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7 Tips for Sitting Well

By admin

February 8, 2021

Let’s talk about sitting…are you searching for the perfect chair or perfect posture to help you sit comfortably for long periods of time?

You’ve probably heard of the phrase,”sitting is the new smoking.” Our bodies are not designed to sit for extended periods of time. We are more like a plant: moving, breathing, flowing and using our muscles. We are wired to get our heart rate up, sweat and breathe heavily regularly. Our bodies haven’t evolved to be staring at a screen all day long with our heads pushed forward and hunched over. So how can we find balance, how can we still be productive without compromising our posture and becoming too sedentary?

7 Tips for Sitting Well

1. Sit on your sitting bones. If this sounds too simple, it is. Find your sitting bones – sit on a hard surface like a metal folding flat chair and slide your hands under your buttocks. As you come to sit on your hands rock forward, back and forth and side to side to feel where exactly your sitting bones are. Once you have a good idea, remove your hands and sit evenly weighted on both sitting bones and extend your spine up from there. Think of your sitting bones as the basement of your house. If your basement is level chances are you can stack from there to be upright and more functional.

2. If and when your muscles get tired from sitting upright, slide to the back of your chair so that you are still sitting evenly on your sitting bones, but use the back support of the chair to relieve your tired muscles. For more support add a pillow, rolled up blanket or towel behind your lower back to help keep you relax without compromising your form.

3. Try kneeling. This sounds scary to some of us with painful knees, ankles and hips…but don’t knock it until you try it. The more support you have to kneel, the less pressure on your joints. Kneel over a stack of books, blocks or supported blanket so that again your spine is upright. If you are leaning forward you need more support. You can also place a pillow under your knees or ankles to get comfortable.

4. Try an exercise ball. Although it’s not the perfect solution, it can be a more fluid way to sit comfortably and upright. Make sure the exercise ball is blown up firmly so that either your hips are higher or lined up with your knees – in other words make sure that your knees are NOT higher than your hips. This sitting method also improves core function because your body isn’t perfectly still. Having to balance constantly and stay centered on the ball engages the core – a sneaky way to force your body to work!
5. Try working in a standing position. Standing desks have recently become very popular and can be wonderful! Just when your muscles get tired from holding you upright sitting, take a standing break. Make sure when you’re standing your weight is evenly shifted slightly back into your heels so that your legs, muscles and skeletal structure give you full support. Think of how big your leg and butt muscles are, use them! Just look out for poor posture like thrusting your hips forward, rounding forward with the shoulders and tensing the buttocks and pelvic floor. Also be mindful of hip shifting. If you feel the need to shift or jut out into one hip, try placing one foot up on a stool instead so that your pelvis doesn’t rotate.
6. Sometimes you just need to take a break and move! Give yourself permission to get up from your desk to stretch, breathe and take a walk. For some of us who now work from home, it’s easier to feel good about leaving your work station to grab a drink, use the bathroom or just get away from the screen. If you have trouble getting away from your project, try setting a timer to remind yourself to take breaks.
7. Don’t be hard on yourself! Just bringing some compassion and mindfulness to the ways that you are living in your body can help make the shift to better posture. It’s ok to not be perfect and do the best that you can!

For more tips on how to restore your core, visit: https://yogaatsimplywell.com/core-and-pelvic-floor

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