The Psychological Benefits of a Standing Desk

January 24, 2015

Think of all of the images of powerful people that you can.  Imagine superheroes, politicians, pop stars and even your boss at work.  How do they stand?  They likely assume the power position often, and exude a great deal of self-assurance.  Standing up straight in the “power stance” with your hands on your hips, literally makes you feel powerful. Amy Cuddy was quoted in her Ted Talk on the power stance as follows:

“We smile when we feel happy, but also, when we’re forced to smile by holding a pen in our teeth like this, it makes us feel happy. So it goes both ways. When it comes to power, it also goes both ways. So when you feel powerful, you’re more likely to do this, but it’s also possible that when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.”-Amy Cuddy  

You will have more confidence, be more alert and will think more clearly.  Your body language is very important to your success and happiness, and the more you stand tall and proud, the more important you will feel and act.

Be More Assertive

The more confident that you feel, the more assertive you will be.  This will translate to success and good self-esteem.   In order to become more comfortable standing that way, you will need to practice.  Practicing just 2 minutes per day can make all of the difference.  Following that logic, standing at your desk at work will help you to make good posture a habit. You can also assume a power position at your desk, which will only magnify the good effects.  This may seem like a small change, and you may wonder if it can really cause a change in attitude, but there’s nothing to lose.  It is worth a try!

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

This type of posture can also help with hormonal levels and decrease stress and anxiety.  Standing up tall and strong can actually make scary or stressful situations less stressful, and can create a sense of confidence that will translate across all circumstances, from work to your personal life.  It is a sort of “fake it until you make it” attitude that can carry you through life.

So how do you put it into practice?

Of course, you can practice your power pose anywhere.  Try it at the grocery store, or in line at the DMV, and even try standing in this pose when taking photos.  The more you do it, the more naturally it will come, and soon you may not even realize that you do it.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand with feet slightly apart
  2. Hold head up straight and tall
  3. Put your shoulders
  4. Hold your spine in a straight line
  5. Put your hands on your hips

This can very easily be accomplished at your standing desk, and if you practice often while at work, it will become habit.  Plus, just imagine how impressed your boss will be when he or she walks by and sees your stance of power and confidence!  You won’t have to practice it long and soon you won’t even know that you are doing it or notice how much it benefits your psychological well-being.  You will simply feel better about yourself and people will respond to you in a different manner.  Skeptical?  Read more about power poses on this Ted Talk.


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