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Sitting Pretty: How Posture Can Prevent Back Pain

Sitting is something none of us can avoid, and doing it the wrong way often enough can lead to back issues. If fixing your posture brings the words “prim and proper” to mind, you’ll be pleased to hear that these four simple pointers are actually pretty laid back.

1. Un-hunch your back. Many of us seem to crouch in toward our computers or our desks without even realizing it. Before long, our shoulders are tense and our necks are tucked in. Put a note in front of you (or set a regular timer on your phone) that reminds you to relax your back and everything connected to it, and to straighten up.

2. Engage your core (slightly). Even while you sit, it’s important to hold your core steady enough to support your spine. In the long run, this will become second nature.

3. Uncross your legs. Or your feet. The best way to sit is with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor—which keeps your hips and back aligned. If you can’t adjust your chair to the right height, find something to put under your feet so your legs aren’t strained.

4. Take frequent breaks. Every hour it would be ideal to get up out of your chair and either stretch or take a quick walk around the room. Reset yourself in the right position as soon as you sit back down.