How to Prevent Postural Injury by Sitting Correctly

Sitting posture is really important and we mess them up a lot. It actually will contribute to a lot of discomfort in the shoulders, neck, mid-back, and sometimes low-back as well. One posture that we’ll see people use a lot is sitting in a chair and looking at a phone. What I’m going to do is talk about the places we need to sit in the chair and the types of chairs, but really it’s how we sit in the chair. I have a lot of people want to know what kind of office chair should I buy? It’s really how we use the chair more than what kind of chair it is.

What we’ll often do a lot of times is sit in the middle of the chair lean back to be on your phone. This is a very common posture. I actually see people doing this in the office quite a bit as well. I’ll use that opportunity to coach and correct. The middle of the chair is the most dangerous part of the chair because we’ll do this. What we’re doing is we’re actually sitting back on our tailbone. When we sit on our tailbone, it immediately turns the pelvic floor off and it tightens up the hip flexors. Turns off the hip flexors, too, but they’ll get tight and then it’ll create a competition between the hip flexors and the glutes. It’ll also cause a lot of tension in low-back and again, because that head’s rocked forward like this, it’s going to create a lot of tension and discomfort back here, as well. Anywhere down the back or the entire back could actually be one of those things it can irritate and aggravate.

This is a very common posture, especially in a recliner. I got a really fancy recliner and before long, it was really starting to bother my back and I figured out that that recliner actually puts you in this posture naturally, so do oversized couches and oversized chairs. There’s two places that you actually want to sit in the chair. Go ahead and put your phone away. You want to move to the front of the chair. When you’re in the front of the chair, you’re sitting on the sits bones instead of the tailbone. It’s naturally more comfortable to sit upright.

When you’re in the front of the chair slouching, it’s uncomfortable. If you move to the middle of the chair and lean bakc, it actually becomes more comfortable. Sitting up right will fatigue you more quickly, so as soon as you get to the middle of that chair people automatically want to roll this hips forward, sit in their tailbone. It’s more comfortable in that position so that’s the danger zone of the chair.

You should put your hips all the way back in the chair and sit back. Now, the challenge is over time people will end up sliding their hips forward a little bit and they’ll end up sitting on that tailbone again. What I do to keep people out of that position is to put a pillow or jacket or something else behind the back. An airplane seat is the absolute worse chair on the planet, so I always make sure I carry an extra jacket or something that I can use. It’s very easy to do in a car as well. In an office setting where you’re at a doctor’s office or accountant’s office or in an office setting and I forgot to bring something, I’ll grab some magazines, two or three magazines, and I’ll roll them up and but them behind my back as well.

In our office, we always have magazines, so you can use that if you want to. But those are the magic tricks for your posture. Just make sure you’re using the back of the chair or the front of the chair and stay out of that middle zone and that’ll help your back pain and discomfort quite a bit.

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