The term ‘sitting is the new smoking’ has been floating around the wellness world for quite some time, but the reality is – we’re all going to sit during the day for one reason or another! So, we might as well learn how to do it properly. Think of all the times we sit during the day – from commuting, to driving, to watching television, to eating dinner…we could pretty much be sitting at any given time. Let’s talk about the ways we can spice up our daily routine to include more standing time, and discuss why sitting properly is so essential when it’s the only option.
Sitting properly is not only essential for productivity during the work day, it’s also essential for our overall back health as it relates to posture and pain prevention. Good posture means that the key parts of a person’s body are correctly aligned and supported by the right amount of muscle tension. A functional model of posture is not rigid – not “straight”, but rather fluid, supple and changing.
Go through this checklist to ensure you are seated correctly:
Rest your feet flat on the floor – knees at ~ a 90 degree angle
Knees should be level or slightly lower than your hips
Place your ankles in front of the knees
Relax your shoulders
Keep your head stacked on top of your shoulders – not leaning forward
Create a small gap between the back of the knees and the chair
Periodically, use the back of your chair for rest, but don’t rely on it for sitting. A cushion for lumbar support can be helpful. This is especially important for the lower back
Get up and get moving for at least every hour of sitting. Basic yoga poses like twists or a downward dog are great for maintaining posture.
While we’re here – let’s talk about how to hold our phones. Sounds silly, but ‘tech neck’ is real! When you hold your phone, keep it at eye level so that you aren’t craning your neck downwards. If you’re using your phone at a desk, you could even get a tripod for like $10 to keep your phone as eye level.
Finally, we (of course) highly recommend a consistent yoga practice to keep you limber and aligned.
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If you are interested in booking an appointment with Dr. Brown to dive deeper into back issues that you might be having, click here.
Published January 27, 2020