Finding the correct sitting posture is easy; maintaining it is where it gets difficult.
If you know that you have to sit up straight and have a workstation that comforts your back, you’re halfway there.
Your muscles get tired especially keeping straight for long periods. How do you know you’re genuinely sitting correctly? Here are a few tips.
Distribute Your Weight
First, sit on your chair where half of your thigh is on the chair, and the other half is off it. If necessary, scoot forward. Position both your feet flat and firmly on the floor.
This position allows you to distribute some of your weight through your feet, and away from your spine.
Moving forward in your chair makes you slightly slouch away from the backrest, and you no longer have back support.
The solution to this problem depends on what chair you have. Some have backrests that let you move forward or backward and still give you support.
If you do have a chair that has a fixed back, try doing one of the following tips:
- Fold a pillow in half – Place the pillow between the chair and your back at about the same level as your belly button.
- Roll up a towel – It should form a roll about 6 inches in diameter. As you would with the pillow, basically place it between the chair and your lower back.
- Buy a lumbar support roll – The two mentioned above are useful as temporary fixes, but they’re not able to give you support all the time. You may need a different type of support, and a pillow or towel can only do as much.
The benefit of buying a lumbar support roll is that they have several straps that can be attached to your chair so that it’s in position at all times.
Adjust the Height of Your Chair
Make sure that your knees are level with your hips, or just slightly below. You can do this by adjusting the height of your chair.
This is vital because if your chair is low, your hips will be lower than your knees. This gives way to a slumped sitting posture and puts stress on the discs, ligaments, and muscles of your lower back.
Alternatively, if your knees are below your hips or level with them, it makes it easier for you to sit up straight. You get a better posture for your lower back this way, which in turn provides better posture for your neck and upper back.
Find Your Neutral Spine
First, position your legs and do this by rolling your pelvis and hips backward to round out your lower back. Next, move them forward and arch your lower back.
With this position, you are indeed sitting up straight, and your lower back is extremely arched.
From here, lightly roll your pelvis and back a little, maintaining your straight position. However, rather than having your back in an arched position, it’s in the middle of being slumped and arched.
From here, raise your arms with elbows bent so you can position your shoulders (think of the “stick up” position).
Then, pull your elbows back so that you are letting your shoulder blades “touch.”
When your arms are back as you can let them be, gradually lower your elbows to your sides.
One thing you need to pay attention to is to not shrug your shoulders up toward the ears. Ensure that while your shoulders are down, your shoulder blades are “touching.”
Do this as if you are trying to pull them down toward your back pockets. Finally, pull your ears back over the shoulders.
All these may feel a little awkward at first, but doing these makes your body feel more accustomed to a correct sitting posture. It will feel more natural when you get used to it.
If you don’t maintain good posture and doing the correct sitting posture, you’re just asking for neck and back pain problems.
By making the necessary adjustments to the way you seat – and maybe throwing in a couple of posture exercises – you will be able to sit up straight and feel good while you’re at it.
Save yourself from the pain you can avoid through correct sitting posture.