Food For Thought: Are you Sitting Correctly?
Learning how to sit correctly is important for maintaining a healthy spine and back and a good posture. Sitting straight is good for your physical health. It also aids in building your self-confidence. We spend a lot of time sitting; we travel in a sitting position, many works sitting at a desk, and we tend to dine, relax, and enjoy entertainment, all while sitting.
The Importance of Sitting Posture
Sitting posture is usually the result of habits formed over your lifetime. We often notice other people’s poor posture without realizing that our own sitting posture needs improvement. Sitting hunched over is very noticeable!
Sitting correctly involves practice and training yourself to deal with gravity with the least amount of tension and strain on the body parts that support you. Keeping your joints and bones aligned keeps them in optimal health and reduces the wear and tear that accompanies aging. Sitting with your joints and bones aligned improves circulation, helps to keep your blood vessels and nervous system healthy and lowers the chances of chronic back and neck pain.
Sitting aligned can lower muscle strain and fatigue and help to keep your joints lubricated and healthy. Improper sitting positions can lead to back and neck pain, headaches, constipation, and poor digestion (acid reflux). It is also a significant factor in developing osteoarthritis.
Sitting in a slouched position for extended periods stresses your lower back. It puts pressure on your spine, including the muscles, intervertebral discs, and ligaments.
Sitting Correctly Boosts Your Mood
You probably never realized that the way you sit affects your mood. When people are happy, they tend to sit more upright, and when they feel sad, they are more likely to slouch. Think of it like this: Your body and brain communicate back and forth, so your mood can impact your posture, and your posture can impact your mood.
The next time you feel in a down mood, try sitting up straight and taking a few deep breaths. You may feel a nice gentle boost in your mood after doing so.
How to Sit Right For Your Health
- While sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
- Don’t cross your ankles or legs.
- With your hands on your hips, try to feel your hip bones.
- Put the heel of each foot right under your two hip bones.
- Sit straight with your back against the chair, keeping the back of your neck aligned with your body.
- If you are reading, working on a crossword puzzle, or typing, relax your shoulders.
- Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- Remember to get up every thirty minutes to walk.
Sitting Positions to Avoid
Anytime we overuse or misuse specific ligaments, tendons, and muscles, we stand the chance of negative consequences on our back health and posture. Some sitting positions are worse than others because they overwork or misuse the tissues and muscles necessary for a healthy back.
- No slumping.
- No crossing your knees, ankles, or arms.
- No dangling your feet.
- Sitting for too long without a walking break.
- Avoid neck strain for extended periods, such as watching TV, looking at your computer monitor, or reading.
- Always have full back support, especially for your lower back.