Wellness

Hunching over your smartphone is draining your self-confidence

Oct. 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM ET

seriously, stop staring at your smartphone
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images file

Need some incentive to dial back your texting habit? Typing on tiny devices can make you feel less confident, finds new research from Harvard Business School.

Compared to people who spent a few minutes working on small, tablet-sized devices, those who typed on regular desktop computers were nearly twice as likely to speak up during an experiment that tested assertiveness. The desktop users also spent about 30 percent less time waiting meekly during a follow-up test that measured power and self-confidence, the research shows.

(Feeling powerless on the job can undercut your professional success and your happiness at home. Discover the 2 Ways to Have More Power at Work.)

Think of the way you sit or stand while typing on a phone as opposed to a computer. While cell phones and tablets require you to hunch forward and assume a compact body position, larger devices force you to open up your pose, explains study coauthor Maarten Bos, Ph.D. Along with increasing your confidence, research shows an open posture raises your pain threshold, ups your testosterone levels, and decreases stress-linked hormones like cortisol. It can even help you attract women, according to a British study.

Why does this matter? If you spend time scrunched down over your phone before an important meeting, interview, or date, you'll feel less confident and self-assured, Bos says. There are two ways to combat this: Stay off your phone, or adopt an expansive body pose while you use it. That means keeping your legs apart, your shoulders back, and your chin up, the study authors say. Skeptical? Research proves this type of posture can help you ace an interview.

(Do you love yourself a little too much? Being narcissistic can make you permanently stressed out.)

More Links:

How Nice Guys Can Impress Women

Trash Talk: It Makes You Better!

The Fine Line Between Confidence and Cockiness

6 Steps to Become the Smartest Man at Work

© 2013 Rodale Inc. All rights reserved.

TOP