The Surprising Link Between Posture and Depression

Have you ever been able to tell someone’s mood just by how they walked into a room? We all have! It’s a great example of how our posture and attitude are connected. Within seconds, you can look at someone and tell whether they are confident, depressed, withdrawn, or happy. Emotions, posture, and pain sensitivity are all influenced by each other.

Postural change has been linked to depression and other health challenges. Maintaining an unnatural, stooped posture can often create aches and pains that exacerbate depression, becoming a vicious cycle. On the flip side, a recent study discovered that people who were depressed found their mood to improve after they changed their posture.

The exact reason for these changes is yet to be discovered. It may be as simple as people feeling better by demonstrating a confident posture. Our body posture and position can influence the release of endorphins or feel-good chemicals in the brain.

  • Slumped posture has been linked with depressive symptoms.
  • An upright posture has been shown to improve mood.
  • Emotions and thoughts affect your posture and energy level. Look up and pull your shoulders back to reset your mind and body!

Next Steps:

The next time you are feeling down or depressed, pay attention to your posture. You’ll likely be slumped with your head and neck curved forward and down. A simple change in posture may help you feel more confident, energetic, and happy. And if your posture is causing neck or back pain, give us a call; we’ll be glad to help.

If you’re experiencing depression, we recommend reaching out to a professional for help.

Science Source: 

Effects of Lower Trapezius Strengthening Exercises on Pain, Dysfunction, Posture Alignment, Muscle Thickness, and Contraction Rate in Patients with Neck Pain; Randomized Controlled Trial. Medical Science Monitor 2020

Back Health and Posture. Cleveland Clinic. 2020

“Tech Neck” Taking a Toll on Posture. Columbia Spine. 2018

Upright Posture Improves Affect and Fatigue in People with Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in 2017

Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers. Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2014