Power and Stature: Analysis of the Human Physiological Response to Stress
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Academic responsibilities for university students lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. These stressors can be categorized as acute stressors, and have been found to lead to a release of hormones that influence the cardiovascular system and initiate a stressed emotional response. It has been found that mindfulness-based approaches, such as a power pose, can be used to decrease feelings of acute stress. A power pose manipulates the body into an open, wide stance that helps increase feelings of power and dominance. If an individual engages in a power pose stance, their blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory volume values should decrease and deviate less from the baseline, suggesting a more controlled physiological response during an acute stress situation. After having participants engage in a spontaneous business pitch, we found no significant differences in blood pressure, pulse or respiratory volume measurements for participants engaging in power pose stances compared to those not engaging in power pose stances. Confounding variables, such as location and friendships, may have contributed to participants’ level of acute stress and led to the insignificance of our data. In the future, further experimentation should be done to evaluate the conditional requirements of a successful power pose.