Slouching at Work Could Cost Employees Their Jobs

9th July 2012

We read an interesting piece on HRReview about the importance of correct posture when working at your desk. The survey concludes that how you sit at your chair and desk can show to your employer your interest (or lack of it) in your job. We have summarised the article below.
Your posture at work can have a significant impact on your career, affecting your chances of recognition and promotion.

That’s the conclusion of a new study commissioned by ergonomic office specialists Fellowes and conducted by Judy James, one of the UK’s leading body language experts. James uses her body-language expertise to explain how slouching at desks can negatively affect people’s progress in their jobs and careers.

Using colourful descriptions to illustrate the different ways that people slouch, James explains the hidden messages that slumping postures can send to employers and recruitment agencies.

The “Seat-Percher” sits at the edge of his chair, with his body curled forward. This gives the impression that the worker is about stand at any moment and can indicate a lack of commitment.

The “Horizontal Slumper” sits with her bottom on the front edge of her chair as well, but slumps her torso back into the chair, conveying a feeling of disinterest. Her body language seems to say that she has no desire for the job.

The “Over-Splayer” sits slumped in his chair with his legs splayed apart or stretched out. This posture can be interpreted as arrogant and insulting. It can send a signal to a boss or manager that the worker has no respect for the job.

The “Cupped Chin Slump” worker may be absorbed in thought and concentration, but the message that the posture sends is one of boredom and fatigue.

James encourages workers to take steps to ensure that their postures convey a sense of energy. “In the current business climate,” says James, “the focus is on personal impact and presence.”

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