Tips for Better Sitting
My clients often ask me how to improve their desk set up to support themselves more and the work we do on their posture in our sessions together.
I am a big fan of doing what you can to make the environment around you one that will help support you.
These are my top tips & tools for improving how you sit.
How you don't want to sit:
Practice this and get clear on what you don't want to do.
Sit back on the backside of your seat. You will feel your pelvis tucking under so that you are sitting on the back side of your butt.
In this position you will feel that you have lost your waistline, your whole upper body is rounding forward and downward, and the sensation that you are sitting down into yourself.
You don't want to sit in this way. Here's why:
You can't breathe deeply
You are putting strain on your neck & back muscles and your spinal column
Your shoulders & back will be sore from the rounded forward posture
Your hips will be tight as the hip flexors at the front of the hip crease are shortening to hold this posture
Your psoas muscle - a muscle deep in your abdomen that attaches from your low back to your inner thighs will be shortened
Your digestive organs are compressed and may inhibit good digestion
How you do want to sit:
Ok - now follow these tips to adjust your posture and feel the difference
Sit forward towards your pubic bone. You will feel the fold of your hip creases deepen as you sit forward. Have both feet planted flat on the ground or an elevated surface. Sit so that your thighs are sloping downward (so your knees are lower than your hips).
In this position you will feel length in your waist. Your low back will have a slight arch and hopefully feel more free. You will have more length in your spine, from your pelvis up through the crown of your head. You will be able to take a deeper breath with more ease. And you may feel some more activation in your abs.
What is the difference that you feel between these two sitting postures? Now start to develop the awareness of when you are sitting in an in-supportive position & when you notice make these simple adjustments to sit upright!
Check out below for tools to help yourself sit up with more ease.
Tips & Tools:
Work Surface to Seat Height to Floor Ratio
When you are working at a computer, laptop or tablet you want to adjust your seat position so you can sit up straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your arms at your sides.
Everyone is a different height and not all chairs are adjustable. You may need to use a pad or cushion on your chair to make your position of your pelvis be slightly higher than your knees.
You also want to make sure your feet are flat on the floor. If they can not reach the floor then you will need to put a small stool, box, or books underneath your feet so that they can be planted onto a firm surface.
Sitting down on the floor & Lounging
Whether you are having a movie marathon, you are playing with your kids, or doing work/reading from your bed it is important to support yourself and your sitting posture.
Adjust yourself to make it possible for your spine to be upright. The most important adjustment is to look at your pelvic position. You do not want your pelvis to be tucking under as it strains your back.
Use pillows or cushions under your sitting bones (these are your ischial tuberosities - the bones you can feel at the bottom of your butt when you are sitting). You may need to elevate yourself higher than you would think - possibly 4 inches high or more. *Remember Pelvis higher than your knees so that your thighs are sloping gently downwards.
Break up your sitting with these moves
All this sitting around will leave you with a soft butt and poor circulation in your legs. Doing a Squat and practicing lunges are a great way to engage your butt, extend your hips as you stand upright, and get your blood pumping as you use your legs. Aim to get up about every 30 minutes and do a few of these exercises to strong and flexible.
Share this with someone you know who sits for long periods in the day, or has tight hips and back discomfort. A little postural awareness can be transformative!