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  • Writer's pictureAndrew McCracken

How to sit in your chair... Properly!

We spend entire days of our lives sitting down in chairs working. Do you know you could be doing it all wrong and damaging your health? See if you are sitting right.


One of the most common complaints that I hear from people is, "Man, I can't believe I have to sit down all day at work." Or, "I just get really frustrated that for eight to 10 hours a day, sometimes almost without even getting out of the chair, I spend it sitting, typing on a computer or a laptop, and just working at a desk." If they're not sitting down in the office, people are sitting down in cars or on airplanes or on trains to and from work or traveling for it. You know, people just seem to get really frustrated about that, and I get it. But there is actually a couple of things that you can do to actually sit a little bit more comfortably.

So one of my top tips that I like to give to people is actually how to sit properly on a normal chair. So this is not about getting a fancy chair or a fancy desk or a stand-up desk or anything like that. It's simply what can you do on any chair, you know, whether you're in the train, whether you're at work, whatever, you know, it doesn't matter.

So just to kind of explain it to you with the basic sort of camera gear that I've got, without trying to do some fancy stuff, is instead of just ... you know, most people, when they're sitting on a chair, they'll sit with their bums at the back of the seat and they're kind of slouching in the chair. And what we're doing there is we're kind of using that chair like it was a sofa. And that's really comfortable for a good 10 minutes, maybe even half an hour. But slowly, as time goes on, all those muscles that are protecting and supporting your lower back, they actually start to just turn off and so then what happens, when you get up out of the car, things can kind of go wrong when you get up out of your desk.

One thing you want to do is, instead of sitting with your bum right back in the chair, shuffle forwards to the very edge of the chair and then you want to find your sit bones. So if you do yoga, you're going to know exactly what your sit bones are. If you don't do yoga, it's probably kind of hard to explain, but actually, if you kind of push through some of the muscles of your glutes and your bum, there are two bones there. If you can find those, sit on those. Put the pressure going directly through those. Those are fantastic ways to put the pressure going nice and up your spine.

So your sitting on the edge of the table on your sit bones. The next thing you want to do is to put your feet, most people put their feet flat on the ground like that. You know? And that's okay, but a better way is to put your feet on the outside edges. Now why is that? You know, that sounds a little bit strange, but if you put them on the outside edges of the feet, it allows the knees to go a bit wider and it actually opens the hips up. So much easier to do if you're a man, obviously. Take your legs, your feet, sorry, and then slide them so they're in front of your knees. So it should look, you know, a little bit like you're on the outside of your feet, your feet are in front of your knees, and your knees are kind of spread a little bit wide in a nice, relaxed position.

At that point, if you've done everything correctly, what should actually automatically happen is that you automatically just start to stand, to sit up a little bit straighter, and you'll notice that your shoulders just kind of hang back a little bit nicer and things are more relaxed. So that way, you don't have to force anything, but it's kind of, it takes a bit of practice, takes a bit of getting used to, but the good news is it doesn't require any of these fancy chairs or fancy desks or anything like that. It just requires a little bit of know-how. If you do have any more questions or you want me to explain it in person, just ask me next time you're in the practice and we'll certainly do that. Give it a try and let me know how it goes and have fun with it.


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