Sitting correctly – very few people do this. But what’s so bad about the wrong sitting posture? In the article "Richtig Sitzen" we get to the bottom of this question and show how to sit properly!
The sedentary lifestyle is becoming more and more present due to the way we work and spend our free time today. According to statistics, we spend an average of 10 years of our lives sitting down. However, this figure refers only to working time.
At the end of a long (and sedentary) day at work, most people sit for a while on the train or in the car, and once they get home, they want to spend a relaxing evening. This, however, also takes place mostly sitting in front of the TV, while at the same time the gaze wanders again and again to the smartphone. All the more important to sit correctly.
Sitting properly: Guide
Guide and infographic: sitting properly
With our 11-step guide, you’ll be sitting right from now on:
- Your Back rests against the backrest when sitting down of the chair on
- Use the whole seat of your chair
- Take one sitting position as upright as possible a
- When sitting, the lower and upper thighs form a 90-degree angle or more
- Forearms rest on the desk
- Lower and upper arms have a 90-degree angle or more when seated
- Your Pelvis should be tilted slightly forward, so that the thighs drop slightly
- To relieve the strain on your legs and back, the Feet a firm grip on the floor
- You sit correctly when Sit dynamically and not statically
- Pay conscious attention to your posture
- The correct sitting position always supports natural double S-shape of the spine
Sitting correctly: Example of upright sitting posture
The correct sitting position is characterized by a posture that supports the back muscles natural double-S shape of the back supports. This posture promotes the muscles of the back, in that the spine is evenly loaded and the back muscles are strengthened becomes.
In order to achieve these effects, a sitting posture that is as comfortable as possible should be adopted upright sitting position the correct posture.
- Your pelvis should be slightly tilted forward so that the thighs drop slightly.
- To relieve the strain on your legs and back, your feet need a firm footing on the floor.
- You should be able to do this without sliding off the backrest.
- The posture of the upper body also plays a role. Thus, the upright posture should result in you not feeling any tension in your shoulders.
- At the same time, lift your sternum so that it is simultaneously reaching up and forward.
- A straight neck puts less strain on the cervical spine. You can achieve this by stretching the back of your head backwards and upwards in a. Your chin tilts toward your sternum as you do this.
However, proper sitting includes, first and foremost, the Dynamic. You can use an upright posture as a starting point, but you should still incorporate small movement units into your workday from time to time.
This in turn requires attention to your own sitting behavior. If, for example, you notice that your shoulders constantly slide forward when you sit and that you adopt a hunched posture, consciously pull your shoulders up and let them roll back down over your back.
Already the alternating Shifting weight from the left buttock half to the right has a positive effect on your intervertebral discs.
For a healthier workday, divide each hour so that you sit dynamically for 40 minutes, stand for 15 minutes and walk for 5 minutes. Since it’s not enough to just exercise after work, simply incorporate more movement into your daily work routine.
Use for example Stairs instead of the elevator or arrange your office supplies in such a way that you are forced to stand up when you need a file folder or the hole puncher. True to the motto: "Sitting less is sitting right!"
Take breaks to move:
Sitting for hours is not conducive to good health and makes tired. Therefore, you should stretch and stretch again and again at certain intervals to get your circulation going again. In this way, you not only shake up your muscles again, but also promote your blood flow.
The circulation is stimulated again and the brain is better supplied with oxygen. You can increase your energy level by small movements and concentrate better afterwards.
Consciously pay attention to your posture:
Sitting correctly – This method will certainly make it easier for you: If, during the course of the working day, you notice your shoulders slipping forward and you fall into a hunched back, consciously straighten yourself up again. Pull the shoulders up and let them drop back over the back.
Align your head so that your neck vertebrae are straight. Keep in mind the natural double-S shape of your spine and create an even load on your back. This will help you maintain a healthy sitting posture.
Various exercises allow you to take breaks from sitting for exercise. You can consciously pull your shoulders up to loosen the shoulder and neck area, hold the tension for a short time, and then let them roll down over the back in a relaxed manner. Extending your arms alternately above your head also brings movement to this area and to your spine.
To decompress your spine a bit, you can place your feet a little wider than hip-width apart while sitting and let your torso and arms sink forward toward the floor. You can stretch your hands forward and move your fingers once to the right and then to the left. While doing this, also stretch the sides of your spine.
Alternatively, in this posture, you can grasp each other’s elbows with your hands and simply let your head hang down heavily or sway slightly from side to side. Then slowly straighten yourself up one vertebra at a time.
To get some movement in your back muscles, alternate between a hollow back and a hunched back a few times. First place your hands on your knees. Then, as you inhale, push your sternum forward and at the same time pull your shoulders together behind your back. When exhaling make your back as round as possible.
Rotations also take tension out of the spine. To do this, simply move to the front end of the seat of your office chair. Now place your right hand behind you on the seat and your left hand on the right armrest. Turn upright once to the right side while exhaling and take a few breaths in this position. Make sure your head stays in line with your sternum. Then turn back to the center and switch sides.
Invest in suitable office chairs:
Sitting correctly becomes easier when the office chair is adjustable. A good office chair should be individually adjustable in height so that your legs form an angle greater than 90° when seated. At the same time, your arms should also rest on the tabletop at this angle. It should also be possible to adjust the angle of the seat so that an angle of at least 90° or more can be maintained due to the different body sizes.
