The Right Way To Sit
From the time you were little, it’s likely you heard the phrase “sit up straight!” We all know that slouching is not good for our backs. When we sit all day at work remembering not to slouch becomes even more important.
Studies show that slouched posture is associated with weakness, poor physical conditions, decreased confidence, and deficits of neurologic function. But what exactly is the right posture to adopt while sitting? The answer is not as straightforward as you may think.
The majority of people assume good posture involved having your chest out and your upper back straight. Posture expert Jenn Sherer told NPR that in fact the best way to ensure you have proper posture is to focus on your lower back.
Sherer suggests that people pretend they have a tail, and to sit as if they could wag that tail vs having it tucked underneath.”The most important thing to change to reduce back pain is your pelvis position,” she says. “It’s like a stack of toy blocks. If the blocks at the bottom aren’t sturdy, then the top has no chance.”
Any time you find your sitting posture resembling a “C” shape – pelvis tucked, back rounded and shoulders rolled forward – it’s your cue to think about your lower back. This C position can damage the little shock absorbers in the spine, called the intervertebral disks, which over time can cause degeneration.
A great way to train your body to sit in this optimal position is to use a chair without a backrest. When you lean against a backrest, you automatically adopt the “C” position. Sitting on a backless chair forces you to build up the muscle strength to support proper posture all day.
Staying in motion while you sit, like on a swopper chair, is also a good way to keep your muscles loose, your intervertebral disks lubricated and your posture optimized. By combining proper sitting posture with the bounce, tilt & sway motion of a swopper, you are effectively avoiding the major triggers of back pain from sitting.