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October 29, 2018

Sitting: You’re Doing It Wrong

Each day, millions of North Americans wake up, go through a long commute, ride the elevator up to their offices and spend hours in front of their desks sitting on a chair. Desk jobs are so common and so familiar that most people hardly bother about knowing what the consequences of being inactive and what problems leading largely sedentary lives can bring. If sitting on a chair for hours cannot be avoided, learn to recognize how your posture affects your overall health and why certain sitting positions can cause problems later.

Sitting Don’ts

1. Sitting on a Tilted Chair.

The chair seat must be level and parallel to the floor. If one portion is slightly higher than the other, more weight is placed on one side of the hips and buttocks and the pelvis will be kept at a tilted position. This causes strain on the muscles on the hips and the buttocks.

2. Sitting on Hard Surfaces.

If you must spend hours on a chair, at least use one that has a firm, comfortable surface. Avoid seats that are too hard or those that are too soft because these could expose your sit bones to unnecessary pressure. The sit bones also called ischial tuberosity or sit bones are the two butterfly-shaped bones covered by the flesh of the buttocks. If you sit or bend, you could feel these bones pressing against your butt cheeks. These are the bones that bear the weight of your upper body when you sit. If you stay seated for a long time, sit bones will remain pressed against your butt cheeks and cause some strain. This explains why your buttocks will feel painful or numb after long periods of being seated on a hard surface.

3. Sitting While Hunched Forward.

If you must sit hunched forward - your shoulders nearer to the table than your hips and shoulders raised - it could mean that your table is too low or your chair is too high. If you remain in this position for a long time, you will feel the strain on your shoulders, neck, collarbone, spine, and pelvis. Correct your posture by making the proper adjustments with the furniture to adjust the height of the chair and desk.

4. Slouching Back in Your Chair.

Slouching is the lazy man's way to bad health. When you slouch on a chair, your spine curves inward and the position straightens up the natural S-shaped curve of your lower back. Your chin will be closer to your chest, slightly narrowing your air passageway at the throat. Although slouching can be comfortable for the first few minutes, it is a position you should never assume for office work or even at home for long periods. Not only does it hurt your back, but it also limits the amount of air you inhale. Try to keep your spine straight while seated and allow your lower back to maintain its natural curve. Shoulders should be relaxed and your stomach flat so you can breathe more easily.

5. Sitting with Your Neck Thrust Forward.

Your neck supports your head and is connected to your spine. If you sit or even stand with your neck forced in a forward position, the cartilages between the bones of the neck and spine will be stretched uncomfortably, causing strain. Keep your neck in line with your spine and your back straight instead.

6. Sitting with Your Feet Dangling.

Dangling feet forces the weight of the upper body down on the hips and buttocks. Over time, this position will put a strain on the spine and cause discomfort. Instead of allowing your feet to dangle, look for a chair that can be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the floor.

7. Sitting without Proper Support.

Not all chairs are perfect but whatever they lack for in terms of support can be corrected using a Desk Jockey seat cushion. It can be used for all types of chairs, benches, car seats, and even public transport seats.