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Sitting Positions: How To Practice Good Posture

Learn how to keep your workday free of aches and pains with our guide on proper ergonomic sitting posture.

In today's modern world, where many of us spend long hours seated at our desks, maintaining good posture is absolutely essential. Poor sitting posture can lead to several health issues, from back and neck discomfort to musculoskeletal problems and blood flow issues.

When we slouch or sit with improper posture, we put undue strain on our lower back, neck, and shoulders, leading to discomfort and potential long-term damage. That said, practicing proper sitting posture can help soothe these issues and put the focus back on your overall wellness.

In this article, we will dive into the significance of good posture and explore ergonomic principles to support your body while sitting.

What Is Good Posture?

Unfortunately, having good posture means more than just sitting up straight. It involves maintaining the natural curves of the spine to support the body in a balanced and aligned position.

At the core of good posture is the alignment of the spine, particularly the lumbar spine, which consists of the lower back's natural inward curve. When seated, it's crucial to maintain this lumbar curve to support the body's weight evenly and prevent strain on the lower back muscles and ligaments. Ergonomic chairs with built-in lumbar support can help you maintain this alignment, keeping any discomfort at bay.

Proper posture also involves aligning the cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (upper back) in a neutral position. Slouching or leaning forward can strain the neck and shoulders, leading to tension and discomfort.

You should also pay close attention to the position of your arms, legs, and feet. Armrests should support your upper arms, allowing them to rest comfortably at the sides of the body without elevating the shoulders. Your feet should be flat on the floor or supported by a footrest to prevent pressure on your lower back.

Tips for Practicing Good Sitting Posture

1. Maintain a Neutral Spine

Maintaining a neutral spine is one of the most important parts of proper sitting posture. This means keeping the natural curves of your spine intact, including the inward curve of your lower back (lumbar spine) and the slight outward curve of your upper back (thoracic spine). As much as you can, avoid slouching or arching your back.

2. Use Ergonomic Furniture

Invest in ergonomic furniture, such as an ergonomic chair with lumbar support and adjustable armrests. These features help support your spine and promote good posture while sitting for long periods. Also, consider using a footrest to support your feet and maintain proper blood flow.

3. Position Your Workspace Correctly

Position your computer screen at eye level to prevent neck strain and maintain proper alignment. Keep your keyboard and mouse at arm's length to avoid reaching forward, which can strain your shoulders and arms. Ensure that your chair and desk are at the appropriate height to support a neutral sitting position.

4. Take Breaks and Move Regularly

Avoid sitting in one position for extended periods by taking frequent breaks to stretch and move around. Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up, walk around, and stretch your muscles every 30 minutes.

Incorporating regular movement into your day can help manage any stiffness and promote healthy blood flow. If you can, try to get out and take your dog for a walk or do a quick yoga flow during the day to break up the periods of sitting.

5. Engage Your Core Muscles

Engage your core muscles to support your spine and maintain stability while sitting. Imagine drawing your belly button towards your spine to activate your deep abdominal muscles. This helps take pressure off your lower back and promotes better posture.

6. Practice Proper Ergonomics

Pay attention to your body position and make adjustments as needed to maintain proper ergonomics. Sit with your back straight and shoulders relaxed, avoiding slumping or leaning forward. Keep your feet flat on the floor or supported by a footrest, with your knees at hip level or slightly lower.

What Are Common Posture Mistakes?


Slouching is perhaps the most common posture mistake people make while sitting. This involves rounding the shoulders forward and allowing the spine to curve unnaturally. Slouching puts excessive pressure on the spinal discs, leading to neck pain, shoulder pain, and poor blood flow to the upper body.

Forward Head Position

Another common mistake is jutting the head forward, which often accompanies slouching. This position strains the muscles in the neck and upper back and can lead to tension headaches and cervical spine issues over time. Keeping the head aligned with the spine helps maintain proper posture and reduces strain on the neck muscles.

Rounded Lower Back

Allowing the lower back to round while sitting puts strain on the lumbar spine and increases the risk of lower back pain. Instead, it's important to maintain the natural inward curve of the lower back (lumbar lordosis) to support the spine and distribute weight evenly.

