Proper Sitting Posture at Work

Avoid the Gradual Decline of Posture 

sitting posture

The amount of wear and tear our bodies withstand in our lifetime is inconceivable. How our posture looks today is a reflection of all the previous activities and stresses that our bodies have been put under.

All this stress effects the condition that our spine are in. If posture has been neglected over the years, the spine really bears the burden. I personally had to change my sitting posture because of a recent injury to my lumbar spine. I suffered a disc herniation (L5 – L6) injury as a result of a rugby tackle.

Im sure that all of us have experienced some type of lower back pain when sitting down. Sitting used to be the worst in terms of accentuating the pain, I had to convert to standing most of the time. Now that I can sit again without pain, I decided to take the right precautions and learn how to sit properly in order to avoid ruining my body and re-injuring myself.

If your in a desk almost the entire day, and CANNOT stand, you will be interested in seeing the correct way to sit at your desk!

Sitting properly can help avoid the symptoms that come with poor posture. Some of these bad sitting posture symptoms include impinged nerves and blood vessels, problems with muscles, joints, and discs.  Developing the right posture habits can go a long way in helping avoid chronic illnesses later in life!

Poor sitting posture

What Is Correct Posture? And How Can You Achieve It?

Correct posture is achieved when all your body parts are in-line with another. So that our body is in perfect balance and each body part is optimally supporting one another. We are always changing postures throughout the day, from sitting to standing. These postures are going to appear different from one another. But since we are at the office all day, we are most likely going to be sitting!

The first step to a correct ergonomic sitting posture is self-reflection. No I don’t mean self reflecting in a sense of your life! I mean you must understand your own posture before you can correct it!

Tools to Help Understand Your Posture

So how do we fix our sitting posture when we don’t know whats wrong with it in the first place? The answer is we cannot fix it without knowing first what is wrong with it!

Here are two ways to analyze your own sitting posture:

1. Use a mirror to detect asymmetries and misalignments of the body. I would suggest looking from a saggital plane (side view) in order to detect the flaws.

2. Get advice from someone who knows what they are doing – a chiropractor, physiotherapist or even a knowledgable friend. It is sometimes hard to know what we are doing wrong without a second opinion on it.

Like i said before there are many health benefits of a good posture, so please invest sometime into your health.

Sitting Posture at the Office

Great! now that you know what you’ve been doing wrong, I want to tell you what a correct ergonomic sitting posture looks like and how to accomplish it.

1. I want you to get rid of any predetermined ways of how you think you should be sitting. It’s not just about sitting straight! Cool, now lets get on to it.

2. Sit upright, your bum should be touching the back of your chair in order for increased spinal support.

3. All three curves of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar) should be present. If need be, you can place a towel underneath yourself. This will help achieve the normal curvature of the spine. It will also take pressure off the bottom of your spine and help relieve back pain when sitting down.

4. Distribute your body weight evenly between both hips and make sure your knees are close to the same height as your pelvis. Knees should be slightly past 90 degrees. Do not cross your legs! Feet should be pressed firmly on the floor. If you cannot reach the floor, perhaps there is a stool lying by that is the perfect height for placing your feet on.

5. Always try to keep your core engaged when sitting. It will help stabilize your body and keep pressure off your lower back. This is one of the most important steps. We as humans are lazy, ill admit it, when we let the laziness overcome us that is when real problems present themselves. Maintain an active seated position (core slightly engaged at all times)

6. If you are familiar with yoga, roll your shoulders back (together) and down as if you were coming into shavasna. Arms should be placed at 90 degrees or lower.

7. Arrange your monitor or whatever you are looking at at eye height so you avoid putting strain on your shoulders and neck. For every 1 degree that your head is projected forward, it adds another 10 pounds of weight that your neck must carry!

correct sitting posture

AVOID TWISTING AT ALL COSTS.. I know it feels good to here that “pop.” But let me assure you, you are not helping yourself one bit.

There you go! You are one step closer at achieving perfect sitting posture.

And remember…
Be conscious of how long you sit for. Always strive to stand up after 15-30 minutes of sitting. When you do get up, proceed to do 10 backbends to relieve some of that pressure off your low back. 

Let me know what you think? How does your sitting posture compare?

8 Comments

  • Bradley Kaufman

    Reply Reply December 30, 2015

    Haha, wow! First off, Love the title! It really got me. I was like, what the… Exercise at the desk? I loved it. When I kept reading on and I saw your little picture of that dude with the poor posture and it had “killing” right next to it, I laughed and straightened up my posture because that literally looked like me and how I was reading it. Haha I loved it! Thanks for the Post :)

  • admin

    Reply Reply December 31, 2015

    Thanks man I appreciate the feedback!, hopefully you learned a little bit from it:)

  • PJ

    Reply Reply January 3, 2016

    Great post on posture. Nowadays posture is not emphasized as much as it used to be. But you’re right on the money with your 7 tips for correct ergonomic sitting posture. Immediately I sat up straight and threw my shoudlers back. The slimping position that too many people take is going to really hurt htem later in life.

    My motto: make good habits as soon as you can and break bad habits before they break you.

    • Dylan

      Reply Reply January 3, 2016

      Thanks for the comment, I couldn’t agree with you more. We are the reflection our habits (especially later in life), so we might as well make great ones!

  • dan700

    Reply Reply January 3, 2016

    Great advice! I know that I’m doing it all wrong when I sit at the desk. Sometimes I try to keep the right posture, but because of the pressure on the lower back I soon give up. You already gave some great information about how to reduce that pressure on the lower back, but do you maybe have some ideas on how to train the lower back muscles to become stronger? Thanks in advance.

    • Dylan

      Reply Reply January 3, 2016

      Hey dan700 thanks for the comment man! Keeping perfect posture throughout the day is a very tough thing to do especially for those of us who have low back issues such as myself (herniated disc). All though it may feel better to slouch and hunch over, it is actually causing us more harm which sucks! The problem is that sitting makes our low back very tight so instead of strengthening it specifically (which is a misconception that people usually think we should do) we should try and strengthen muscles that support the lower back such as the abs and stretch muscles that make the back tight such as the hip flexors etc. I will be posting a blog about this in the short future!

  • Mishyboo

    Reply Reply February 5, 2016

    Hi Dylan,

    This is a really useful site, I’m sat here now writing this on my PC and my back hurts! After looking through your website, I’m now sitting up straight! So your website has already done me good!! X:-).

    So many people suffer with back pain because of the amount of time they are sat at computers. A lot of younger people are suffering from it too whilst studying so you will definitely appeal to the younger audience, which I think are sometimes forgotten when we read or hear about back pain sufferers.

    Wish You all the Best In Your Endeavours!

    Thanks For Sharing!

    Mishyboo! X:-).

    • Dylan

      Reply Reply February 5, 2016

      Hey thanks for the comment! I am glad that I could be of some help to you, and yes it is a serious problem and as our society advances we are transitioning from hands-on jobs to more desk computer jobs

      It is my job to inform people on how to stay fit and healthy at the office, if you have any questions feel free to ask

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