If Math made you cry too, just like me, then you sure are in for a surprise. Apparently, researchers at SFSU have now made a stunning discovery. Just a simple alteration in sitting position could change your entire outlook towards the subject.
Intrigued? Let me explain. Before taking the test, researchers asked students to rate their anxiety while taking math exam by filling out an anonymous questionnaire.
The Math Test
For the study, 125 students were asked to perform a simple math calculation i.e subtracting 7 from 843 sequentially for 15 seconds.
The challenge was to first take the test sitting up straight with shoulders squared and then taking the same test slumped over.
The results published in the journal Neuro Regulation were shocking to say the least, 56 % of the students with maths anxiety reported that they found it easier to do mathematics in the upright position. While students without Math anxiety noticed that doing math while slumped over was more difficult.
A kid’s relationship with mathematics begins as early as in elementary school and any negative perception about math is henceforth carried by the child throughout his life.
According to Professor of Health Education Erik Peper, people who are anxious about maths, posture can make a giant difference. This happens because the slumped over position shuts them down. Resulting in their brain not functioning at its optimum.
“Slumping over is a defensive posture. It triggers old negative memories in the body and brain.”
As opined by the co-author of the study and Assistant Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey.
Peper and Harvey are of the opinion that these findings can also help people prepare for other stressful situations. It is indeed both surprising and yet empowering. A simple change in body posture can help boost a student’s mathematics score.
The researchers are terming this the ‘empowered posture‘. They claim it can help optimise our focus and help us perform better in every facet of life.