Sitting Posture

Correct Sitting Posture

  • Sit as far back in the chair as possible, do not sit on the edge.
  • Your feet should be flat on the floor. This can be done by either lowering your chair (if possible) or "raising the ground" by using a foot rest or even old telephone books. This helps you transfer the body weight to the ground.
  • Your knees should be at hip height or slightly lower. A small wedge cushion may be used, which helps tilt the pelvis forward maintaining the lumbar lordosis (the natural curve of the lower back).
  • Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle, if possible.
  • Adjust any back support in the chair to support your upper and lower back. If the chair does not have good back support, then a separate back support or small pillow can be used to help support the back.
  • Some chairs have an active back mechanism that allows you to change the angle of your back. If your chair has this, use it to make frequent position changes.
  • Your chin should be tucked in (not up in the air). This is a rotational movement, so as the chin goes in, the back of the head goes up. If you pull the chin straight back, you will get the double chin look.
  • Gently draw your shoulder blades together and down. Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders remain relaxed and down. If your armrests are in the way, remove them.
  • If writing or drawing at a desk, a slanted work surface prevents you slouching over the desk and helps maintain good posture.

At the computer

  • If working on a computer, the keyboard height should be set so that the elbows are slightly open (100°-110°) and wrists relaxed and straight.
  • The keyboard and monitor should be situated directly in front of you, with items used frequently (e.g. the telephone) should be close at hand.
  • The monitor should be positioned so that your eyes are level with the top one third of the screen. The monitor should be at least an arms length away.
  • Position the monitor to reduce glare.

Taking breaks

  • If you are sitting at your desk or computer for an extended period of time, it is important that you take regular breaks. Your body is not designed to sit still for long periods, no matter how good your workstation and posture are.
  • Every 20 to 30 minutes you should stop and rest for 1 to 2 minutes. Stretch your neck and shoulders and allow them to relax again. Cover your eyes for 15 seconds to avoid eye strain. Check your seated posture.
  • Every hour you should take a 5 to 10 minute break from your desk. Get up and move around, why not grab a glass of water?