Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This small lifestyle tweak could help ease depression

iStock-501787264.jpg

A tiny lifestyle tweak might be all that is needed for some to help alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate depression, according to a new study.

People dealing with the mental health condition, which is one of the most common in the UK, might find themselves feeling less tired and more enthusiastic if they simply try to improve their posture.

The study builds on past evidence that has shown sitting or standing up straight can both improve mood and boost self-esteem in people without the condition.

The way you sit can have a big impact on your mood

The way you sit can have a big impact on your mood

The study, due to be published next month in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, tested the theory on 61 people who described themselves as having mild to moderate depression.

The participants were split into two groups and told to either sit in their usual position or sit with straight backs, holding their shoulders down and their heads high.


Read more: Psychologists reveal four ways to avoid social media-induced depression


They then had to complete a series of stressful tasks, such as counting backwards from 1,022 in steps of 13 or giving a speech, while their actions were monitored by researchers.

Incredibly, the small tweak of sitting more upright led those in that group to “have more energy, less negative mood, and were less self-focused”, according to co-author Elizabeth Broadent from the University of Auckland.

Those with good posture “have more energy, less negative mood, and were less self-focused”

Those with good posture “have more energy, less negative mood, and were less self-focused”

And the benefits of sitting upright didn’t end there.

"Compared to sitting in a slumped position, sitting upright can make you feel more proud after a success, increase your persistence at an unsolvable task, and make you feel more confident in your thoughts,” Broadent told The Telegraph.

"Research also suggests that sitting upright can make you feel more alert and enthusiastic, feel less fearful, and have higher self-esteem after a stressful task.”

Images: Getty

Related

happy-to-chat-badges-jo-cox-loneliness-tube.jpg

Jo Cox-inspired anti-loneliness badges are being handed out in London

abortion-protest-ireland_edited-1.jpg

Woman arrested for buying daughter abortion pills fights prosecution

rexfeatures_7820646p.jpg

Emma Stone opens up about her crippling shyness and panic attacks

More

20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017