How do I sit properly?
Whether sitting in a work chair or on a couch, there are things we do that create predictable orthopedic problems and pain over time. Maintaining postural awareness and practicing healthy ergonomics are all the defense we have against the constant pull of gravity. Here are some ways to keep back pain at bay.
Make sure your back is at a right angle to your thighs. Maintain your thighs at a right angle to your shins. Keep your shoulders straight and squared, your head upright, and your neck, back, and sits bones aligned.
- Align your back with the back of your chair. Slide your bottom all the way back. This will help you avoid slouching or leaning forward, which you may find yourself doing after sitting too long at your desk. For variety sit close to the edge of the chair and use it like a stool. Maintain a relaxed, arched back.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
- Keep your head over your pelvis.
- Check your posture by sitting on your hands. Put your hands under your sit bones while you are sitting. Make sure that your palms are facing down. Adjust your position until you can feel the weight centered on each of your palms. This is your optimal seated position.
- Adjust your legs and keep your feet flat while sitting. Your feet should be flat on the floor, facing forward. Your ankles should be under or slightly in front of your knees.
- Don’t cross your legs or ankles. Make your thighs parallel to the floor. If your feet don’t touch the floor, use a footrest.
- Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- You should have a flat lap with your knees at or just below the level of your hips.
Find a supportive chair to help you maintain good posture. Use a chair that’s ergonomically designed for proper support, meaning it supports all of your back, even the curve at the bottom. Make sure it’s designed for your height and weight.
- If you can’t get a new ergonomic chair option, try using a small pillow for lumbar support in the small of your back.
Adjust your computer monitor to help with your posture. If you work on computers at an office, angle the monitor slightly upward so that it forces you to sit up, but not so high that you push your chin out to see it.
- You may need to move your chair up or down if you can’t angle the monitor properly.
- Adjust your chair and your position so that your arms are flexed, not straight out. Aim for roughly a 75- to 90-degree angle at the elbows. If they are too straight, you’re too far back, and if they are more than 90 degrees, you’re either sitting too close or you’re slouching.
Driving : Make adjustments to your seat to maintain good posture while driving. Adjust your seat to maintain a proper distance from the pedals and steering wheel. If you’re leaning forward, or reaching for the wheel, you’re too far away. If you are bunched up with your chin on top of the steering wheel, you’re too close.[
- Use supports for the curves of your back when possible. Adjust the head rest so the middle of your head rests against it. Your head should never be more than 4 inches (10 cm) away from the headrest while driving. Keep your back against the seat and your head against the head rest.
- Your knees should be at the same level as your hips or slightly above.
- Good posture is also important for safety in the car. Your car’s protective systems protect you best when you are sitting properly in the seat.
Secret NYOM Technique:
Using ground reaction force to achieve weightlessness and decrease biomechanichal stress.
Ground reaction force (GRF) is the force exerted by the ground on a body in contact with it. For example, a person standing motionless on the ground exerts a contact force on it (equal to the person’s weight) and at the same time an equal and opposite ground reaction force is exerted by the ground on the person. The use of the word reaction derives from Newton’s third law, which essentially states that if a force, called an action, acts upon a body, then an equal and opposite force, called reaction, must act upon the other body.
Sit at the end of your seat with your feet flat on the floor, hip with apart. Sit up straight and don’t slouch. Your head should be over your pelvis on the same line as your tailbone. Let go of any areas of tension and holding and become aware of the contact between the bottoms of your feet and the ground.
Step 1: Actively and evenly press the bottom of the feet and toes into the ground for a few seconds and feel what happens up your spine up into the neck then relax.
Step 2: become aware of the contact between the sits bones (each side of your bottom) and your chair. Actively and evenly press the butt bones into the chair for a few seconds and feel what happens up your spine up into the neck then relax.
Step 3: combine the feet and sits presses simultaneously and feel how the lumbar spine maintains a naturally supportive arch and the neck and head align effortlessly and weightlessly.
If you get tired, dial back the level of strength you are using to press and think of using the same pressure you use when pressing your hands together to pray or play “Patty-cake”.
Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Set an alarm every hour and practice standing against a wall for 2 minutes.