Sitting

When you sit, keep your shoulders back and down, chin back, abdomen in, and your lower back supported. Your spine should be in the neutral position, with three general front-to-back curves.

Slouching can stress the ligaments and muscles in your lower back.

  • Avoid sitting in one position for more than 1 hour at a time. Get up or change positions often.
  • If you must sit a lot, make it a priority to do stretching exercises.
  • If your chair doesn't give enough support, use a small pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back.
  • Use proper sitting posture. See an illustration of proper sitting posture.
  • To rise from a chair, keep your back in the neutral position and scoot forward to the edge of the chair. Use your leg muscles to stand up without leaning forward at the waist.
  • For driving, adjust your seat so that the pedals and steering wheel are within comfortable reach. Stop often to stretch and walk around.

Last Updated: July 21, 2008

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

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