It’s not news that a lot of us spend too much time on our smartphones. However, some research has shown that prolonged usage of phones instead of larger, more open devices like a desktop, can have a negative impact in our posture, mood and confidence.
Photo by Marc Smith.
The concept is consistent with the idea of adopting power poses to help think more confidently. When we use phones or tablets, we hunch over and devote more of our space to a very small area. In contrast, sitting at a laptop or a desktop allows us plenty of room to sit upright, stretch out our arms, legs, shoulders and neck, and take up more space in general. As the researchers at Harvard Business School found:
Participants interacting with smaller devices were less assertive than participants interacting with larger devices. Consistent with previous findings, we found that expansive body postures — in this case, induced by the size of the device with which one interacted — lead to more power-related behaviours.
You don’t have to stop using your phone altogether, of course. However, before you do something that requires you to exercise confidence — be it a social gathering or a meeting — try working from a larger workstation. Even the act of shutting your phone off can reduce stress. Check out 99u’s post below for more tips to use your body language to increase confidence.