission on the feet [127]. ...
... Contrariwise, it has been shown that the presence or absence of support afferentation influences the valence of emotional response [127]. In particular, students in the sitting position with support on the feet perceive images more positively than sitting without permission on the feet [127]. In contrast, older women who have trained support stimulation demonstrate a lower level of anxiety and depression compared to women of the same age doing fitness only [18]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article aimed to systematically review the published results of studies of psychophysiological mechanisms of posture maintenance and identify the key factors that influence the effectiveness of postural control. The recommendations of "Preferred Reporting Elements for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes" (PRISMA) were followed for the review. The results were classified, taking into account the target psychophysiological mechanisms and factors affecting postural control. The article presents the theoretical and empirical results of the Russian scientific school of research on the role of support afferentation in the sensorimotor mechanisms of cognitive and postural functions. Due to the limited number of randomized studies found, it was impossible to make meta-analytic comparisons, so the literature analysis was carried out only qualitatively. Meanwhile, our systematic review provides promising information about possible relationships between stabilometric and psychological indicators of postural control, which have theoretical significance and application in the correction and training of posture control. However, more thorough research is needed to overcome the methodological shortcomings that we have encountered in our qualitative analysis.
... The possible consequences of chronic pain and fatigue with respect to motor functions are often underestimated but must be taken into consideration. In particular, E. Peper et al. and W.C. Tsai et al. have noted that the maintenance of correct upright posture with the support on the feet is associated not only with reduction of painful sensations in the neck, shoulders and back, but also with mood improvement, confidence, greater strength compared to the hunched sitting posture, which is associated, in addition to painful and unpleasant bodily sensations, with depressive state and negative emotions [40,41]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This review is the second part of the critical analysis of recent papers of Russian and other authors devoted to the study of the stabilometric parameters in postural control biofeedback training and rehabilitation, associated with psychological functions. The review presents the studies of postural control features in chronic pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and depression. The leading role of Russian researchers in the development and application of stabilometric biofeedback in the training of optimal functioning, rehabilitation, and correction of neurological disorders is noted. The paradigm of stabilometric biofeedback training of the cognitive and affective functions is offered.
... With respect to self-reported dominance, no difference was found between UPs and SPs (Ceunen et al., 2014), but UPs led to more thought confidence (Briñol, Petty, & Wagner, 2009), self-perceived strength on a manual muscle test (Peper, Booiman, Lin, & Harvey, 2016), perceptions of one's own leadership (Arnette & Pettijohn II, 2012), and less self-reported difficulty in a mental math performance task (Peper, Harvey, Mason, & Lin, 2018) than SPs. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research on the effects of body positions has attracted enormous attention in recent years but has been plagued by failed replication attempts. Today, there is some confusion about which effects can be considered reliable. One problem that may have contributed to this confusion is the fact that most previous studies have not clearly distinguished between different types of body positions. We apply the dominance‐prestige framework to distinguish between two types of body positions. On the basis of this reasoning, we argue that research on so‐called power poses in fact has analyzed expansiveness as an indicator of dominance, whereas research on postures has focused on the straightness of the spine, which may be seen as a display of prestige. We review the literature and conclude that there is no clear evidence that short‐term interventions involving body positions affect physiology or behavior. Still, there are effects on actors' self‐perceptions. Repeatedly, studies on power poses have found effects on feelings of power and self‐evaluations, and studies on postures have found effects on emotional experience. However, there is hardly any research that has directly compared the two types of interventions.
... Decades of research have demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between our emotions and bodies (Friedman, 2010). Our facial expressions and bodily postures can both reflect and change our emotional states (Ekman, Friesen, & Ellsworth, 2013;Green & Green, 2007;Peper, Booiman, Lin, & Harvey, 2016;Tsachor & Shafir, 2017). For example, studies have shown that a slumped body posture is associated with negative affect and low positive affect (Nair, Sagar, Sollers, Consedine, & Broadbent, 2015). ...
