163899184Whether you’re looking for a boost in energy to get through your workday, or a way to focus on the tasks at hand, research shows posture plays an important role in producing energy and efficiency throughout the day.

At a recent health and wellness roundtable, Erik Peper, PhD and internationally known posture researcher, holistic health, stress management and biofeedback expert, said when posture is collapsed, you are more exhausted, less productive and have more neuromuscular pains.

Here are three ways poor posture decreases productivity levels:

Decreases oxygen coming in to the body by 30%. Janice Novak, MS and author of Posture, Get It Straight! Look Ten Years Younger, Ten Pounds Thinner and Feel Better Than Ever, says that posture has an important impact on lung capacity. When you slump, you compact your lungs and cannot take a full breath.

Unfortunately, less oxygen means less energy, making it nearly impossible to keep on top of your endless to-do list.

Increases back pain making it hard to concentrate on daily tasks. Poor posture is a leading cause of back pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

123113387 (2)Maintain good posture by keeping your head back, shoulders back and hips upright with an “S” curve in your spine. Keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and position the computer 18 to 24 inches from your eyes. Keep your legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.

Applying ergonomic principles to your workstation will help lower your risk for a number of health-related issues—from strained eyes, headaches and back aches to carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, musculoskeletal problems and more. This article has great tips on how to ergonomically optimize your workspace.

Decreases testosterone. Studies have found expansive postures (in which the body is more opened up—hands are on the hips, feet are on the desk or sitting up straight) increase testosterone levels and decrease cortisol levels, leading to higher confidence and more willingness to approach hard tasks and get them done. Postures in which the body is contracted, slouching or hunching has the opposite effect.