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The Guide: How to Sit Comfortably

Woman reading a book at a table

If you asked us to think back to a patient who came in and said that they didn’t sit too much, we’d be stumped! Perhaps it’s because even with our knowledge on a sedentary lifestyle being linked to poor health consequences, we as practitioners are often guilty of sitting too much. Perhaps, it’s hearing from parents that they can’t get their kids to play outside because they are infatuated with the latest video game or tv show. Or perhaps it’s simply because Time Magazine has called sitting “the new smoking.”

Regardless of the health consequences of sitting, it is part of our daily life. Therefore, let’s make sure we have the best possible posture. Here’s a quick guide to how to determine if you’re sitting properly (and comfortably).

To test if a seat works well for your body:

  1. Sit on the chair in an upright position with both feet on the floor.
  2. Take a deep breath in, breathe all the way out, relax all of your muscles and let your body slump to whatever position is most comfortable and feels most natural.

Signs of a Negative Test

Your shoulders/head/torso roll forward, your breath is short, or you feel any discomfort. If this is the case, check the following:

  • Chair is flat on floor or back slightly raised  (A seat wedge is a great tool!)
  • Knees are slightly lower than your hips
  • Your bottom and back are positioned at the back of the chair, to avoid leaning back onto it
  • Head rest is not pushing your head forward

Make these changes and repeat the test. 

Signs of a Positive Test

You are sitting upright with minimal slouching; your breath is deep and goes all the way into your stomach and your position is engaging all of your spinal curves without discomfort.

Some Other Considerations

  • Position your computer screen or laptop directly in front of you to avoid turning your head so much. If you use two monitors, switch the main display every week.
  • Your monitor should be just slightly below eye level to avoid shoulder and neck tension. Here’s a great Amazon find that will help position your laptop.
  • Follow the “90-90-90 rule”: When seated, there should be a 90 degree angle at your hips, knees and ankles with feet flat on the floor.

We hope that you are able to make any seat work for your body. If you’re ready to correct your posture and improve your health from head to toe, contact us at 630-537-1781!

Please note that your nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body and cannot function properly when it is stressed. So, the way you sit everyday may be doing more harm than good. We will help you address the underlying problems that are creating negative effects from sitting posture.

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