I know I’ve been guilty of it, (and I’m almost certain you have too!), even though it’s really not all that difficult to maintain a good sitting posture, it can seem like a lot of effort to do so.
But, having said that, people are doing this all the time, sitting hunched over their computers, almost as if the screen is so small they can’t quite make out what it is they’re looking at.
Then there’s what looks like the “I don’t want to be here” sloucher.
I’ve seen it all too often, have you?
Of course you have and it’s almost tempting to join in and have a little lie down, on your chair, at your desk, all while you’re working.
However tempted you are, you should refrain from doing the same, make sure you’re the one at work who does maintain a good sitting posture.
Why should you maintain a good sitting posture?
By not maintaining a good sitting posture you’re leaving yourself wide open to a long list of tight muscles, here are just some of them:
- Sternocleidomastoid and the Scalene muscles (front neck)
- Pectoral muscles (chest)
- Rotator muscles in your shoulders and upper back
These tight muscles lead to all sorts of posture problems and the aches and pains that comes along with it:
- forward head posture, this is when your head is too far forward and is not aligned with your spine and can cause added pressure on the muscles surrounding your neck – this can lead to unbearable neck pain.
- rounded shoulders, which is when your shoulder girdle is further forward than it should be, again can lead to increasing pain within the shoulders and your neck too.
- hunch back is when you have an exaggerated arch in your upper back, this decreases mobility within the upper body, not to mention the extra pressure your spine takes too.
Even if you do know how to sit properly to maintain good sitting posture, sitting for long periods of time without stretching causes your hip flexors to tighten, this leads to other postural problems such as developing sway back and a tilted pelvis too.
It’s amazing how many problems you can face by not maintaining a good sitting posture or sitting for long periods of time.
So by just learning how to sit properly you can effectively eliminate the risks that are involved with not sitting properly.
So what is good sitting posture?
Knowing how to sit properly in order to have good sitting posture really is very straight forward, which is why it amazes me not everyone is doing it.
It’s a real surprise to see how many people are suffering with poor posture just because of the way they sit at work or even at home, if anything you should be using a good enough chair for your needs such as a good back supporting office chair.
Now, it’s time to show you how you too can achieve good sitting posture no matter where you are, at home or at work.
Good sitting posture doesn’t just mean you only have to keep your back straight but rather your whole body should be in it’s optimal position, unless of course you want to experience some of the issues detailed above that is!
This starts with the legs.
Your legs should be in such a position where they are relaxed and your feet should be flat on the floor. You should have no less than a 90° angle between your upper and lower leg.
If you have less than a 90° angle between your upper and lower leg try boosting your seat up until you do have and also your feet are flat on the floor.
The same goes if you can’t keep your feet flat on the floor, try using a foot rest under your desk so that you can have your feet flat.
Next up is your back.
You know that thing that sticks up behind you, attached to the back of your chair, that’s the back rest and you really should be using it.
Most desk chairs are in some way designed to support your back, so let it do it’s job.
Good sitting posture means your back should be straight, in it’s correct posture alignment, with your lower back being supported in order to maintain the arch in your lower back.
If you make sure to sit right back on your chair and keep your lower back supported this will help stop the tendency to start slumping or hunching forwards.
The position of your head matters too!
You may well be thinking, “How can the position of my head be affecting my posture?”, well I’m afraid it can and it’s such a simple thing to change in order to fully have correct sitting posture.
You should be sitting with your head back in it’s neutral position and your monitor should be directly in front of you. If you’re like me and use a laptop and have no choice but to look down then make sure to keep your head neutral and look down with your eyes.
This is to avoid putting strain on your neck. If you are looking down at your monitor this tightens the muscles in the front of your neck which can lead to developing forward head posture.
Let’s not forget your arms.
This is probably the least obvious point to remember when maintaining correct sitting posture, who actually thinks of their arms when it comes to posture?
Keeping your upper arms parallel to your upper body, rest your hands up on your desk space, at this point you should have a 90° angle at your elbow. If you do not you should either raise or lower your chair until you do.
Using arm rests is a great way to maintain this position and also helps to take the strain off of your shoulders.
A little bonus about using the arm rests, this is also an excellent way to stop you hunching forwards, which is the main reason most people cannot maintain a good sitting posture.
I personally don’t use a chair with arm rests because I’m used to sitting properly and don’t feel I need them anymore, that’s not to say you shouldn’t use them because you should.
So now you know how to sit properly, it’s up to you to adjust your seated position so you too can maintain good sitting posture.
Just sitting properly while using a suitable chair you can greatly reduce postural related pains, such as lower back pain, while also improving your overall posture at the same time.
With more and more people sitting down more often and for longer periods of time, it’s no wonder so many people don’t have good sitting posture.
Good sitting posture is merely just one aspect of achieving correct posture, however, you can learn more about what correct posture is and also how you can improve it over on the correct posture 101 page.
I hope you have learned something here and that now, you too, know how to sit properly in order to maintain good sitting posture.
Remember, taking this simple actionable step will greatly improve your efforts to maintaining correct posture.
Is your work chair good enough to maintain good sitting posture? If not, is your boss willing to make the changes and get you one? Let me know in the comments below….