Let’s be real; good posture is much more than just sitting straight up or upright to look best. In fact, it is a crucial part of your overall health and affects your lifestyle in the long run.
Whether you’re moving or sitting still, you need to make sure that your body is in the right position. Sitting with the right posture plays a vital role in preventing injuries, pain, and several other problems.
However, when you sit with straight shoulders and back, it not only improves your physical health but also makes you look and feel more self-assured and confident. The reason why considering sitting in the right posture is essential is because many individuals spend their day sitting in the same position for tasks like studying, working, commuting, and even relaxing.
Prolonged sitting in the wrong position may have severe health effects that may include poor back health and bad posture. If you are experiencing back pain or shoulder strain, your wrong sitting posture may be the reason.
However, there is no need to fear if you have no idea how to correct your posture when sitting, as this article will discuss everything in detail. But before we proceed, let’s delve into the details to understand why maintaining a good posture is important when sitting.
Why Maintaining a Good Posture when Sitting is Important
When you sit, lie or stand in a poor posture for a long period of time, it stresses out your muscles, ligaments, and joints. It may cause not only pain but also damage to the tissues. Many people develop shoulder, back, and neck aches due to sitting or standing in poor posture.
Also, it is worth mentioning that a well-maintained posture when sitting uses less energy, whether you maintain muscles or use a supportive chair. Sitting in this position aligns your core muscles and abdomen to support the body, allowing better and free limb movement.
Good posture, therefore, helps with, pain muscle weakness, and fatigue, also as ataxia -coordination problems, spasticity, tremor, and spasms. It doesn’t end here; maintaining good posture is essential if you can’t move your body independently. That is why medical professionals recommend sitting in a well-aligned position.
What is Proper Posture While Sitting
Good or proper posture when sitting means your body’s key parts are correctly supported and aligned as they get the needed muscle tension. Typically, sitting in the right posture involves training the body to sit in a position that puts the least strain on ligaments and muscles while you’re performing daily activities.
Maintaining proper posture when sitting helps you:
- Reduce strain on the body while working
- Reduce wear and tear on the muscles, joints, and ligaments
- Maintains balance in the position
- Minimizing muscle strain risks
- Improve spine health
- Prevent fatigue as muscles are used efficiently, allowing the body to take less energy
- Prevent the spine from getting used to the same abnormal positions
Why You Hunch Over While Sitting
It is worth mentioning that hunched shoulders or hunching when you sit are a sign of bad posture. It influences your sitting style when you spend a lot of time sitting in the same position. However, other factors may cause hunched shoulders.
Regardless of what causes it, hunched shoulders may make your body feel uncomfortable and tight.
Can you Correct Years of Bad Posture (how long does it take to correct my posture)?
To answer the question precisely, yes, you can. No matter how long you have been sitting a certain way, it is possible to correct it with time. With the right knowledge and commitment, it may take a few weeks (ideally 3 to 4) to sit with the correct right posture.
When you make it a habit to sit properly, it can have significant benefits for your posture. Once you’ve improved your posture, you need to put effort into maintaining it. Remind yourself to spot unhealthy positions and instantly correct them.
Note that the best position to sit depends on several factors, including the type of chair you sit on, the activity you do, your body statistics, including weight and height. While considering all these factors is crucial, you may follow the points below to correct your posture or achieve the right sitting position.
-Keep feet flat or put them on the footrest or floor instead of hanging them
-Maintain a gap between your knees back and the chair
-Avoid crossing ankles or knees
-Place ankles in front of your knees
-Position knees slightly lower than your hips or at the same level
-Keep the knees and forearms parallel to the footrest where possible
-Relax the shoulders
-Sit up straight and look forward without straining the back or neck
-Hold elbows at the sides firmly that creates an L-shape arm
-Avoid sitting for long hours. Ideally, take at least a 10 to 15-minute break after every two hours of sitting
-Always keep the back against your chair, or use a cushion or backrest, preferably a wedge cushion, if there is a place where the back doesn’t comfortably meet the back of the chair
Examples of Good & Bad Posture
What’s good & bad posture when standing? Here are some dos and don’ts.
-Keeping the head in midline, in line with your shoulders
-Keeping the chin tucked in
-Keeping the shoulders down and relaxed
-Keeping bottom part tucked in
-Holding your head forward (straight) of the shoulders
-Poking or jutting the chin forward
-Sticking bottom out
How to Improve Posture When Sitting All Day
Though we have discussed the best sitting position above, knowing some additional tips can help you improve your posture when sitting. Learning them is beneficial if you sit for longer or extended hours at your desk because of work. You need extra precautions to ensure that you maintain a proper and healthy posture.
If you work at a laptop or computer for long periods, these tips may help you improve your sitting posture:
-Keep the monitor at arm’s length and not more than two inches above or below the natural line of your sight
-Improve your sitting posture when you’re driving
-Use a lumbar cushion to support your back or neck
-Customize your workspace: for instance, add footrests, backrests, or a wrist rest
-Use a standing desk to switch between standing and sitting
-Try out the different mouse and keyboard types
-Use a headset for making long calls or dictate to reduce neck pressure and strain
-Position the mouse and keyboard close to avoid stretching, reaching
-Get up and start moving around when you experience any joint or muscle pain. You may also use a posture corrector to correct or improve your posture.
Once in the correct position, try doing a mental check every 10 to 15 minutes to see if the posture has altered and then correct any changes.
Your postural position impacts tendons, joints, and muscles. That is why you must learn to sit in the correct posture to improve your overall health. Focus on the given tips and be mindful of your posture when sitting to avoid bone or muscle health issues.