Excellent posture has the added benefit of lowering stress levels, but it turns out that it can also affect how well you learn and remember new things.
Photo by Joe Loong.
Inspired by a language-learning tip from our friends at io9, we did a bit of research and found that having great posture can make way for more efficient learning and increased memory retention. The Brainscape blog explains that when you're learning something, you're also taking in different factors that can affect how well you remember it:
According to a study conducted at Florida State University, researchers found out that "congruent body posture" significantly improved access to and retention of autobiographical memories in both young and adult people (Dijkstra, 2005). Therefore, we can say that posture is in some way affecting our ability to recall specific types of memories. But how so? The suggestion seems to be that when you remember something you are also reminded of the "state" of learning, a concept that not only includes posture but also emotions and surrounding environment. Bad posture can therefore be a hindrance to effective learning merely because we later interpret it as an "incongruent" positioning of the body.
They later go on to explain that learning efficiently requires a mix of physical and mental improvements. So while better posture isn't necessarily the number one answer to increased memory retention, it can certainly play a significant role in how well you learn new things. Take a look at our guide on how to ergonomically optimise your workspace for ways to improve your posture.