What Is Your Body Language Communicating?

As humans, we tend to spend a lot of our time thinking about the things we say — especially in and around the office. Of course, it’s important to think carefully before speaking, but that’s actually only half the battle when it comes to communication. In fact, some experts believe that only about 7% of all communication is verbal, and the rest of the 93% is communicated through non-verbal cues like body language. That’s a huge percentage of communication that we’re not paying much attention to.

Non-verbal communication includes things like facial expression, gestures, tone of voice, eye-contact, body positioning, and posture. As social beings, we subconsciously pick up on these subtle cues to inform our impressions of a person’s characteristics, personality, state of mind, and much more.

What Your Body Language Is Saying About You

Take a look at the two photos below. Just a quick glance at the two images and we can immediately tell that the person on the left demonstrates confidence, whereas in the right, she likely feels insecure and unsure.

upright posture, confident body language      slouching posture, insecure body language

Using only body language as a cue, you were able to make a snap judgement — fairly confidently, too — about the mental state of these two people. Based on these two images, if you were asked to guess how you think each of these people would do presenting in front of a large audience, or in a leadership role, you’d probably guess that the person on the left demonstrating confidence is better suited for the job.

Assuming she is a qualified individual, slouching puts her at a significant disadvantage compared to her adopting an upright, open posture.

This is obviously an extreme and hypothetical case, and that’s not how decisions about presenters or promotions are made. However, there is something to be said about the advantage you can gain in taking extra care and attention in what your body is communicating to those around you.

Body Language On Your Own Psyche

Dr. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, delivered a fascinating TED Talk a few years ago on the importance of body language and how our posture influences not just the way others perceive us, but also our own thoughts and feelings. In her studies, Dr. Cuddy found that indulging in poor, slouched posture where you are closing yourself off from your surrounding and physically taking up less space perpetuates feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety, lowering performance in stressful situations. This creates a negative cycle where:

Insecure Thoughts → Closed-off Posture → More Insecure and Negative Thoughts

To break this cycle, Dr. Cuddy recommends adopting what she calls “power-poses”. Power-poses are a series of strong and confident postures that have the ability to influence two important hormone levels: testosterone and cortisol. She found that adopting these “power poses” increases testosterone levels to help you feel more assertive and decisive, while lowering cortisol levels to reduce stress and anxiety. The combined effects of these two hormones provide an almost immediate boost in confidence and have been shown to improve performance in stressful situations, thereby introducing a positive cycle:

Intentional Power-Pose → Boost in Confidence and Mood → Continued Good Posture

The bonus to this cycle is that not only does being in good posture foster positive thoughts and moods, it also communicates confidence and strength to the people around you, as we discussed in the first section of this article.

So, even if you are feeling shy, insecure, stressed, or uncomfortable, simply fixing your posture to be more upright and open can help you escape the negative cycle of emotions to enter a much more positive sequence.

Good Posture in Practice

By now, you know the importance of good posture and the positive influence it has on your own psyche as well as other’s perceptions. So how do we get into good posture, and more importantly: how do we stay in it?

Getting into Good Posture

To get into good posture, imagine your head is being pulled straight up by a string. Lift your chest slightly and draw in your abdominals. Keep your shoulders down and back, and your chin tucked in. You’re aiming for a strong, confident position! When sitting, scoot your hips to the back of your chair and avoid reclining against the seat-back. If you’re not sure you’re doing it right, here’s a more detailed instruction post on how to get into good posture.

Now, for the hard part: staying in good posture.

For many of us, getting into good posture isn’t too much of a challenge. The challenge arises as we try to maintain it throughout the day. In fact, our internal data study with 15,000 Lumo Lift users revealed that during the workday, people on average spend only 36% of their time in “good posture”. That amounts to 38 minutes of poor posture per hour, and 304 minutes, or about 5 hours, of slouching per a regular 8-hour workday.

The key to achieving better posture throughout the day is to train your mind and body to adopt better posture as a habit, rather than a conscious choice. To achieve this, there are three elements at that need consideration: anatomy, muscular endurance, and the correct neuromuscular patterns.

Anatomy: Physically getting into good posture.
Muscular Endurance: Developing and strengthening supporting muscles in your back and core to stay in good posture.
Neuromuscular Patterns: Communication between your brain and muscles to learn what good posture feels like. i.e., muscle memory.

At Lumo, we’ve taken this three-pronged secret sauce to improving your posture and created a device that helps you do just that: Lumo Lift. Lumo Lift is a small, wearable device that discreetly attaches magnetically to your shirt to monitor your posture all day long, and gently vibrates when you slouch to remind you to straighten up to strengthen correct neuromuscular patterns. The accompanying Lumo Lift app recommends various exercises and stretches to help you develop the necessary muscles to support your newly improved posture.

Here’s how Lumo Lift works:

 

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Communicate Confident, Strong Body Language with Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone, Windows desktop and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.

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Is Slouching Killing Productivity and Costing You Millions?

Take a second to consider your current posture. Bring close attention to your head, neck, shoulder and spine position. Is your head hanging forward, hinging at your neck? Are your shoulders rounded in as you rest your hands on your keyboard? Perhaps your back is hunched over to be eye-level with your screen.

Keep this posture up and you’re in danger of wreaking havoc on your spine, killing productivity and putting yourself at risk of a lifetime of back and neck aches. 

What Is Your Lower Back Pain Telling You? Hint: It Might Be Related to Poor Posture

You’ve been sitting at your office workstation all morning, intently finishing up an important client’s project. Getting up to take a well-deserved break, you nearly shout out in pain, as you are greeted by a sharp “twinge,” or the dull throbbing ache, of lower back pain. But take comfort in the fact you are not alone, as most of us will eventually suffer from the common curse of lower back pain.

Lumo Lift Success Story: This Dental Hygienist uses Lumo Lift to prevent back pain

Guest post from Lumo Lift user, Christine B. 

I have been working as a Registered Dental Hygienist for eight years. One of the symptoms known to my profession is back problems. It is difficult to have patients lay in the proper position, which causes me to do a lot of hunching over and leaning. I found myself exploring options to prevent future back problems as I am still fairly young. I came across Lumo lift on one of my professional dental hygiene pages that I belong to and decided to purchase one for myself.

5 Really Great Reasons Why Good Posture Is Super Important

This article was originally featured on Huffington Post by Ann Brenoff. Read the original here

So it turns out, your mother was right after all: Good posture really matters ― even in your older years.

Slouching impacts you in ways you wouldn’t have imagined, says Dr. Charles Wang, the COO and co-founder of Lumo Bodytech, a company that has brought tech to the quest for good posture. The Lumo Lift gives you a vibrating reminder when you start to slouch. Kind of like Mom, but in the form of a wearable device.

Wang helped us compile this list of five reasons why good posture matters.

How to Prevent and Correct Forward Head Posture

The human race has made some amazing technological strides in recent years. Think about it: how many intricate electronic devices do you use in the run of a day? Chances are you wake up to an alarm each morning on your smartphone, listen to music on a tiny mp3 player at the gym, and maybe check your email from a tablet during a coffee break. You might work in a cubicle in front of a computer, or at least a decent percentage of your work day probably involves looking at a computer screen. After work, perhaps you take a bus or subway home and spend the transit time looking down at your phone; sending texts, checking social media accounts, and online window shopping. Thanks to some very talented software engineers, we are able to document every minute of our lives and have the answers to all of our questions at our fingertips.

Invigorating Stretches to get you through your Midday Slump

Who doesn’t feel tired after lunch at work? Brain fog and lethargy in the afternoon are common problems many people face in the workplace or even at home. While an afternoon cup of coffee may pick you right up, there are natural alternatives that can be just as invigorating- and they don’t have any side effects! Next time you feel sluggish midday, try stretching your body instead and notice how it makes you feel. Here are some you can try today:

The Fundamental Importance of Good Posture

Guest post by Dr. Tim Errington, Chiropractor, Author, Speaker. He currently practices at Total Health Chiropractic, Singapore.

When most of us consider health and the things that keep us healthy, few will put posture anywhere near the top of the list. It remains probably the most underrated and underreported cause of failing health. This is indeed unfortunate because if you think about it, you have never seen anyone with poor posture radiating health and vitality. The harsh reality is there for anyone to see – lose your posture and you lose your health. All those years of our parents telling us to sit up straight and not slouch, was indeed very, very good advice.

Every Bride’s Guide to Perfect Posture

Like many brides, wedding planning started long before you got engaged. You’ve thought about your dress, the venue, the colors, who will be in your bridal party and everything in between. But what about your posture? Posture is easy to neglect and forget about, but in reality it’s one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. Standing up straight with your shoulders back will not only make you look thinner in your dress, it will also help keep you feeling confident and in control – things every bride strives for on what is often a chaotic and emotional day. So take the time to invest in yourself and commit to beautiful posture starting today.

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