Do these postures look familiar to you? Do you like to slouch at your desk job or at home in front of your computer? Does your poor posture feel unnatural and make you feel even lazier?
Face it — us humans are inherently lazy and everyone slouches here and there. Some say it looks cool and nonchalant when people slouch, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t feel cool. I know in ourfast-pacedlives, you’re thinking healthy posture is one more thing you have to worry about. Well, I’m here to tell you that healthy balanced seating is easy to cultivate. All you need to do is learn a little bit of anatomy, raise your attention to your posture, and have some patience.
Here are some easy tips to find aligned, balanced sitting:
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1) As the first rule of thumb, your sit bones are the bony landmarks you should find first and access. They are literally the bones under the flesh of your butt that you sit on (you can palpate for them as you’re sitting to get a sense of their location).
2) If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer at work or at home, find a chair that is the appropriate height for you. A good indication is your bent knees should make about a 90 degree angle while seated on the chair.
3) Feet are on the floor and placed slightly in front of the knees to facilitate blood circulation in the lower legs and to use the floor as support.
4) Feel out your bodyweight on your sit bones and roll forward and backward on them. Sense the place where your bodyweight feels balanced on the sit bones — if your head/neck/shoulder/hips feel aligned and balanced, and there is minimal effort to sit this way, then you’ve found it!
5) As a nuanced complement to #4, you should feel your bodyweight slightly forward (60% front, 40% back) on your sit bones so that you feel a healthy lumbar (lower back) curve supporting all the structures above it.
6) Your gaze should be eye level with the top third of your monitor or screen so your neck is nicely balanced.
7) Develop your body awareness to the instances when you do slouch and slump over at your desk. The times you do catch yourself slouching is a great starting point to cultivate healthier postural habits. Over time, the practice of balanced sitting will feel natural and instantaneous to find like muscle memory.
8) Compare and observe your work performance/mood/emotions when you slouch and when you are sitting in a balanced way. Focus on your personal motivations to be in good alignment in all the various postures you perform daily and be mindful of them.
* I want to emphasize new habits take patience and time in order to replace the old, less-than-optimal ones. Cultivating healthier postural habits is not about being obsessively aware of your spatial orientation every breathing moment of your life but an opportunity to explore that there are more efficient and optimal ways to be in your body. You can undo these habitual patterns your connective tissue locks in. In other words, if you refine your body awareness, the easier it’ll be on your mind and body.
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have other tips to find proper balanced sitting to share with the community? Any questions/comments/issues/etc are sure to assist other readers on this topic and their body awareness. Thanks!