Article
The objective of this study was to determine if either creative movement or art were effective in decreasing stress among college students and improving their mood. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to either a movement (n = 30) or an art (n = 30) intervention. Before the intervention, participants in both conditions wrote about a current stressor, rated their perceived intensity of the stressor, and completed a mood questionnaire (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; Watson et al., 1988). Following the intervention participants again completed the mood questionnaire, wrote about a current stressor, and rated their perceived intensity of the stressor. Two-way ANOVAs (group x time) found significant reductions in stress (p < .001) and negative affect (p < .001), in addition to increases in positive affect (p = .007) for both groups from pre- to post-intervention. Our results suggest that briefly partaking in creative movement or art can psychologically help college students in the short-term.
... Neck, shoulder and back pain are prevalent complaints in people who slouch while engaging in intensive computer and smartphone use, with roughly 45% to 65% of users reporting neck pain during the past 12 months (Bongers et al. 2006). Maintaining an upright body posture is associated with reduced neck, shoulder and back pain, as well as greater confidence, mood, and strength when compared to a sustained slouched posture, which is associated with greater chronic neck, shoulder and back pain as well as lower confidence and energy, depressive memory bias, and failure-related emotions (Briñol et al. 2009;Canales et al. 2010;Michalak et al. 2014;Peper et al. 2016;Tsai et al. 2016;Thrasher et al. 2011;Wilson and Peper 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
Collapsed or slouching posture has been associated with negative health outcomes such as pain, depression, and overall stress ratings as well as declines in general health, emotional well-being, and energy/fatigue levels. Currently, wearable devices and accompanying smartphone applications (apps) can provide feedback about shifting posture (e.g., erect vs. collapsed or slouching positions), as well as provide suggestions that support positive posture awareness. This study investigates the effect of a wearable ‘UpRight’ posture-feedback device on self-reports of pain, mood, and performance in comparison to a non-treatment control group. 56 Student participants filled out the SF-36 RAND Health Survey at the beginning and end of the 4-week study. The treatment group (n = 13) used a wearable device for at least 15 min per day, for 4 weeks, while a matched comparison group (n = 13) participated without the device over the same period. Evaluations before and after the 4 weeks included the SF-36, as well as qualitative descriptions of their experiences. The treatment group significantly improved on the SF-36 measures of physical functioning, emotions, energy/fatigue, confidence and overall stress ratings, as well as on subjective ratings of neck and back posture as compared to the control group. The wearable biofeedback device positively influenced awareness of neck and back posture, as well as key measures on the RAND SF-36 Health Survey. This study provides preliminary support that a wearable posture feedback device is a useful tool to teach posture awareness and improve well-being.
... Thus, posture becomes the conditioned stimulus to trigger the emotions and body state associated with fear and defeat. Even physically, the person experiences reduced strength to resist the downward pressure on their arm when standing collapsed versus erect (Peper, Booiman, Lin, & Harvey, 2016). The slouched position also tends to increase shallow thoracic breathing and slightly reduce heart rate variability (Peper et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Factors such as sleep, posture, and diet can impact EEG readings and have physiological and neurological effects that, when in dysfunctional ranges, may increase susceptibility to developing affective mood disorders or other psychiatric issues. Based on an observation of a neurofeedback client generating excessive amounts of theta rhythms while in a slouched posture, we discuss the role of theta rhythms in brain function and emotional regulation. Slouched posture has been strongly correlated with depressive symptoms. Although the precise nature of the relationship between slouched posture, sleep, and depressive symptoms remains unclear, the literature suggests a cyclical, reciprocal dynamic that is modulated by the involvement of theta rhythms. We recommend that neurofeedback practitioners assess their patients' posture while training, as it could affect the training's effectiveness. Sleep patterns should be assessed prior to the initiation of neurofeedback; if sleep issues remain a consistent problem, efforts to optimize the biological matrix may be indicated. Simple changes in body posture, diet monitoring, and strategies to reduce sleep deprivation may be helpful.
