8 Best Ways to Maintain Proper Sitting Posture
Maintaining a proper sitting posture is essential for a healthy back and spine. When you are sitting correctly, your body is aligned in a manner that do not cause much strain to the relevant muscles. This will decrease the likelihood of feeling discomfort or pain, especially after you have been sitting for long periods of time.
Proper sitting posture involves training your body to position itself in a certain manner, such as placing your feet firmly on the floor. You may not be used to some of these sitting configurations at first, but you will grow familiar with the routine over time. It could take practice to develop a habit of sitting in the right posture.
Remember, a little discomfort is normal as your body tries to grow familiar to the new sitting arrangement. If the pain persists, you may need to consult your chiropractor to rule out the possibility of a more serious condition.
The following techniques will guide you in adopting a proper sitting posture:
1. Position Your Hip and Knee Joints
To achieve a proper sitting posture, start by positioning your lower body correctly. Ensure your knees make a ninety degrees angle when bent. They should also be even or a bit higher than your hips, which do not necessarily have to maintain the ninety degrees angle.
Instead, push them as far back as possible to make an angle at one hundred and twenty degrees. You may opt to use a footrest or a stool if necessary. In addition, do not cross your legs as this will interfere with your desired posture.
2. Keep Your Feet Flat on the Floor
Keeping your feet flat on the floor is an essential step of achieving proper sitting posture. This can be a challenge if your seat is set too high, or maybe you do not have the height for it. However, you can compensate for the height difference by using a footrest or stool instead. You can also place a thick book under your feet for support.
It is important to note that you should steer clear of resting the outside of your foot on the floor. You should also resist the temptation to twist your ankles. In addition, you should avoid tucking your knees beneath your seat or stretching them outwards.
3. Sit Upright
While sitting, the weight of your body moves from the pelvis to the chair. There are two knob-like bones at the bottom of the pelvis, technically known as ischial tuberosity, whose purpose is to help you sit. Your body is aligned, and your weight is evenly distributed if you are right on top of these bones.
If your weight is on the front side of these sitting bones, then your back tends to be arched, tightening the muscles. If it is on the back, it means you are slumping, and this can lead to disc injury.
The surface of your chair has a lot of impact on your posture. It is not easy to feel your sitting bones when resting on a properly cushioned chair. Seats with a dip may force you to sit in a slumped manner, which will affect your sitting posture. In such a case, try to sit close to the edge since it is often flat.
4. Preserve Your Lower Lumbar Curve
Typically, when you view your body in profile, you will notice that the lower back has a slight forward-sweeping curve. You know you are sitting in the right posture if you can slide your hand in the gap between your lower back and the back of your chair.
However, if you overarch your back, it may cause your muscles to strain or spasm. If you find yourself in a slumping position, you can correct this by investing in a lumbar cushion. Often, people who spend most of their time driving use this cushion to aid them in maintaining the right posture in case their muscles get weak or tired.
5. Take a Deep Breath
You may be wondering how breathing affects your sitting posture. Well, let’s start by understanding how breathing works. When you inhale, your breathing muscle (also known as the diaphragm) moves downward to expand the lungs with air. This vertical movement is what contributes to an upright posture.
To demonstrate, take a deep breath and observe how your posture changes. Put this muscle to work for you by using the diaphragmatic breathing technique.
6. Check Your Shoulders
Lowering your shoulder blades, which are the flat triangular bones on your upper back, may help support your head and neck even better. Your shoulders should not be arched towards your hips. If they are, you will need to move your trunk backwards. This might look complicated, but you just need to ensure your shoulders are vertically aligned to your hips.
7. Bring Your Head Back
You may have come across the name ‘kyphosis,’ which is a condition where the upper body and head appear a bit ahead of the rest of the trunk. After completing the above sitting posture techniques, it is time to bring your head back. In an ideal situation, your ears should perfectly align with your shoulders.
There are, however, some conditions that could make this difficult or impossible. If this is the case, there is no need to force it. Do what is within the limits of your threshold for pain and ability. The idea is to keep you healthy and not to cause further problems. Consult with a physiotherapist to ensure that your body is in full functioning condition.
8. Take Regular Breaks
If you have been sitting for a long period of time, get up from your seat and move around. Failure to do this may reduce blood flow and result in muscle fatigue. During this break, there are some minor exercises you can do to aid blood circulation. Such exercises include calf raises and shoulder shrugs, and if you have the space for some lunges and squats, go ahead and indulge.
Many short breaks are more effective than a few long breaks. Get up from your chair every thirty minutes and walk around for one or two minutes. This simple routine will keep your body in perfect condition.