There are sitting positions for good posture. Adopting the correct position to sit is essential to maintain good posture and a healthy back and spine. Sitting with a straight back and shoulders will not only improve a person’s physical health but also give him more confidence.
As technology keeps us connected to computers and electronic devices, more of us are sitting longer than ever. And our health suffers as a result. Many people spend most of the day sitting, as they tend to sit daily, at the office, at school or relax at home. Sitting for long can cause a variety of adverse health effects, including poor posture and poor back health.
While you can’t change your office job for a job that requires walking or staying active all day, there is one thing you can do to improve your health at this time: sit properly.
In this article, we examine what good posture means and explain the correct sitting positions for good posture.
What is Good Posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit, and lie down so that it exerts the least pressure on your muscles and ligaments while moving or performing exercise activities. It means that the key parts of a person’s body are correctly aligned and supported by the correct amount of muscle tension.
Good posture helps you in the following ways:
- Keeps bones and joints in the correct position (alignment) so that the muscles are used correctly.
- Reduces stress on the body during movement and exercise.
- Maintains balance while moving and exercising.
- Reduces wear on joints, muscles, and ligaments.
- Prevents back pain and muscle pain.
- Reduces the risk of muscle fatigue and excessive use.
- Prevents the spine from being fixed in abnormal positions.
- Reduces pressure on the ligaments of the spine.
Sitting Positions for Good Posture
The best position to sit depends on the height of a person, the chair he uses and the activity he performs while sitting.
A person can improve their posture and achieve good sitting positions by:
- Keeping your feet flat or place them on the floor or on a footrest.
- Avoid crossing your knees or ankles.
- Keep a small space between the back of the knees and the chair.
- Place your knees at the same height or slightly lower than your hips.
- Place your ankles in front of your knees.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Keep your forearms and knees parallel to the floor as much as possible.
- Holding the elbows at the sides creating an L-shape on the arms.
- Sitting straight and looking forward without straining the neck.
- Hold your back against the chair, or use a backrest or cushion if there are places where your back does not comfortably meet the chair, especially in the lower back area.
- Avoid sitting for long periods at a time, ideally, take a break of at least 10 minutes for every hour of sitting.
Here’s how to find sitting positions for good posture when you’re not using a backrest or lumbar support:
- Distribute your weight evenly on both hips.
- Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips. (Use a footrest or stool if necessary). Do not cross your legs.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
- At work, adjust the height of your chair and workstation so that you can sit close to your work and lean it toward you. Place your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
- When sitting in a chair that rotates and turns, do not turn your waist while sitting. Instead, turn your entire body.
- When you get up from the sitting position, move towards the front of the chair. Get up stretching your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist. Immediately stretch your back by doing standing backbends ten times.
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People who have to sit for long periods at a desk due to work or school should take special care to ensure they have sitting positions that maintain good posture.
When working on a computer for long periods of time, a person can help improve their posture by:
- Keep the monitor close to you and no more than 2 inches above the natural line of sight.
- Customization of workspaces, for example by adding footrests, wrist rests, or backrests.
- Use a standing desk to switch between sitting and standing.
- Use an ergonomic chair, a yoga ball, or a knee chair.
- Try different types of keyboard and mouse.
- Use headphones for long calls or dictate to reduce neck strain.
- Position the keyboard and mouse close to you to avoid reaching.
- Get up and move occasionally, especially in case of muscle or joint pain
Once in the correct position, try a mental exam every 10 to 15 minutes to see if the posture has changed, then correct the changes.
A person with bad posture can fix it with time, consciousness, and commitment. It may take weeks or even months for some people to see significant benefits of working on their posture. Once a person has improved their posture, they will have to work to maintain it, so they will often have to remember to recognize and correct unhealthy positions.
Sitting Positions for Good Posture While Driving
Use a back support (lumbar roller) in the back curve. Your knees should be level or taller than your hips.
- Move the seat closer to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow the knees to bend and the feet to reach the pedals.
Click on the link to read more on how to maintain a straight posture while driving.
Avoid These Sitting Positions
Anything that causes misuse or excessive use of specific muscles, ligaments or tendons can affect the posture and health of a person’s back. Some positions are worse than others due to overwork or inappropriate use of postural tissue, especially certain sitting positions.
To avoid poor posture, DO NOT:
- Sit sideways with the spine bent.
- Keep your knees, ankles or arms crossed.
- Leave your feet dangling and without properly supporting it.
- Sit for a long time in one position.
- Stretch your neck for long periods of time while looking at a monitor, phone screen or document.
- Sit in a position that does not fully support the back, especially the lower back.
- Sit for a long time without taking a break.
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Other tips to Improve Your Posture
Standing and stretching regularly can help prevent back pain.
Practicing good sitting habits is just one way to improve posture and back health. You might want to know extensively how to maintain good body posture.
Each type of posture and postural movement performed by the body involves or affects the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help support posture. Certain lifestyle factors that do not seem to be directly related to posture are indeed crucial for general postural health.
Daily tips for healthy posture and back include:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week, focusing on a combination of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activities.
- Try not to stay in one position for a long time, change position, or activity every hour.
- Use hands-free devices for long calls.
- Keep the screens at eye or chest level when reading to reduce tension in the neck and upper back.
- Sit up straight and look straight ahead when reading mobile screens or monitors.
- Lift heavy objects by bending your legs instead of using your back.
- Keep heavy loads close to the body when lifting or transporting.
- Adjust the seat while driving to support the back without forcing and allow the knees to bend.
- Place lumbar support cushions on seats, including car seats, reducing tension in the lower back.
- Wear comfortable, supportive, or orthopedic shoes when standing for long periods.
- Walk with a straight spine and try to avoid leaning or slumping.
- Swing your arms briskly and evenly when walking, jogging, or running.
- Keep baby carriers higher than hips with stroller handles at navel level.
- Alternate sides when carrying a baby for an extended period.
- Train key muscle groups when you are away from the computer by doing squats, lunges, jumps, shrugs, and pushups.
Many people spend long periods of time sitting. Sitting incorrectly, especially in the office, can be bad for the health and posture of your back. With this in mind, we decided to write this article that talks about the sitting positions for good posture.
Therefore, by knowing what a good sitting posture looks like and by following these simple rules, most people can learn to correct themselves and achieve a good posture.
It can also help to make additional lifestyle changes, such as doing a good amount of exercise and taking rest breaks during the day.
These recommendations will benefit most people who wish to achieve sitting positions for good posture. If any of these guidelines cause an increase in pain, stop the activity, and seek the advice of a doctor, chiropractor or physiotherapist.