If you are an office worker you probably spend at least six or seven hours a day sitting on the job. Add more time sitting in the car, at dinner and lounging with some late night TV and the total hours of sitting rockets up to somewhere around ten hours.
When is the last time you thought about how you sit? Probably never or a long, long time ago.
Promise yourself that you’ll take a critical look at how you sit after you read this article. If you are sitting and reading this online, go ahead and freeze right now and really think about how you are sitting. Compare
your sitting position to this checklist:
Proper Sitting Posture Checklist
- Sit with your legs uncrossed with ankles in front of the knees.
- Place both feet firmly on the floor. Get yourself a footrest if your feet don’t reach.
- Your knees should be lower than your hips and the back of your knees should not touch the seat.
- If your chair has an adjustable backrest, move it to support the arch in your low back. If you don’t have a backrest, ask your employer about getting one or invest in it yourself.
- Get up and move around every hour. Take a break from sitting even if you cannot stop working. Make a phone call standing up or close your office door and lie down for a few minutes on your stomach. At the
very least, shift your sitting position occasionally.
Why Sitting Posture is Important
Good posture is important for long term health and disease prevention just like daily tooth brushing. And, similar to tooth brushing, habits are formed early and can be hard to break later in life.
Good sitting posture reduces the stress and strain on ligaments. Ligaments are responsible for holding the joints together, so ligament stresses can make you prone to joint injuries. Proper posture also reduces muscle fatigue. When muscles are able to work efficiently they use less energy and don’t get tired as easily. Abnormal motions or positions that are repeated over and over again on a daily basis are contributors to degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
Most adults would readily agree that posture is important. Most of that group would also admit that they don’t actively think about posture…it just happens. For the next 30 days, make an effort to really think about your posture and pause a couple times per day to compare your current position to the checklist provided above. It takes about 30 days of focus to break an old habit or develop a new one, so if you concentrate on your sitting
posture for 30 days, you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of better musculoskeletal health.
As always, if you need a recommendation for a good chair or back rest, ask Dr Kollias or Dr. Karen because in most cases they would recommend one of the following products to you to reduce the amount of pressure on the lower back as you sit. Their first recommendation would likely be the Back Vitalizer (pictured on the right) as it is something that inflates with air so it can be tailored to the exact chair you are using. It can also be something that rests behind the lower back or a device you can sit on as well.
Another great option to aiding proper alignment of the lower back while sitting would be a product called the Back Huggar (pictured on the left). This is a foam support that comes in two sizes which vary in thickness to form appropriately to different styles of chairs and offer diverse levels of support.
As always, keep in mind that making these small changes can create large changes in how your body feels! Please let our staff know if we can be of assistance in helping you find what works best for your work station or home office.
Sheldon Road Chiropractic & Massage Therapy
10930 Sheldon Road
Tampa, FL 33626