Most people rarely think about how they sit. Yet, sitting incorrectly for prolonged periods can lead to chronic pain due to stiff muscles and back injuries. Additionally, more people are sitting for longer periods of time each day due to the increasing use of technology in the workplace. Fortunately, most of the negative effects of sitting too much can be reduced by learning how to practice the right posture for sitting. Here is a guide to how to sit properly so that you can avoid spine pain and feel refreshed at the end of each day.
Ergonomics is simply a fancy word that describes the science of how a person’s movements and posture will affect their bodies over a period of time. When a person is sitting, the forces created by the upper body will come to rest upon a person’s lumbar region, or lower back. Those who must twist and move to access items on their desk will also place increased stress upon their lower back that can be reduced by sitting in the correct posture. Ideally, the posture you sit in should keep the vertebrae in your spine aligned so that you can avoid the types of pressure that contribute to pain.
Choose the Right Chair
To encourage a proper sitting posture, it is important to choose an ergonomic chair that promotes spinal alignment. Ideally, your chair should have four legs, but five can add additional support. It should have a firm back that allows you to rest against it without additional strain on your muscles. It should also have a flat base and be placed at the correct height for you to manage your work tasks will sitting in the correct posture.
Practice Proper Alignment
Once you have the correct chair to sit in, you will be ready to learn how to practice proper posture. Begin by sitting down in the chair and place both feet on the floor. If your feet do not reach, then raise or lower the chair until they are sitting flat. Then, check to make sure your hips are at the same level or higher than your knees. At this point, your back should be able to rest against the back of the chair without leaning or straining. If the chair has armrests, then you should also be able to place your arms on the rests without reaching up or down. While sitting, be careful not to slide forward so that you can avoid spine pain caused by slouching. If anything feels uncomfortable, then make adjustments as needed to your workspace.
Get Up and Move Around Periodically
As you begin to pay attention to your posture while sitting, it will gradually become a natural part of your movements. However, it is important to avoid prolonged sitting because this can also contribute to pain. Every 20 minutes or so, take a short break during which you can get up and walk around. Then, return to your natural sitting position. This will help you to realign your posture while promoting flexibility within your spine and joints.
Once you have learned how to practice the proper posture, it is important to implement this technique in every setting during which sitting is required. Whether you are driving your car, watching a movie or working at your desk, you can avoid spine pain by focusing on providing your lumbar region with the right type of support to keep you vertebrae aligned. Then, you can sit for longer periods of time without discomfort while knowing that you are setting yourself up for a future full of pain-free mobility and comfort.Read More