Are you sitting correctly? Our top ten tips for seated posture.
Most of us spend hours sitting: at work, in the car, or in front of a computer- raising the risk of back pain, sciatica and neck problems as a result. Our daily lifestyle is now much more sedentary and our spine takes much strain from poor posture and sitting positions. With this in mind here are BOOST PHYSIO’s Top 10 Tips for sitting correctly.
- Every 45min of sitting, take a mini-break for 2min and walk around to stop the back muscles from fatiguing. Prevention is better than cure! This will stop postural fatigue and pain from overloaded ligaments and muscles.
- Check your back angle when sitting- see the picture below.
- Do “The Marble Test” on your car seat to test if your car seat is stressing your back. Place a marble on the front part of your driver’s seat- if the marble rolls backwards down to the back-rest, your car seat “FAILS”. If the marble stays where it is your car seat “Passes”. When the front part of the seat pad of a chair is higher than the back part of the seat pad, this forces the lumbar spine to slouch and compresses the discs. Use a seating wedge to correct this.
- Use a lumbar roll in the small of the back (at waist level) to maintain the lumbar lordosis- this is the natural arch in the small of the back and reduces pressure on the lumbar discs.
- Sit tall in your chair with your chin slightly tucked in- this minimizes the “poking chin” posture that so many adopt when in front of a computer screen.
- Square yourself up to the computer keyboard and screen, or the steering wheel of the car. Do not sit in a twisted position.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor with your ankles beneath your knees. This gives a good foundation of support for the lower back and stops stress to the calf muscles.
- Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips and your bottom should be to the back of the seat- this enables the optimum back angle of 100 to 110 degrees.
- Avoid low, deep sofas as this decreases the back angle and pressure in the spine.
- If you are having pain regularly while sitting- come and see us at our Hendon or East Finchley High Street Clinics for postural assessment, advice and treatment.
BOOST PHYSIO in Hendon NW4 and East Finchley N2 is a leading physiotherapy clinic specialising in all musculo-skeletal injuries and conditions. We are open 8am-9pm and on Sundays too! Call us on 020 8201 7788.
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