The way we sit is something that many of us don’t put much thought into, but it can have an impact on our health. Certain seated positions could lead to long-term strain on muscles and joints or even circulatory problems. Below are a few tips for adopting a healthy sitting position.
Support your back
Your spine should ideally be resting against the back of your chair while sitting. Leaning forward while sitting at a desk or while driving a vehicle can put a lot of strain on your lower spine. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of back pain.
Try to get into a habit of sitting back against the chair. Supporting your lower back with a pillow can be beneficial if the backrest doesn’t touch your lower spine. Ergonomic office chairs are worth investing in while working at a desk as they help to support your whole back.
Back pain from poor posture can sometimes be relieved by seeing a professional such as a chiropractor. Massage therapy and hydrotherapy can work for some people too.
Support your feet
Your feet shouldn’t be dangling while sitting in a chair. They should ideally be flat on the floor in order to avoid circulatory issues.
Lowering your chair may be a solution to this if you’re using an office chair, however your desk may then be too high. Another solution could be to use a footrest (which could be anything from a small stool to a stack of books).
It’s also important that your feet aren’t uncomfortably crumpled up beneath you. This too can lead to circulatory problems or knee pain. Make sure that you’ve got enough legroom when sat somewhere and that your chair isn’t too low.
If you think you’re starting to develop pain in your feet or legs as a result of a poor sitting position, it’s worth seeing a doctor to check for any problems.
Your knees should be facing in the direction of where you’re looking while sitting down. If you have to twist your body or head to look at a computer screen or TV while sitting down, it could lead to back, shoulder or neck pain.
While working at a desk, make sure that your chair is positioned directly in front of your computer and keyboard. Similarly, make sure that your sofa is directly in front of your TV.
Strains from twisting your body may be able to be treated by a physical therapist or chiropractor.
Take a stand
On top of considering the way in which you sit, it’s important to consider how long you’re sitting down for. Regularly taking ‘breaks’ from sitting in order to stand up and walk around can help to prevent circulatory issues and strains. It can also prevent weight gain.
With some jobs it can be difficult to take regular breaks. However, if you are given the opportunity to take a break, don’t spend this sitting at your desk or in your vehicle – take the opportunity to stretch your legs for five minutes to fend off any long-term negative health effects.