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Ideal Seating Habits for Healthy Living
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Ideal Seating Habits for Healthy Living

An individual’s sitting position can help in maintaining a good posture as well as a healthy spine and back. Important tips include using the right chair and keeping the back straight with the feet flat on the floor.

Sitting with an erect, straight back and shoulders can help in preventing common complaints such as stiff neck and lower back pain.

Most people spent a lot of time of their day seated because they tend to sit while commuting, working in the office, and relaxing or studying at home.

Prolonged durations spent while sitting can lead to several health problems, such as the misalignment of the musculoskeletal system, balancing problems, poor digestion, and impaired flexibility.

Most individuals can drastically improve their sitting posture by following just a few simple steps.

Here, we look at ideal seating habits and good posture, particularly when you are at work in front of a computer.

What is Good Posture?

Good posture translates to the correct alignment of the primary parts of an individual’s body, with the appropriate amount of support from muscle tension.

The right posture can help by:

  • Decreasing strain on the body during exercise and movement
  • Decreasing the wear and tear on muscles, joints, and ligaments
  • Maintaining balance while exercising or moving
  • Reducing the chances of muscle strain
  • Improving the overall health of the spine

That said, a comfortable posture for one individual may not be ideal for someone else; hence, it is vital to try out different sitting postures.

Diverse Types of Sitting Postures

Individuals generally adopt a sitting posture subconsciously, while focusing on other diverse things. An individual’s sitting posture depends to some extent on the sort of equipment that they make use of, such as those mentioned below.

  • Car Seat
  • Office Chair
  • Ergonomic Chair
  • Armchair
  • Bean Bag

There are some common sitting postures, which are mentioned below:

  • Upright position, with or without support to the lumbar region
  • Crossing of the knees
  • Crossing of the ankles
  • Forward hunch
  • Backward slump
  • Kneeling
  • Cross-legged
  • Slouching
  • Sitting on the seat’s edge

The Ideal Sitting Position

The ideal sitting position depends on an individual’s height, the chair they make use of, and the activity they perform while sitting.

An individual can surely improve their posture and attain an adequate sitting position by:

  • Ensuring that the feet are flat, or they are resting on a footrest or the floor.
  • Avoiding sitting with the knees or ankles crossed
  • Ensuring that there is a small gap between the chair and the back of the knees.
  • Ensuring that the knees are positioned at the same height or marginally lower than the hips.
  • Making sure that the ankles are in front of the knees.
  • Relaxing the shoulders
  • Making sure that the knees and forearms are parallel to the floor.
  • Positioning the elbows at the sides, thus creating an L-shape in the arms
  • Sitting up erect and straight, with your vision focused forward, without any strain on the neck.
  • Aligning the back with the chair or making use of a cushion or backrest if there are places where the back fails to meet the chair comfortably, such as the lower-back region.
  • Avoiding sitting for long durations, with an ideal scenario of taking a break of around 10 minutes for every 1 hour of sitting
  • Switching positions on a regular basis

The Right Sitting Position while Working at a Computer

Individuals who need to sit for long durations at a desk due to their work or studies need to take additional precautions for the maintenance of a healthy back and posture.

While working at a computer for extended periods, you can improve your sitting posture by:

  • Keeping the computer’s monitor at arm’s length and not exceeding 2 inches above the natural line of sight
  • Customising workspaces by adding wrist pads, footrests, and backrests.
  • Making use of a standing desk to switch between standing and sitting.
  • Making use of an ergonomic chair, knee chair, or yoga ball
  • Choosing the right keyboard and mouse
  • Making use of a headset for long calls or dictation to drastically reduce strain on the neck
  • Getting up or moving around regularly, especially in the midst of joint or muscle pain
  • Siting up erect and straight and looking forward directly, while reading monitors or mobile screens

Once you are in the right position, you can perform a mental check every 10 to 15 minutes to check if the position has altered. You can then make necessary adjustments to restore your posture.

The Bottomline

Many individuals spend long durations sitting down. Sitting in an incorrect manner can be extremely bad for your posture and back health, especially when you are working at a desk. That said, by following a good posture and a few simple rules, you can eventually learn to self-correct, thus ensuring an ideal posture. Making additional changes to your lifestyle, such as exercising on a regular basis and taking movement breaks during the course of the day will also help immensely.

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