The chair’s padding should be soft enough to prevent back pain. This applies to both the seat and the backrest. The latter should also be adjustable in height. Armrests have a relieving function for the spine. Especially when working for long periods, its support function for the forearms benefits the back.
Adjust the office chair and desk correctly:
Here you can see a correctly adjusted desk at which you can sit properly. Thanks to the instructions, you should be able to adjust your desk to the correct height in just a few minutes.
In order to maintain the health of employees, an employer should also provide suitable office furniture that promotes a healthy sitting posture.
Since many workers spend hours at a desk, individually adjustable office chairs and desks are only sensible. With office chairs, it’s important that more than just the height of the seat can be adjusted. Additional adjustability of armrests and backrest are also relevant to sit properly.
The so-called "synchronous mechanism" is recommended. This means adjusting the inclination of the seat to that of the backrest.
If the armrests of your office chair are set at desk-top height, you can rest your forearms on the desk. How not to cramp up when working with mouse and keyboard.
A height-adjustable desk also makes sense. This allows for adjustment to an employee’s individual height as well as switching between a sitting and standing posture.
In addition, a desk should also allow for adequate legroom and have a straight edge that allows for a reasonable distance from the keyboard.
Position the keyboard and mouse well:
To sit properly, ergonomic alignment of input devices is necessary: In the best case, the work utensils are only 10 to 15 cm from the edge of the table. This way you don’t have to bend too far forward to work and avoid a hunched back. If your forearms can rest relaxed on the tabletop, you won’t cramp up in the first place.
Suitable distance between screen and eyes:
Sitting correctly: This is how the monitor should be positioned to allow for a healthy sitting posture
The distance between your eyes and the screen should correspond to about 50 centimeters. In addition, the screen should be tilted slightly backwards so that the upper part of the screen is at eye level. The inclination should be about 25°. Thus, the screen and the viewing direction face each other at a 90° angle.
These adjustments prevent neck pain because the head can remain straight and does not have to be lowered forward. This counteracts overstraining of the neck muscles.
Talk to your employer:
If your office chair does not offer the necessary adjustment options and even causes you tension and pain, be sure to talk to your employer:
You could, for example, also suggest to him that he buy height-adjustable desks that also allow him to work while standing up.
A study conducted by the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) at Victoria University in Melbourne showed that the number of people sitting in the same position is rising A sit-stand workstation can reduce the amount of time spent sitting by about 100 minutes a day. After all, your employer also has an interest in keeping its employees healthy in the long term.
Further facts and figures about sitting
We sit longer every year and lack of exercise is the result.
Photo: Fiedels / fotolia.com
The Techniker Krankenkasse points out that every fifth working person spends at least 9 hours a day sitting down. And usually not in a position that is conducive to good health. The associated posture problems are associated with various diseases.
The DAK Health Report reported in 2018 that approx 75% of German workers suffer from frequent back pain Or at least have suffered from it before. In the year In 2003, the figure was 55 percent.
But other health problems are also caused by poor, incorrect sitting posture. For example, in 2014 the 22.7% of sick leave is due to musculoskeletal disorders 16.6% were related to the psyche, the respiratory system was the cause of absenteeism in 13.7% and 5.5% of employees took sick leave due to digestive problems.
Correct posture is therefore a topic that should receive more attention, and not just in relation to back pain.
Sitting incorrectly – common causes of poor sitting posture
Sitting for hours on end is not infrequently an exceedingly strenuous challenge for the back. / Photo: Picture-Factory / fotolia.com
Several health problems can be caused by wrong sitting positions:
It is all too easy for the shoulders to slump forward while working at a desk, causing the back to arch. The head falls likewise forward, which loads the neck musculature strongly. Even the distance between the eyes and the center of the screen, which should be about 50 centimeters, is usually not observed.
Instead, a forward-leaning posture is often adopted in order to be closer to the screen. A hunchback is thus inevitable.
This is also the case when the keyboard and mouse are positioned too far from the edge of the table or when the forearms cannot rest parallel on the tabletop. In addition, a lack of grounding of the feet contributes to poor posture while sitting.
If your feet do not find stable support, you will easily slip away from the backrest of your office chair. This results in unnecessary strain on your legs and back. Staying in one position for too long also puts strain on the intervertebral discs, which in turn leads to back pain.
Consequences of a bad sitting posture
The consequences of incorrect posture are reflected in the above percentages regarding the causes of work absences. In addition to sore back and neck muscles, an awkward posture constricts the digestive organs and lungs. Digestion problems and a flat respiration adjust themselves. The latter entails fatigue and increases susceptibility to infectious diseases.
Other consequences include joint problems in the feet, knees and hips, as the connective and supporting tissue of the joints tends to become inflamed more frequently.
Even lasting disturbances of the movement sequences can occur. But not only physical symptoms can be observed as consequences of a bad posture. Also the psyche is connected with the attitude.
An upright posture, with a straight spine, promotes self-confidence. Drooping shoulders and a hunched back not only make people around you perceive you as less self-confident, but you also feel less self-confident yourself. This can increase through despondency to the development of depression.
Conclusion: Sitting correctly
Sitting correctly is not difficult and helps to get through the workday much healthier and already prevent long-term back problems.
Now consider your workplace. Can you sit properly at your desk? If not, we recommend that you quickly implement some of our tips. Your back will thank you!