How posture affects your performance
How many people really pay attention to their posture when they stand up to deliver a message in a boardroom or at a conference, or even in the virtual meetings that have become so common to almost all work environments in recent years?
Without careful intention, posture will often be well short of ideal.
We often see what’s called “a collapsed posture”.
According to Harvard Medical School, collapsed posture is often influenced by our modern habits of both work and leisure, such as working in front of a computer, slouching on a couch while watching TV, or looking down at a smartphone.
These habits can cause our core muscles around your midsection to grow weak from inactivity. Your lower back and your abdomen are vital, and when neglected by unconscious habits and lack of intention, in extreme cases this can cause some bone and vertebrae to stack up, leading to further rounding of the spine, which can continue in a vicious cycle until it’s properly addressed.
From both a professional and personal standpoint, the downside is significant.
Collapsed posture, especially in the head, neck and shoulder area, will result in a range of problems that negatively affect your performance and success, including:
- Putting undue pressure on the vocal tract, affecting the vocal mechanism (your vocal cords)
- Hindering your breathing
- Creating lots of tension in your body, which in turn affects your voice
- “Trapping” your voice, hindering your volume and resonance
- Straining your voice, resulting from your inability to properly project it
And that’s just for starters.
But there’s good news.
To start addressing this, in many cases all you need to do is to pay attention and set intention for how you hold yourself.
Let’s get started.