Toronto: Not just our mood affects how we walk, our walk can also disclose whether a person is happy or sad, reveals fascinating research.
It found that people who were prompted to walk in a more depressed style – with less arm movement and their shoulders rolled forward – experienced worse moods than those who were induced to walk in a happier style.
“It is not surprising that our mood, the way we feel, affects how we walk but we want to see whether the way we move also affects how we feel,” said Nikolaus Troje from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
For the study, the researchers showed participants a list of positive and negative words such as “pretty,” “afraid” and “anxious” and then asked them to walk on a treadmill while they measured their gait and posture.
A screen showed the subjects a gauge that moved left or right depending on whether their walking style was more depressed or happier.
Afterwards, participants had to write down as many words as they could remember from the earlier list of positive and negative words.
“Those who had been walking in a depressed style remembered many more negative words. The difference in recall suggests that the depressed walking style actually created a more depressed mood,” Troje explained.