elderly hands on lap

5 ways to improve your sitting posture

As we find ourselves sitting for longer periods of time, whether hunched over a laptop, or in front of the television on a Sunday afternoon, it is becoming more and more important that we remain mindful of our posture. While a certain sitting position may feel comfortable at the time, poor posture can lead to short term discomfort and back or joint pain; in the long term, it can lead to health complaints and medical concerns that are difficult to overcome.

If you have begun to notice aches and pains developing as a result of sitting for longer periods of time, it may be time to rethink your sitting posture.

What is good posture?

Sitting with incorrect posture places additional pressure on different areas of the body, depending on how you prefer to sit. With good posture, your weight is distributed evenly throughout the body, your back is straight and your head and shoulders are upright and in line with your hips. If you find that you naturally slouch in your seat, or sit at unnatural angles, there are some methods you can employ to remediate your posture before issues become chronic.

Ensure your back is supported.

When seated, your spine should be straight, with your back at right angles to your thighs. Ergonomically designed chairs will enable you to maintain this position comfortably. However, certain chairs do not offer the same support. If your chair is curved at the back, you can roll up a towel to place in the small of your back to ensure you are supported throughout your spine.

Adjust your monitor.

If you find yourself slouching forward while working it could be that your monitor is too low and you’re having to lean forward to keep it at eye level. Sit with your back straight and then adjust the height of your monitor so that the top of your screen is at eye level. If you use a laptop, find a stand to keep it on while working so that you can make the same adjustments.

Ensure your feet are planted on the floor

19% of your weight is transferred through your feet while sitting. If your feet are not able to correctly support that weight, it is distributed elsewhere in your body, putting increased pressure on other joints and limbs. If you cannot place your feet flat on the ground while sitting, find a footstool or foot rest that will help to support you.

Take regular standing breaks

As joints and muscles tire from maintaining the same posture, it becomes difficult to maintain for long periods. Around once every hour, be sure to stand and walk around for a short period of time. This will help maintain blood flow and rest the muscles being used to maintain your posture.

Avoid crossing your legs or twisting in your seat

This is a common mistake made when sitting in the home. Crossing your legs or sitting sideways in your seat keeps your pelvis out of line with your spine. This can lead to curvature of the spine which can be difficult to correct. Ensure when you are at home you maintain the same posture with your feet flat on the ground and your spine at right angles with your thighs.

If you are beginning to experience discomfort as a result of poor posture, Rise & Recline Ltd produce a range of adjustable furniture designed to support good posture and maintain a comfortable sitting position at the same time. Our riser recliner chair range offers improved sitting posture and mobility support.

Request a copy of our brochure to see the full range available.  

Further Reading