Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Keep your head up

Lately I have been reading a book called Presence by Amy Cuddy and it has been a really interesting read. The text is exploring the role of 'presence' in self confidence and gives practical suggestions using body language to build our sense of personal power. 

One aspect is exploring the impact our posture has on our sense of self and it is suggested that an upright posture creates a feedback loop that supports greater confidence. Amy Cuddy shared some thoughts from a NZ physiotherapist Steve August who is concerned with the damage he is seeing from people hunching over phones, and other devices. I share this as I am sitting here writing this on my laptop and very much more aware of my posture. 

As reading, one small paragraph really made me sit up and take notice, literally and figuratively. The
Going to do more looking up and out at
the world just like this wee guy. 
average head weighs a little over 5kg and when our head is balanced over our shoulders then that is the load that the neck carries however if we are bending our necks forward by sixty degrees to read our phones for example, then the load increases to a massive 27kg, Crickey! 

So having read this I made a conscious effort today to be aware of my posture and I didn't realise how often I slouch! When we went walking I focused on keeping my head balanced over my shoulders and it actually hurt a little so I knew that my muscles have gotten into some bad habits. The other thing I noticed was that I saw so much more, clearly I look at the ground or just a little ahead of myself when I normally go walking. It really surprised me at how much I have been missing when I am wandering around with hunched shoulders. Sitting here at my computer I am noticing how I am sitting and have adjusted my position from my normal stance/slouch. I can feel the muscles around my shoulders and neck, I am so much more aware of the weight they are carrying. 

So going forward my intention is to continue to work on my posture and enjoying the new view I have on the world. The bonus is that adopting a more upright position is also thought to be better for clarity in thinking and confidence so I figure this is win/win. 

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