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Anxious? My chairs will spot it

Dr Peter Luck is pushing his own version of choice in the consulting room ­ by giving patients the pick of two chairs as an insight into their mental health.

Dr Luck's research has found that patients who are anxious or depressed are more likely to sit on the chair to their left than the mentally healthy, who prefer a right-hand seat.

He said: 'It's an extra way of alerting the GP these people may have psychological problems. Most people have a stronger focus to their left ­ that's why in cinemas seats on the right fill up quicker. People's attention is affected when they are anxious.'

Dr Luck's study of 756 people attending his surgery, published in the latest issue of Laterality, found 58 per cent of those with high scores on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale chose the left-hand seat, but 30 per cent of others.

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