10-second life coach: How to boost your mood through the way you walk
09:11 GMT, 24 September 2012
Almost every aspect of your behaviour, including the way you walk, can have an impact on the way you feel.
If you want to cheer yourself up in an instant, try changing something that you would rarely even notice, such as the way you move across a room.
Research shows there are only six basic walking styles.
Kate Moss, here walking for the Louis Vuitton Ready to Wear Spring / Summer 2012 collection, is a definite 'Strider'.
Striders, for example, take long steps, walk with a bounce and let their arms swing back and forth.
In contrast, shufflers take small steps and have drooping shoulders.
It was also found people associate each
of the styles with different emotions, with ‘striders’ perceived as
happy and ‘shufflers’ as sad.
John Cleese in the Monty Python sketch 'The Ministry of Funny Walks'.
Psychologist Sara Snodgrass, from
Florida Atlantic University, wanted to discover whether changing the way
people walked would influence how they felt.
While pretending to be conducting a study
on the effect of physical activity on heart rate, Snodgrass asked
people to take a three-minute walk in one of two ways.
Half of the participants were asked to take long strides, swing their arms, and hold their head high.
The rest took short strides, shuffled, and watched their feet.
After enacting this real-life version of Monty Python’s Ministry Of Silly Walks, everyone rated how happy they felt.
Those who took long strides felt happier than those who shuffled.
So keep your head up, roll your shoulders back and walk tall — you’ll soon have a genuine spring in your step.
THE SIX BASIC WALKING STYLES
With a bit of practice, you could soon have the smooth, confident gait of the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Stride: Long steps with a bounce, arms swinging.
Message: self-confident, independent, successful.
The Shuffle: Small steps: pigeon-toed, drooping shoulders.
Message: meek and disorganized.
The Duckwalk: Toes point out and body swings from side to side.
Message: impulsive, independent, charming.
The Chopped-up Walk: Short, heavy steps.
Message: unfriendly and frustrated.
The Mince: Short, prim steps.
Message: submissive, not self-assured.
The Swagger: Shoulders back and hips swaying.
Message: not self-confident, unsympathetic
■ Rip It Up by Richard Wiseman is published by Pan Macmillan at 12.99. To order a copy for 10.99, call 0843 382 0000 or visit mailshop.co.uk/books