Hormones and Posture

Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy


Research conducted at the Harvard Business School by Professor Amy Cuddy indicates that body language affects hormone levels. When participants in a study deliberately positioned themselves in a power stance like Wonder Woman, wide open with arms raised, they had significantly increased levels of testosterone and decreased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. When participants positioned themselves in a more submissive stance by crossing their arms and legs, appearing more closed and smaller in size, it produced the opposite effects on testosterone and cortisol. These changes in hormone levels could be produced by holding the posture for as little as two minutes. Cuddy believes that posture not only influences outcomes; it can also lead to long-term changes in our personalities.