Office cubicles have become synonymous with sadness. The cubicle blues, however, might actually have more to do with seated posture than with the walls themselves; posture significantly affects a person's mood, whether they work in an office, behind the wheel of a truck or at home.
Prevalence of Depression and Blues
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define major depression as a disorder, which affects mood, cognitive function and causes physical symptoms, lasting a period of at least two weeks. A recent CDC study found that 8.1% of individuals over 20 years in the United States reported having major depression. Of these, 80% reported difficulty with normal, daily activities (home, work and social) as a result of their poor moods.
These numbers do not include individuals who experience feelings of depression and/or anxiety several days of the month which are not consecutive. So, even if you do not have major depression, you might still experience days when you do not feel as content, calm, happy or stable as you normally do.
Could Depression Be Connected to Your Desk Job?
The modern work environment has created a society of slouching and leaning forward – toward computer screens, over cell phones, tablets and toward steering wheels. New research is showing that this type of forward-leaning lifestyle is taking a toll on our bodies and our minds.
How Does Posture Affect Mood?
Due to people's varying lifestyles, postures, diets and activity levels, studies have found it difficult to conclude exactly why posture seems to have such a direct affect on a person's mood. Poor posture, however, has wide-spread negative affects on our physiology, causing muscle tension, stiffness, pain and fatigue and hindering the body's circulation, ability to breathe and the digestive system.
Scientific research strongly supports the notion of a connection between the mind and body, with the well being of one affecting the health of the other. With posture having such a profound impact on the body's physical well being, it really comes as no surprise that posture also has the power to affect a person's mood and state of mind, given the strong connection between the mind and body.
What You Can Do: How Posture Keeper Helps You Turn Your Frown Upside-Down
One recent study correlated improved mood with better posture. While seated at a desk or in a vehicle, your feet should rest comfortably on the floor, and extended arms should be gently supported by armrests. Attached to the back of your chair, Posture Keeper will help your core muscles support your spinal column and gently prevent you from leaning forward or slouching.
If you notice that spending a week at the office leaves your spirits down in the dumps, but you love your job and have an otherwise desirable life, then improving your seated posture might be the perfect solution to improving your mood. By taking care to sit up straight throughout the workday, you should feel much better by five o'clock, whether your desk is in a cubicle or a corner office.