... ,Petty, & Wegener, 2009;Kozak, Roberts & Patterson, 2014;Nair, Sagar, Sollers, Consedine, & Broadbent, 2015;Peper, Booiman, Lin, & Harvey, 2016;Riskind, 1983;Riskind, 1984;Teh et al., 2016; Veenstra, Schneider, & Koole., 2017 [Experiment 2],Welker, Oberleitner, Cain & Carre, 2013; ...
Article
Full-text available
Cuddy, Schultz and Fosse (2018) present the results of p-curve analyses that are interpreted as providing "clear evidential value for power posing effects”. This commentary highlights that the vast majority of the studies included in the p-curve analyses were not designed in a way that could speak to the efficacy of power poses relative to a normal or neutral pose. Further, I discuss how the few studies that were designed to shed light on this issue indicate that any overall effect of physical pose on feelings of power, emotions, affect, and self-evaluations is almost entirely due to the negative effect of a contractive pose and not any positive effect of expansive power poses.
Article
Background and purpose Touch for health (TFH) based kinesiology is a complementary therapy with foundations in a natural health training developed utilising techniques from chiropractic, osteopathy and acupressure therapies. Although popular, the impact of the therapy is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to understand outcomes of TFH-based kinesiology interventions that clients perceive as important in their lives. Materials and methods A qualitative phenomenological approach was chosen to capture rich descriptive data. Thirteen individuals were recruited from TFH-based kinesiology practices. Focus groups included semi-structured questions, photo-elicitation and a wellness word activity to prompt discussion on impacts of interventions. Audio-recordings were transcribed, coded and grouped to develop themes. Comparisons were made and linked with the wellness model, theory of planned behaviour and mindfulness-based interventions. Results Three interrelated themes emerged: impact on awareness, experience of effects and impact on action. TFH-based kinesiology was perceived to enhance self-awareness and feelings of wellbeing, promote self-care and support new actions to manage stress and complement conventional healthcare. The use of a mind-body approach with feedback from muscle testing and less need for dialogue were valued. Photo-elicitation generated rich narratives recounting experiences after interventions. Impacts aligned with the wellness model and resembled outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions. Conclusion This study provides an insight into experiences and impacts of TFH-based kinesiology. Interventions were seen to facilitate self-awareness, experiences of wellbeing and promote self-care. Findings contribute towards a knowledge-base to foster dialogue and inform TFH-based kinesiologists, health professionals, consumers and research of TFH-based kinesiology and comparative therapies.
Article
Full-text available
Early research on body positions suggested that engaging in certain nonverbal displays can lead to changes in self-report, behavioral, and physiological dependent variables. Still, there has been intense criticism regarding the replicability of these effects. To determine what effects are valid, we conducted a meta-analytic review on body position studies. We used the dominance–prestige framework and distinguished between high-power poses representing dominance and upright postures representing prestige. We preregistered our meta-analysis, used the largest sample of studies thus far, and analyzed several theoretical and exploratory moderator variables. Based on 313 effects from 88 studies involving 9,779 participants, evidence was obtained for an overall statistically significant effect of body positions that was not trivial in size, g = 0.35 (95% CI [0.28,0.42]). Both the poses and postures showed effects for self-report and behavioral dependent variables but not for physiological dependent variables. However, sensitivity analyses suggested that effects for behavioral dependent variables were influenced by publication bias and/or outliers. Effects were noticeably larger in studies without cover stories and in studies that used within-subjects designs, suggesting that demand characteristics might partially explain the results. Whether participants were male or female, students or nonstudents, or from an individualistic or collectivistic culture did not make a difference. We also present an app that researchers can use to enter data from future studies and thus obtain up-to-date metaanalytical results on this topic. Future research should investigate whether high-power poses/upright postures increase effects and/or whether low-power poses/slumped postures decrease effects
Book
Full-text available
"Did you know the most dominant apes and monkeys are usually the kindest? They share the most food, groom others more often, break up fights, are slow to anger, and breathe in a relaxed manner. Those on the bottom of the social hierarchy are the opposite. They are stingy, combative, irritable, anxious, depressed, and they breathe shallowly. It is not easy for a submissive primate to become dominant. They have mindsets, mannerisms, and muscle tension that keep them from escaping their subordinate social strategy and the chronic stress it produces. All of this generalizes to people. If you want to be free of negative emotion, you need to rehabilitate physical trauma in your breath, eyes, face, voice, heart, gut, spine, and brain. Program Peace will coach you to do precisely this by first retraining your breathing pattern, and then walking you through dozens of innovative and effective self-care exercises. After creating new mindsets and mannerisms, and learning to reinvigorate muscles you never knew you had, you will find yourself more confident, healthier, kinder, and reprogrammed for peace."
