No thanks to technology, our lifestyle is getting more and more sedentary. Enjoying our smartphone, iPads, laptops, and television requires us to do one thing—to sit down. In fact, studies show that on average people sit for up to 7.7 hours a day.
Now that is a lot of time spent sitting down.
Other than technology, the very nature of most of our jobs has us sitting the whole day. Even when we were students, we are glued to our chairs majority of the time!
Of course, we can still dedicate a few hours each week to exercise and move our bodies. But we really cannot help it—sitting has become an inevitable part of our daily routines.
Unfortunately, a life lived sitting down majority of the time has its consequences. And while we may not realize this right away, our sedentary lifestyle is slowly affecting our health.
“Sitting down the majority of the
time has its consequences.
Our sedentary lifestyle is slowly
affecting our health.”
What is the price we pay for our sedentary lifestyle?
1.It increases your risk to develop heart diseases, according to studies.
2.A study also shows that spending most of the day sitting increases one’s mortality risk from all causes (1.54 higher).
3.It promotes weight gain among women.
4.It increases your risk for obesity.
The above are just some of the many risks our sedentary lifestyle brings. As mentioned, many of us cannot help but sit all day. That is why the least we can do is to sit properly.
Before we discuss about the best sitting position we should assume, let us look at some of the ways we are sitting wrong.
You are sitting wrong when…
1.You hunch over. Sitting with your shoulders rolled forward creates a C-curve. This curved position strains your spine and may cause pain.
2.You sit on a pillow or cushy chair. Sitting on very soft surfaces causes your butt to sink which makes your pelvis tilt backwards. This in turn forces your body to exert more effort to keep you upright.
3.You sit with your legs crossed. This position tilts one of your hips upward, which can be stressful to your spine.
4.You sit for a very long period of time. As mentioned, a sedentary lifestyle is not the best way to live. Get up every hour and do stretches. This helps disrupt the prolonged time you spend sitting.
Other ways you are sitting wrong include dangling your legs, sitting on a chair that is too low, and leaning on the arms of your chair.
The next time you sit down, be aware of the abovementioned positions and do your best to correct them. Do not wait until they become a habit and cause permanent problems to your back and posture.
So what exactly is the best sitting position, especially for those who suffer from back pains?
The answer: Reclined sitting position.
“Sitting in a reclined chair with your feet up
(while maintaining proper alignment of your
back, of course) helps you relax and
relieves your back pain.”
Benefits of sitting in a reclined position
Image Source: home-designing.com
It alleviates back pain. If you have been suffering from back pain, just like 8 out of 10 Americans, then this is a welcome news for you. Sitting in a reclined position, according to many primary care physicians, helps provide full body support and relaxes the surrounding muscles.
It reverses the hunched position. As mentioned, the C-curved position is bad for your spine. Sitting in a reclined position corrects this posture and helps ensure proper spine alignment.
It relieves spine compression. Reclining, according to research, takes off the compression load on the spine. This helps provide relief against back pain.
It helps you breathe better. Sitting in an extended (or reclined) position opens your chest and airways, thereby allowing you to breathe better.
It helps relieve stress. Research has shown that one common cause of back pain is stress. This is another reason why sitting in a reclined position helps back pain sufferers. Why?
Ninety-four percent (94%) of doctors in the United States agree that spending a relaxing time at home is one of the best ways to relieve stress. And 96% of these doctors suggest that sitting in a reclined position helps promote relaxation.
Therefore, sitting in a reclined chair with your feet up (while maintaining proper alignment of your back, of course) helps you relax and relieves your back pain.
“96% of these doctors suggest that
sitting in a reclined position
helps promote relaxation.”
Whenever possible, choose to recline at work. When driving, tilt your seat a few degrees back (of course making sure that the position does not compromise your vision). And when relaxing at home in front of the television or while reading a book or newspaper, opt to sit on a reclining chair.
There are many reclining chairs available. All it takes is a visit to your nearest furniture store or a browse on the Internet for the best recliner for back and neck pain and best lounge chairs for bad backs. Investing on a good chair will surely help alleviate your back pain.
Do you spend too much time in a sedentary position?
Have you considered investing in a reclining chair?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.