How are you doing community? Dr. Cobb back with you.
I hope you’re having a fantastic week.
I just got back from Boston teaching our Essentials of Elite Performance course to a brand new group of wonderful trainers.
During the weekend, someone reminded me of some really interesting research. There was a TEDTalk done on it in 2010, and it’s continued on from then. I wanted to share with you because it’s not something I’ve talked about on the blog before, but it goes along perfectly with what we’ve been teaching in Z-Health for over a decade.
If you’ve done any of our courses or you’ve ever looked at our products, then you know that we talk about posture a lot. Whenever we talk about posture, we’re not talking about grandma smacking you on the back of the head, saying, “Hey, sit up,” at the dinner table.
We understand a lot more about how posture is controlled in the brain now and how movement is controlled in the brain. We understand that posture is at least partially reflexive. However, there are some emerging scientific findings around posture that I find really, really intriguing because what we’re figuring out is that just by adopting or holding certain postures, you can change your hormone levels.
I’m not one of those people that says, “Hey, this hormone is good and this hormone is bad in the human body,” because all the hormones play a role that are essential in the things that we do.
In these studies, they looked at testosterone levels and cortisol levels. They basically qualified or classified, testosterone being a confidence building or stress diminishing hormone, cortisol being evidence of increased stress.
If you can just think of it that way, testosterone = decreased stress, cortisol = increased stress, the research will make sense. I’m going to link to a couple of articles with this blog because I would love for you to go read the articles and also watch the original TEDTalk done by a professor at Harvard Business.
What they did is they took 42 students. They gave them a saliva test, and they looked at testosterone levels and cortisol levels. Really intriguing, really interesting. They then had them adopt what they called either power postures or more submissive postures for 2 minutes, 120 seconds. Then they retested their hormone profiles.
What they found was that simply 2 minutes of holding a really confident, what they call a power posture, increased testosterone levels up to 25% and decreased cortisol levels by 20% in these students.
People go, “That was pretty cool. How long did that effect last?” Ongoing research has shown that just that 2 minutes of standing in these power postures that are very confident and very open actually would last … Hormone changes for up to 20 minutes.
In the context of the social sciences, where this information was originally published, the idea was, “Hey, use these power postures before a meeting, before something that’s going to require increased attention to detail or increased confidence, increased aggressiveness” because these power postures will preset you before you go into those situations.
Conversely, it’s also making you aware that if you go into a situation, you hold a closed, guarded startled posture, which we call in Z-Health, it will actually increase the stress of the encounter and probably make you less competent.
People think about that and go, “That’s weird. You’re saying that simply how I stand can have an impact on how I think, how I move through the world, how I present myself.” Our answer is absolutely.
What I’m going to do, as I said, is encourage you this week to watch the TEDTalk first or at least read the articles. This is actually quite profound. That’s task number 1. Task number 2, pick one day this week and give yourself 120 seconds to practice one of the postures and see what happens.
In Z, we are constantly, through the work that we’re doing, trying to increase our reflexive maintenance, if you will, of awesome power postures, of being upright, being open, feeling strong, feeling confident in how we move through the world.
If you’re already doing a lot of the stuff that we teach, you’re going to find this extremely easy to do. However, if you’ve never really explored our programs, I would love for you to take this as an opportunity to read what other researchers are saying about posture.
Try it and experiment for yourself. See how it makes you feel. If we can help you in any way learn how to make these types of postures and this type of movement a part of your daily life, with all the subsequent potential benefits, please let us know.
That’s it for now.
Have a fantastic week.
Look forward to talking to you soon.