Slouching puts stress on your lower back and contributes to low back
problems. When you sit, keep your shoulders back and down, chin back, belly
in, and your lower back supported. Your spine should be in
the neutral position, with three general
front-to-back curves. Use proper sitting posture.
If your chair
doesn't give enough support, use a small pillow, a rolled towel, or a lumbar roll to support your
Sit in a chair that is low enough to let you place both
feet flat on the floor with both knees slightly lower than your hips. If your
chair or desk is too high, use a foot rest to raise your
When driving a car, adjust your seat to keep your knees
nearly level with your hips. Sit straight, and drive with both hands on the
steering wheel. Your arms should be in a slightly flexed, comfortable position.
Use a small pillow, a rolled-up towel, or a lumbar roll if you need extra back
support. If your seat angles down from front to back, create a more horizontal
surface to sit on with a travel cushion or triangular foam wedge. Stop often to stretch and walk around.
It this sitting position causes pain, talk to your doctor or physical therapist. You may have a condition such as a problem with a disc or with bones in your back.
To rise from a chair, keep your back in
the neutral position and scoot forward to the edge of the chair. Use your leg
muscles to stand up without leaning forward at the waist.
If you spend a lot of time sitting, get up, move around, and stretch
frequently. Consider varying your seating arrangement:
A kneeling chair helps tilt your hips forward,
taking pressure off of the lower back.
Sitting on an exercise ball
provides a firm, cushioned seat that can rock from side to side. This type of
movement helps you keep your back loose.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.