You may have noticed that some people tend to walk with their hands behind their backs.
If you try this yourself, however, it doesn’t feel comfortable, does it?
So, why do some people walk with their hands behind their backs, and what are the benefits – if there are any – to doing so?
It’s an interesting topic.
Here is a look at what someone’s body language is telling you when they walk with hands behind them, and what the benefits of this walking posture are:
What Are the Benefits Of Walking With Hands Behind Your Back?
Some people believe that walking with your hands behind your back can improve your posture.
While this may be true to some extent, it’s not the main reason why people do it.
The main benefit of walking with your hands behind your back is that it forces you to walk slower, and for some it’s comfortable.
Walking slower because your hands are behind your back has a number of benefits, including:
- It reduces the risk of falls
- It allows you to take in more of your surroundings
- It gives you time to think and plan ahead
- It helps you to relax and de-stress
In a world where we are always rushing around, taking the time to slow down can be very beneficial.
Walking with your hands behind your back is one way to force yourself to do just that – some do it deliberately, and some do it subconsciously for these very reasons.
There was an interesting news story published in TheGuardian in the UK that backs this up.
A headteacher at a Primary school introduced a rule stating that kids had to walk around the school with their hands behind their backs, or doing a ‘university walk’ as they called it.
The school said adopting this walking posture, “inspires children to be the best they can be.”
Why Do Older People Tend to Walk With Their Hands Behind Their Back?
It’s no coincidence that older people tend to walk with their hands behind their backs more commonly than younger people.
Older people are more likely to walk with their hands behind their back for the reasons mentioned above – to force themselves to slow down.
As we age, our balance and coordination decline, and we become more susceptible to falls.
Walking with your hands behind your back can help to prevent falls by slowing you down and improving your posture.
In addition, older people often have joint pain or arthritis, which can make walking with their hands behind their backs more comfortable.
It’s really very symbolic of the differences between young and old, isn’t it?
I remember myself being a young man, I was always in a hurry and wouldn’t slow down to take in the sights around me.
Yet, when I would observe my father or even my grandfather, I’d see them slowly pottering along with their hands behind their backs taking the time to stop and enjoy their surroundings.
Will Walking With Your Hands Behind Your Back Help Your Posture?
While some people believe that walking with your hands behind your back can help improve your posture, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
So, if you’re looking to improve your posture, you’re better off doing exercises that target the muscles that support your spine and practicing good posture throughout the day.
But if you enjoy walking with your hands behind your back, there is no harm in doing so – just don’t expect it to magically fix your posture!
Back pain or having poor posture is not something you should ignore.
If you’re dealing with any issues, you should consult a physiotherapist and act on their professional advice.
Walking With Hands Behind Back Body Language Meaning
When you see someone walking with their hands behind their back, it can send a few different signals.
It could be that the person is deep in thought and wants to keep their hands out of the way so they can think more clearly.
Or, it could be that the person is feeling anxious or stressed and is holding themselves in a way that feels more secure.
Walking with your hands behind your back can also be seen as a very confident posture, as it shows you are comfortable taking up space and not afraid to be noticed.
If you want to appear more confident, then walking with your hands behind your back is one way to do it.
It also conjures up a feeling of secrecy, almost like the person has something to hide by keeping their hands out of the way.
Meaning Behind Walking With Hands Clasped Behind Back
Walking with your hands clasped behind your back is often seen as a sign of respect.
When you clasp your hands behind your back, it shows that you are willing to listen and be open to what the other person has to say.
It’s also seen as a very formal posture, so if you are meeting someone for the first time or giving a presentation, this is a good way to come across as confident and respectful.
Clasping your hands behind your back can also make you appear more trustworthy and sincere.
On a lighter note, it’s also a good way for someone who fidgets nervously to put a stop to their idle hands.
Image credits – Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.