Proper Sitting Posture
If you work in an office, you have probably used a standing desk or an ergonomic chair before. Posture has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years. There is no shortage of advice to be found about proper sitting posture. There are dozens of products that can be purchased with the promise of improving sitting posture and preventing low back pain. This comes as no surprise considering how common low back pain is in people who work at seated jobs for a living. With all this (sometimes conflicting) information, it can often be hard to determine what actually is the healthiest posture to spend most of your time at work.
Why Changing Posture is Important
While certain positions are typically considered to be better for your back than others (for example, sitting up straight versus aggressively slouching), the latest research shows that changing posture is more important than the actual sitting posture used. One study classified the different types of breaks that can be taken while working into passive breaks, active breaks and standing breaks. Passive breaks involve stopping work, sitting quietly and relaxing. Active breaks are when the individual does certain movements, exercises and changes their posture. Standing breaks are when the individual transitions to working at a standing desk, so they have a break from being seated. Active and standing breaks were both shown to reduce low back discomfort, while passive breaks and no breaks had no effect on discomfort.
Small Changes in Posture
Evidence also shows that individuals without low back pain tend to make small changes to their posture more often than individuals with low back pain. Moving frequently between different sitting positions changes the spinal curvature, improves circulation and improves flow of joint fluid. Individuals who have low back pain will often sit in the same static posture for a long period of time. They then make a dramatic change to a new sitting posture, which they will also stay in for a long time. On the other hand, pain-free individuals tend to move around in their seat more and make regular changes to how they are sitting. This is another indicator that movement and changing posture is more important than thinking about being in a specific posture.
Next time you have to sit for an extended period of time, try shifting in your seat more often and taking frequent breaks to exercise and move around!
If you are experiencing problems as a result of poor sitting posture, be sure to explore painPRO’s wide range of treatment options.