It’s not a shocker that poor posture is bad for our bodies, but who knew that slouching at your desk could affect your sex drive too? According to a new study published in the journal Health Psychology, slumping can bum you out, make you angry—and get this: It can even lower your libido.
In the study, researchers observed the responses of 74 people, who were randomly assigned to either slouch or sit upright during a reading test. Their responses were gauged using the Trier Social Stress Speech task, which measures your response to stress and its effect on mood, self-esteem, and perceived threat.
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Turns out, upright participants exhibited higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood, and lower amounts of fear. Researchers also found that proper posture reduced-self-focus and made someone more personable. Their slumped counterparts, on the other hand, spoke less often, used more negative emotion words, and used an exorbitant amount of first-person singular pronouns.
Researchers credit other research in embodied cognition theories to back up the idea that muscular stress (brought on by bad posture, for example) can make other stressors in your life worse too. And since too much stress is linked to everything from anger to anxiety and even a lower sex drive, it makes sense that fixing the physical stress, could lower the emotional stress—and all of the negative side effects that come along with it too.
Not sure where to start when it comes to sitting a little taller? Besides pushing those shoulders back and scooting to the edge of your chair, you can also switch up your gym routine with these 6 shoulder sculpting moves!