Feeling downtrodden about work? It may not be the work itself that’s doing it but the fact that you’re hunching over your desk. That, at least, is what a recent study on the connection between posture and emotional states and behaviors has found.
In this study, researchers sat participants at two kinds of desks: a big desk, which required grand, powerful movements to navigate; and a small, cramped desk, which forced participants into smaller positions. Participants were first asked to complete anagrams and then given the answers and asked to grade their own papers. The study concluded that those who sat at the bigger desks were far more likely to cheat and change their answers than those who sat at the smaller desks. The study found they felt more powerful and entitled.
How Ergonomics Affects Our Behavior
This article in Fast Co Design does an excellent job of breaking down these results, while also suggesting other ways that the ergonomics of our built environment affects our behavior. It’s an oft-ignored but all too important issue when it comes to office life. If body posture and comfort affect how we perceive our own happiness, satisfaction, motivation and drive, implementing good ergonomic design is crucial not just for productivity in the workplace, but also for continued engagement, creativity and innovation. After all, employees who don’t feel very good about themselves will spend more time focusing inward than on making the kind of impact that will change a company for good.
How does your office design affect how you feel? Let us know in the comments below.