The treatment of depression has predominantly focused on medication or cognitive behavioral therapy and has given little attention to the effect of body movement and postures. This study investigated how body posture during movement affects subjective energy level. One hundred and ten university students (average age 23.7) rated their energy level and then walked in either a slouched position or in a pattern of opposite arm and leg skipping. After about two to three minutes, the students rated their subjective energy level, then walked in the opposite movement pattern and rated themselves again. After slouched walking, the participants experienced a decrease in their subjective energy (p < .01); after opposite arm leg skipping they experienced a significant increase in their subjective energy (p < .01). There was a significantly greater decrease (p < .05) in energy at the end of the slouched walk for the 20% of the participants who had the highest self-rated depression scores, as compared to the lowest 20%. By changing posture, subjective energy level can be decreased or increased. Thus the mind-body relationship is a two way street: mind to body and body to mind. The authors discuss clinical and teaching implications of body posture.

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