Article
Full-text available
A total of 176 computer-generated mannequin figures were produced from descriptions of postural expressions of emotion in order to investigate the attribution of emotion to static body postures. Each posture was rendered from 3 viewing angles and presented to participants in a forced-decision task. Concordance rates for attributions of 6 emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) ranged from zero for many disgust postures to over 90 percent for some anger and sadness postures. Anatomical variables and viewing angle were shown to predict participants' responses. Analysis of the confusion matrix suggested a circumplex solution with happiness and surprise sharing a similar position, and few confusions between the other four emotions. The means by which emotions may be attributed to static body postures are discussed, as are avenues for further research.
Article
Full-text available
This study assessed whether it was easier to generate positive and negative thoughts in either an upright or slumped position. Twenty-four participants, who reported no clinical depression or anxiety, completed the Tellegen absorption questionnaire and a self-assessment of imagery ability. Surface electromyography (sEMG) of zygomaticus major, heart rate, and respiratory rate were assessed across four 1-min counterbalanced conditions of either upright or slumped posture and either positive or negative thought generation. Posttrial checks of compliance were completed. At the end of the study, participants rated which thought was easiest to generate in the two postures. Significantly more participants (22), or 92%, indicated it was easiest to generate positive thoughts in the upright position. ANOVA of sEMG activity significantly distinguished positive and negative thoughts in both positions. Significant correlation coefficients were observed between scores on the Tellegen scale of absorption and the ability to generate thoughts quickly and between self-perceptions of imagery ability with the maintenance of thoughts across time. This study supports the finding that positive thoughts are more easily recalled in the upright posture.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the present study was to introduce the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy for Postures (DANVA2-POS), a test that measures an individual's ability to identify emotion in human standing and sitting postures. The authors describe the construction and selection of the test items. Types of standing and sitting postures were generated from a set of dimensions gleaned from a review of relevant theoretical and empirical literature. Two men and 2 women portraying standing and sitting postures were photographed. An empirical norming procedure was used to select 32 high- and low-intensity standing and sitting postures representing happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. Three hypotheses guided the collection of construct validity evidence. Consistent with the hypotheses, data from 243 participants showed that DANVA2-POS scores increased in accuracy with age, were internally consistent and reliable over time, and were related to self-reported loneliness, fear of negative evaluation, and locus of control. The authors report construct validity evidence from 6 additional studies. Future applications of the DANVA2-POS test are described.
Article
Functional reach (FR) is a clinical measure of balance. The Alexander Technique (AT) is a nonexercise approach to the improvement of body mechanics. This study investigated a possible relationship between FR performance and AT instruction. Three groups comprised of women older than 65, with the exception of one male control, were studied: (i) a pilot group, and (ii) experimental and (iii) control groups. Groups 1 and 2 were given eight 1-hour, biweekly sessions of AT instruction with pre- and posttests in FR, whereas Group 3 was given only pre- and posttests in FR. Groups 1 and 2 both showed significant improvement in FR performance. Group 2 was retested 1 month after posttest and showed a slight decrease in FR performance. For Groups 1 and 2, a questionnaire allowing qualitative responses on a four-item scale showed an overall positive response to the AT instruction. AT instruction may be effective in improving balance and thereby reducing the incidence of falls in normal older women.