Sitting Posture and Chair Position Guidelines

  1. Sit up straight, thighs parallel to floor, feet flat and weight evenly distributed between thighs, buttocks and lower back. Keep your weight supported evenly by your buttocks, thighs and lower back.
  2. Don’t slouch and place your back in an awkward position when working, watching TV, or participating in home activities. This causes your back muscles to work in static position.
  3. Sit back in your chair, letting the backrest support you. Back muscles work harder and pressure on the spinal discs is greater when leaning forward.
  4. Lower your chair height when writing or reading the fine print. This will keep your spine more erect. Use a document holder.
  5. Don’t lean on armrests while typing. This can angle your back into an awkward position.
  6. While one should sit up straight most of the day. However, it’s alright to lean back in your chair while you are talking on the phone or to a co-worker.
  7. Don’t slide your hips forward in the chair’s seat pan. This prevents the lumbar pad of the backrest form supporting the normal lumbar curve of your back. Make sure that your lower back is well supported in all positions.
  8. Don’t cross your legs for prolonged periods. This decreases circulation to your lower legs and feet. Crossed legs can also irritate hip muscles. Alternate crossing left or right throughout the day.
  9. Don’t sit stiffly or for prolonged periods without standing or moving around. Swivel in your chair periodically to create a little motion.
  10. Make sure that your chair is properly adjusted to your legs. Consider using a footrest if you feel pressure on the underside of your thighs with correct chair height.
  11. Don’t allow pressure on the underside of your legs within 3-6 inches of the back of your knee. Blood vessels and nerves can be compressed, reducing blood flow and irritating nerves.
  12. The body is made to move. Change your posture periodically to move the joints and increase circulation. Swivel your chair and stand up periodically. This will help reduce fatigue
  13. Don’t sit stiffly or stationary for prolonged periods without getting up to move around.
  14. Stand up whenever possible, such as when doing phone work.
  15. To assess your posture simply, have someone view your standing position directly from the side. Your ear should be in line with the middle of your shoulder (not in front or behind).