The human body is amazingly adaptable and can tolerate many different postures without pain. Our body loves movement so changing between sitting, standing, bending and stretching keeps our muscles and joints happy and mobile.
But what about when we sit all day for work? This is when our sitting posture does matter. Our body doesn’t love holding the same position for many hours, but when it is required to do so for work it is essential we keep our joints and muscles in a position which allows the best load distribution and minimises over-use injuries and pain.
When we assess for good sitting posture there are a few simple cues that help us find that perfect posture. Make these a habit and your body will thank you for it!
1. Make sure you are sitting on your sit bone It is impossible to find the correct posture if our pelvis isn’t in good alignment. Imagine our pelvis like the foundation of a house, it must be solid and level to allow the home good support. If we do slump and rock back onto our tailbone good posture becomes almost impossible.
2. Check your sternum is aligned over the pubic symphysis (the joint at the front of your pelvis.) This is a great check to ensure you aren’t slumping back (the sternum falls behind the pubic bone) or sitting too tall (the sternum moves in front of the pubic bone). Both slumping and being too tall can put unnecessary load through our joints and muscles in the spine and create pain.
3. Check your shoulder blade position. Do you remember being told to keep your “shoulders down and back?” We no longer use this instruction as our shoulder blades don’t like being pulled down all day. Our shoulder blades like to be comfortably in the middle, not rounded and rolled forward or down in your back pockets! Think about keeping your should ers as wide as you can and that can help keep them in their happiest position.
4. Check your head is balanced on your neck. Imagine your head is a golf ball balancing on a tee. In the perfect position it takes very little muscular effort to balance our head on our neck but if we let our chin stick out like a turtle the muscles down the back of our neck and the top of our shoulders get sore and achy as they work hard to hold up your heavy head.
Enjoy sitting well and being pain free.