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The Correlation Between Slouching & Performance

Quite frequently I'm talking about the consequences of unregulated phone and technology usage for your (business) performance and degree of vitality. And so I'm going to touch upon this topic briefly again because (as you already know) true transformation is found in consistency and follow-up.

See, a brain addicted to cheap dopamine is rushing and doing more but doesn’t see what truly matters. Besides, ongoing phone usage without a certain degree of self-regulation will reduce your baseline levels of the neuromodulators responsible for motivation (dopamine) and contentment (serotonin) significantly overtime.

But there is more to it. Excessive phone usage directly affects blood circulation in your brain which leads to reduced concentration, lower energy levels and compromised mood as it equals cervical flexion or rounding of the neck area of spine.

There’s an interesting research paper outlining that this compresses the arteries that supply the brain with blood. Independent of what your performance goals and intentions are for this year and beyond, this will sabotage your process significantly (1). This of course also applies to working behind a laptop in a slouched position for multiple hours per day. Especially without intentional breaks approximately every 30 minutes.

But let's talk solutions. Here are three strategies worth exploring to counter this effectively:

Firstly, start hanging passively for a total of 5 minutes per day. So I'm not saying pull ups or 'active scapula depression'. Just passively. Literally 'hang out'. You can use a bar, a tree, gymnastic rings or even a door post if none of the previous are in your direct environment.

It will not only serve as a counter movement to excessive spinal rounding, it will also decompress your entire spine effectively. Ideally, - but this is only for the realest of renegades looking to truly enhance performance & vitality;)- you would also explore and engrain upside down hanging for multiple minutes every single day. This will aid (g)lymphatic circulation in your brain cleaning out cellular waste thus making all neurological signaling more efficient.

Secondly, explore working for a couple working blocks each day in the position demonstrated in the image below.

See this will extend and open up your spine through all 3 major areas. Definetely something most people need more of. This strategy is especially easy to implement for entrepreneurs and professionals working from home.

Thirdly, explore the potency of neck isometrics.

These are not only effective in correcting for excessive rounding of the neck, they will also help to reduce tightness and excessive tension. To do so work in all directions and activate your neck muscles by pressing against your hands.

Now, take this information and explore it yourself through direct experience. Do this and observe the transformative effects it has on your ability to focus, your energy levels, mood and how it reduces excessive tension in the upper back region.

More vitality & (business) impact await on the other side.

- Niko

(1) Katz, A. Et al, 2019. Increase in cerebral blood flow indicated by increased cerebral arterial area and pixel intensity on brain magnetic resonance angiogram following correction of cervical lordosis.

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