Supported Sitting

Since most people spend a lot of their day sitting this article will be focused on how to sit in a supported way which protects the back maintaining a lumbar curve in your lower back and helps maintain range of motion in the hips.

Find a chair or bench to sit on! You want to find one that has enough height to have a slight downward angle in your thigh.

Step One: Find your seat bones!

What are your seat bones you ask? Sit on your chair and let your body rock side to side as well as forward and back gently and feel the bony part of your pelvis on the chair. These are your ischial tuberosities.  If you are not feeling two bony points then tilt your pelvis back and forth gently until you can feel connection with the chair.

Once you find the seat bones continue to rock back and forth until you find a happy medium between leaning backward and forward. This should be a place that feels comfortable and easy in the body.

Step Two: Thigh angle

While sitting on your chair you want a slight downward angle in your thigh. This means that your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. If the chair you are on is too short to do this and can’t be changed add a folded towel or blanket to raise the seat. If the chair is too high for your feet to touch the ground then use the towel or blanket for under your feet (phone books work too for under the feet)

Step Three: Foot Position

Once you have the right angle in your leg the next alignment to look at is your foot position. You want to line your ankle bones up under your knees. This means that the leg will be in a little bit bigger than a 90 degree angle. You want your foot to lay flat on the floor. What I mean by this is you want weight through the whole foot. For example you wouldn’t want to put weight just in your toes but feel your heels as well.

When your feet are in a good position, gently press your feet into the floor. You will feel a slight lift in your body activating your core and decompression in the low back. This connection into the feet helps create support for the upper body and takes the load off the low back. You do not have to push hard with your feet at all times just keep an awareness of the bottoms or your feet.

Side Notes:

  • If pushing into your feet creates tension in your body imagine that the floor is coming up to support your feet instead of pushing into the floor.
  • If you are having trouble finding the lift, have a friend gently put their hand on your lower back then press into your feet slowly. This will help you feel the lift as you connect with their hand.
  • If you want to deepen that connection from your feet to your core put a pillow between your knees and bring the knees towards one another slightly as you press into your feet