Saturday, January 1, 2011

Posture Matters! Who Knew!

In one of the more interesting stories that came out in the last quarter of 2010, TIME magazine reports on studies showing an increase in testosterone from merely standing or sitting in a "power position."

Quoting from TIME:

More powerful people — i.e., those who make more money and have higher-status jobs — reliably show higher levels of testosterone (no matter their gender) and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than people lower on the totem pole. The researchers reasoned that if you put low-power people in high-power postures, their hormones might respond accordingly.

To see if the researchers were right, I went to a Columbia lab, sat down in my typical slouch and spat into a little tube. Have you ever tried to spit on demand? It's harder than you think. Columbia assistant professor Dana Carney gave me a piece of gum to help. Then Carney put me in the hawk and feet-on-the-desk power postures, and 15 minutes later, I spat into another tube.

Carney sent both spit samples to a lab at Penn State. When the results came back a couple of weeks later, it turned out my testosterone had doubled in the short amount of time I spent in the power positions.

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