Mom Says

Category: Strategy Published on Jun 30 2015

“Sit up straight!” How often did your mother say that to you? I know I heard it at least 1,000 times while I was growing up.

Well, it turns out that Mom may have been on to something. A study by Maarten Bos and Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School discovered that people using small devices like an iPhone were 47% less likely than someone using a desktop computer to get up and try to find out why a researcher had not returned within a specified period of time. In fact, for those who did take action, the length of time that elapsed before taking action lengthened as the size of the device shrank.

Bos and Cuddy hypothesize that the hunched posture most of us engage in when using these devices makes us less likely to exhibit power-related behaviors (in other words, we are more risk averse) than those who have been more upright.


After reading this, I started watching my own posture. I noticed that since my keyboard is located slightly lower than is optimal I was frequently hunched over. So I decided to conduct my own experiment.

I set my cell phone to remind me around 5 times a day to sit up straight. Over time, I started reminding myself when I was taking a break or talking on the phone. I am amazed at the difference I experienced in my attitude since starting this experiment.  I have had more energy and feel more positive. I’ve been taking larger risks like making sales calls. (I had been avoiding those calls for months – now I am making my target number each week.)

So, I encourage you to “Sit up straight!” and see what difference it makes in your small business.


PS Want to read more? Here is the link to the study: