In the western society we sit on average a of eight hours. We sit to eat, sit to drive, sit at work and sit to watch TV. Many of us spend more than eight hours sitting. Sitting is now called the new smoking, because it is just as damaging to our bodies, especially if we sit in a bad posture. In the Mayo Clinic article Edward R. Laskowski, MD mentions studies that have identified several health concerns of prolonged sitting including obesity, high blood sugar and excess of body fat.
We all know it is best for us to move, but many of us work at the office where sitting is required, unless you are on of the lucky ones with a stand-up desk. Our bodies are most happy when we don’t spend too much time in one position. Alternating sitting, standing and walking around is ideal, but if you have to sit, what is the best posture for sitting?
Posture and Myofascial Release Therapy
Postural assessment is essential part of Myofascial Release Therapy. During the first session, I examine a client’s natural posture and suggest adjustments for standing and sitting postures. What many people don’t know is how crucial their daily standing, sitting and sleeping postures are for their bodies’ wellbeing. No amount of Myofascial Release Therapy or any other therapy for that matter will help you get better if you continue with bad postural habits.
Have you ever noticed that most people complain about lumbar/low back pain? If you sit in a C-curve position (slouching) you expose your disks to enormous weight of your upper body in addition to the natural forces of gravity. Our spine functions best when we display natural curves. So-called S-curve is most functional and distributes the weight evenly through the spine and into the legs. If you sit in a C-curve you create enormous amounts of pressure on your lumbar intervertebral discs which in turn can cause bulging and herniated discs. Bulging or herniated discs can pinch nerves creating pain, numbness and tingling.
So, what is the most efficient way for the body to sit?
Think about stacking your bones and displaying natural curves, S-curve. Try sitting on a blanket or a pillow. You would want the angle of your pelvis and your knees to be at 120 degrees. This will help you display natural lumbar curve. Also, consider sitting more towards the edge of the chair instead of using support for your back. This will help strengthen your back muscles. It might be an effort at first, but it will be worthwhile. Further, you feet should touch the floor and chest needs to be slightly lifted. You can adjust your computer to your eye level to keep your chin parallel to the floor.
Thank you for reading!
Elena Diaz, MFR Therapist, Yoga Instructor