Crossing Legs

Sitting with crossed legs can throw off your body's alignment and lead to uneven pressure on the hips and pelvis. This position can also restrict blood flow to the lower limbs and contribute to poor circulation. It's best to keep both feet flat on the floor or supported by a footrest to maintain proper posture.

Leaning on Armrests

While armrests can provide support for the arms, excessively leaning on them can cause the shoulders to hunch forward and disrupt proper alignment. This position can strain the muscles and ligaments in the shoulders and upper back.

Neglecting Lumbar Support

Many people overlook the importance of lumbar support when it comes to maintaining proper sitting posture. Without adequate support for your lower back, your lumbar spine may flatten out, leading to increased pressure on the spinal discs and muscles.

Using a chair with built-in lumbar support or adding a lumbar cushion can help maintain the natural curvature of your spine and prevent discomfort.

What Is the Relationship Between an Ergonomic Workspace and Good Posture?

Creating an ergonomic workspace is essential for promoting good posture and supporting your body. An ergonomic setup is designed to keep your body in proper alignment, reducing strain on your muscles, joints, and ligaments while sitting for extended periods.

Ergonomic Chair

Investing in an ergonomic chair with adjustable features, such as lumbar support, armrests, and seat height, is crucial for maintaining good posture. The lumbar support helps support the natural curve of your lower back (lumbar spine), while adjustable armrests allow for proper alignment of your upper arms and shoulders. The seat height should be adjusted so that your feet rest flat on the floor or a footrest, with your knees at hip level or slightly lower.

Proper Desk Height

The height of your desk should allow you to maintain a neutral position while typing and working at your computer. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, with your forearms parallel to the ground once you’ve figured out the proper desk height.

Adjust the height of your chair or desk as needed to achieve this position, and consider using a keyboard tray to keep your wrists in a neutral position.

Monitor Position

Position your computer monitor at eye level to prevent neck strain and promote proper posture. The top of the screen should be at or just below eye level, and the monitor should be placed at arm's length away from you. Use our Monitor Arm to achieve the correct height and distance, and avoid tilting your head up or down to view the screen.

Organized Workspace

Keep your workspace organized and clutter-free to minimize distractions and maintain focus on your work. Use desk organizers, cable management solutions, and storage containers to keep your desk neat and tidy. A clear workspace also allows for easy movement and adjustment of ergonomic accessories, such as footrests and lumbar cushions.

How Can You Maintain Good Posture Throughout the Day?

Proper posture is a habit you should ideally carry throughout your day. Whether you're sitting at your desk, driving, or standing, here are some tips to help you maintain good posture.

Use a backrest or lumbar support cushion to support the natural curve of your lower back, especially when sitting for long periods.

If you use a headset or phone frequently, avoid cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder, which can strain your neck and shoulders.

Be mindful of your posture when standing, keeping your shoulders back, your chest open, and your weight evenly distributed between your feet.

Take breaks and move around regularly, especially if you sit for extended periods. Stand up, stretch, and walk around every hour to prevent stiffness and improve circulation.

Consider using our standing desk or adjustable desk converter to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, promoting better posture and reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues.

Wrapping Up

At Branch, we believe maintaining good posture is essential for overall health and well-being, especially in today's sedentary lifestyle. By incorporating ergonomic furniture into your workspace, practicing proper sitting and standing habits, and being mindful of your posture throughout the day, you can prevent any discomfort and improve the quality of your work life.

Remember to listen to your body's signals, take regular breaks, and make adjustments as needed to support optimal posture. With dedication and awareness, you can cultivate healthy habits that support your body's natural alignment and promote overall wellness.

Start implementing these tips today to reap the benefits of improved posture and enjoy a more comfortable, productive, and fulfilling lifestyle.


Why good posture matters | Harvard Health

Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life | NIH

Individual and work related risk factors for neck pain among office workers: a cross sectional study | NIH

Comparison of Postures According to Sitting Time with the Leg Crossed | NIH

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