How to Sit Properly – 3 Things You Need to Know

By September 23, 2016Ergonomics

How to sit properly is vital to the longevity of your skeleton.

 

Learn three key elements about how to sit properly. 

How is your sitting posture? 

 

How to sit properly sounds like something we should all know how to perfect. However, most of us have bad sitting habits or just aren’t aware of the correct sitting posture. Here are three things to remember next time you take to your chair.

1. For your body to function properly, it needs to move.

If you do 6 hours of continuous sitting a day, there is no amount of exercise that will undo the negative effects this has on your heart, brain, muscles and joints.

Doing exercise improves your body’s ability to counteract the negative impact sitting has, and improves virtually everything about your health.

Getting up frequently is the key to reducing the impact sitting has on your body. We recommend getting up 2 x / hour.   Stand up, reset your posture, walk a few steps, take 3-5 diaphragmatic breaths, sit back down, is all it needs to be.

Drinking plenty of fluids is not only one of the best things you can do for your health, it also gets you out of your chair.

Stand up desks are great, but don’t throw out your chair. Current recommendations are to aim for 2-4 hours of standing per day.

2. To sit properly, the way you get in and out of your chair is just as important as how you sit.  

Most disc injuries in the office occur during the transition from standing to sitting or vise versa.

The correct way to get up and down from your chair is exactly the same as performing a proper squat.

  • Out your feet in the tripod position, keep a long spine, ribcage stacked over pelvis, pelvis slightly tilted forward.
  • Perform your squat by hinging at your hips, keeping the sides of your hips relaxed.
  • Your butt should come into contact with the seat gently and controlled.
  • When getting up, don’t use your arms or try to lurch yourself up.

If you focus on the technique of getting up and down you can turn your workday into something that will actually benefit your muscles and joints.

3. Even with an expensive ergonomic chair, you still need to sit in it properly to serve any benefit.  

The way a person sits is often the root cause of their back problems.

Good posture is only hard, until it isn’t. Here are some good posture tips for sitting correctly:

  • From standing, perform a squat by hinging at your hips. Keep the sides of your hips relaxed at all times.
  • Your pelvis needs to remain in a slight forward tilt as your butt comes to rest on your seat.
  • Your weight should rest squarely on your “sitting bones”.
  • One side at a time, reach under you butt cheeks and spread them out to give you a wider base
  • Make sure your ribcage is squared directly over your pelvis.
  • Imagine your head is suspended by a wire attached to the celling.
  • As you imagine the weight of your head being supported by this wire, tuck your chin slightly and feel your shoulders relax and drop.
  • Wrap your shoulder blades around your ribcage, not back and down.
  • Your elbows should be pointed directly downward as much as possible.

If you find yourself slouching, stand up, reset your posture and sit again.

Imagine a burly, slouch-hating nun with a metre stick lurking around your office just waiting for an excuse to unleash. Don’t let her have the satisfaction.

About the Author – Dr Mike Badke.
Active Muscle and Spine is a premier musculoskeletal clinic in the CBD district of Sydney city. You can find us on George St, opposite Wynyard station.