A good posture assists performance under pressure, especially for better performance in math exams.
"For people who are anxious about math, posture makes a giant difference," said Professor of Health Education Erik Peper. "The slumped-over position shuts them down and their brains do not work as well. They cannot think as clearly."
Slumping over is a defensive posture that can trigger old negative memories in the body and brain.
Researchers say these findings about body position can help people prepare for many different types of performance under stress, not just math tests. For example, athletes, musicians and public speakers can all benefit from better posture prior to and during their performance.
"You have a choice," said Peper. "It's about using an empowered position to optimize your focus."
The study results demonstrate a simple way to improve many aspects of life, especially when stress is involved.
"The way we carry ourselves and interact in space influences not only how others perceive us but also how we perceive ourselves," concludes the research study.