Sitting survival guide
Even when sitting well, we can put an extra 40% of stress through our spines than standing. We are incredibly well designed to be hunter-gatherers; walking to find plant based food and hunting to find protein. Periodically, we would sit to rest or eat. We would most likely sit in a crossed legged position, squating position, laying down or even perching on the edge of a rock. Still don't believe me? Look at your feet. The soles of your feet have thick callused skin ready to weight bear. Now imagine the most beautiful person in the world...imagine that butt? Does it look like the bottom of your foot? Of course it doesn't. Butts are not meant to be weight bearing surfaces, so they should not look like feet.
Firstly, try to stand whenever possible. When you are sitting, your gluts and core muscles are switched off and your hamstrings and hip flexor muscles are in a shortened position, which over time they adapt and become tight and short. Try not to sit into the back of the chair all of the time. Sitting like this, allows your muscles to relax continuously, which over time weakens your core. In the long term creating back pain and imbalance.
1. Get those gluts firing!! Try to squat every time you sit down or stand up.
Firstly have your knees over hip width apart and your shins vertical to the ground. Then lean forward from your hips about 20 degrees, keeping your back straight. At the same time keep your belly tight and drive your hips and hamstrings backwards. Then when you're ready to stand up position your toes pointing forward, elevate your hips off the chair and to load your hips and hamstrings. Stand up by extending your hips and knees. As you stand upright, squeeze your gluts and re-establish a braced neutral position.
2. Sit on the edge of your seat.
It is best to change the position you are sat in over the day, so that you are not constantly stressing the same muscles and joints. It is good to sit in to the back of your seat with your back supported and knees at 90 degrees. But it is important to mix this with sitting on the edge of your seat. To do this. try to sit on your sit bones, whilst maintaining a stiff/ neutral spine. The next thing is to have your thighs in the most neutral alignment possible. This will be when your legs are spread apart about 35 degrees, or some people give it the unfortunate name "manspreading." This will naturally tilt your pelvis foward, allowing a straighter, and engaged spine. You should have 60 percent of your weight resting over your sit bones and 40 percent transferred down to your heels.
3. Shift positions as often as possible. Varied positions include:
-Manspreading (as above)
-Manspreading with feet together (knees apart, feet together)
-Sitting on the edge of your seat one foot forward, one foot under your chair
-Sitting on the edge of your chair, one leg crossed, knee dropped down (ensure you do this on both side evenly, to avoid muscle imbalance)
- Half squat- one leg on the ground, whilst sitting on the other leg on the heel, butt against back rest
- Kneeling on your chair
- Lunge- sit on the side edge of your chair, one leg on the chair, the other off the chair. Have the thigh on the chair horizontal to the ground, knee 90 degrees, foot on the ground. Have the other thigh vertical to the gound off the chair, with foot behind you.
If you have been experiencing back pain, we do recommend a thorough Chiropractic examination. Remember to look after yourself and book in today! We are central London Chiropractors in Aldgate/ Bank, Tottenham Court Road/ Fitzrovia and Highgate Village. We treat back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches and have a special interest in sport injuries and scoliosis exercises.