Depression Goes Away When You Sit Up Straight

Slouching and droopy shoulders are often associated with low mood and depression. Now, a new study says that if people with depressive symptoms simply sit up or stand straight, this would make them feel more upbeat and less tired. The new study about the newest and surprisingly effective way to beat the blues comes from the University of Auckland, and published in the Journal of Behavior Therapyand Experimental Psychiatry.

Elizabeth Broadbent, one of the researchers says that while previous research had focused on the link between posture and mood in healthy populations, their study actually suggests what sitting position is most beneficial to mental health. She stresses that "compared to sitting in a slumped position, sitting upright can make you feel more proud after a success, increase your persistence at an unsolvable task, and make you feel more confident in your thoughts”. Moreover, sitting upright can make you feel more alert and interested, and more confident after a stressful task.”

According to the Psychology Today, in the study, 61 participants, identified as having mild to moderate depression, were observed on how they react to good sitting position after being instructed. The results showed that asking individuals with mild to moderate depression to sit upright report less fatigue and increased enthusiasm  in a short time, compared to individuals who sat in their usual slouchy posture.

Broadbent adds that participants who sat upright spoke more words in total during the stressful speech task and, interestingly, used less first-person singular pronouns, the Medical Daily reports. This indicates that they had more energy, feeling less negative, and were less focused on themselves. The evidence of the study clearly shows that the use of good posture to ease depression symptoms looks promising, but Broadbent believes that the research still warrants more study and tests.

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