The 10-second life coach: Sit up straight and just watch your thoughts fall into line

The 10-second life coach: Sit up straight and just watch your thoughts fall into line

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UPDATED:

07:13 GMT, 3 September 2012

Do you find yourself slumped and unmotivated in front of your computer at work

Take a look at the position of your monitor. Is the centre of it above, below or level with your eyeline According to research, its position could be having a significant effect on your productivity.

In the 1980s, John Riskind from Texas A&M University decided to examine the effect of posture on persistence. Riskind placed participants in one of two positions. Half were in a slumped position, with their backs hunched and heads dropped down. The others were made to sit upright, with their shoulders pulled back and heads held high.

A study of people's posture and productivity showed that those who slouched, as pictured, persevered about half as long as people who sat up

Bad habit: A study of people's posture and productivity showed that those who slouched, as pictured, persevered about half as long as people who sat up

After sitting for three minutes, each participant was asked to try to solve geometric puzzles. Many were impossible as Riskind was interested only in how long the participants kept going in the face of failure. He noted how those who had previously been sitting up straight persevered for almost twice as long as the slouchers.

More recently, other psychologists asked participants to sit at a computer and work on a complex problem. The monitor was placed low, causing participants to slump, and then slightly above their eyeline, causing participants to sit up straight.

Once again, those with their head held high persevered for longer. To ensure maximum motivation, place the centre of your monitor slightly above your eyeline.

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