The study (iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects Our Behavior) proposes that working on a large device, like a desktop computer, causes users to act more assertively than working on a small one—like a phone or tablet.
The finding is built off of prior studies that 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 take risks, while postures in which the body is contracted, slouching or hunching has the opposite effect.
Unfortunately, with the amount of time we spend on our small devices each day, we are hunching a lot.
The article states, “Americans spend an average of 58 minutes per day on their smartphones, according to a recent report from Experian Marketing Services. Talking accounts for only 26 percent of that time. The other 73 percent is devoted to texting, e-mail, social networking and web-surfing – in other words, activities spent hunched over a little screen.”
You can read more about the study the researchers conducted here, but you may want to think twice when pulling out your phone before a big meeting—it might make you more timid.
“We won’t tell anyone not to interact with those devices just before doing something that requires any kind of assertiveness,” says Maarten Bos, a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Business School, who co-wrote the study. “Mostly because people won’t listen: they will do it anyway. But if you realize that, ‘hmm, I’m pretty quiet during this meeting,’ then maybe you should pay attention to how devices impacted your body posture beforehand.”
What do you think?
P.S. If you need help sitting up straight, don’t forget to check out BackJoy’s Posture+!