A new study has found that students perform better at math while sitting with good posture.

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The research from San Francisco State University suggests that students who are anxious about math can see a significant improvement in their performance from a simple change in sitting posture.

“For people who are anxious about math, posture makes a giant difference,” said Erik Peper, professor of health education.

“The slumped-over position shuts them down and their brains do not work as well. They cannot think as clearly.”

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While the students without math anxiety did not report immense benefit from better posture, they did find that doing math while slumped over was slightly more difficult.

The researchers say these findings about body position can help people prepare for many different types of performance under stress, not just math tests.

Athletes, musicians and public speakers can all benefit from better posture prior to and during their performance.

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“You have a choice,” said Peper.

“It’s about using an empowered position to optimise your focus.”



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