We all sit from time to time, but what we fail to do is to sit properly. Proper sitting posture helps you control the force of gravity in your body preventing musculoskeletal injuries while you sit for prolonged periods. A proper sitting posture is important especially to people who employ desk work as well as those confined in wheelchairs.
When you sit and start feeling pain in your lower back and shoulders, then it means that you have been sitting in a wrong position and your overall sitting posture should be changed. Poor sitting position usually leads to back and neck pains due to repetitive injuries in the vertebrae and in the muscles around the back. Poor sitting posture will not only cause superficial injuries, but may also affect the internal organs within the trunk and other areas in the body.
Correct posture is in fact essential for overall well-being with special benefits to the cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive system. The ACA or American Chiropractic Association recommends correct posture because bad posture is one of the culprits for most musculoskeletal problems involving the back.
What is the correct Sitting Posture?
To start sitting properly, you need to sit erect on the chair with both feet flat on the floor. You can actually use a foot rest if your feet cannot reach the ground to make them remain as flat as possible. Your back should also be against the back rest of the chair to have adequate support along the spine. However, it should be considered that the back rest should support the three curves of the spine along the cervical, thoracic and lumbar area. Your lumbar should fit comfortably with the point where the back seat meets the back rest. The thoracic spine should be against the back rest comfortably and the cervical spine should be straight to hold the head in an erect position. Also, your elbows should be close to the sides of your body.
Aside from this correct posture, you should also maintain other parts of your body in a correct position while working. If you are using the computer, your wrists should be straight and not bent up or down to prevent possible Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Your computer monitor should also be at or lower than the eye level to avoid strain to the neck in viewing your work. All materials to be used in your office should also be within reach to avoid bending and overreaching.
If you have a hard time siting properly or cannot assume a correct sitting posture effectively, the following steps will ensure that your sitting position is correct:
• Position for hip joint and knee joint in a 90 degree angle.
• Sit on your ischial tuberosity or the two bones that are felt in your buttocks.
• Breathe deeply while sitting to promote lung expansion.
• Never arch you lower back.
• Make your shoulders as relaxed as possible.
• Never drop your head forward and keep then straight.
• Keep your feet flat on the floor.
A good sitting position will generally provide you with adequate balance and support in order for your body to move freely and safely while sitting.