Coronavirus
Healthy Sitting
 

​Abstract:

  • Many people fail to pay due attention to healthy sitting positions and postures, which makes them susceptible to health problems. 
  • Those who sit for long hours need to ensure that they maintain a healthy sitting position.
  • Healthy sitting is necessary for the health of the body bones and joints, in a manner that ensures optimal functioning of the muscles, and prevents pain.
Overview:
Normally, people spend a significant part of the day sitting. As such, they need to maintain a healthy sitting position Many people fail to pay due attention to healthy sitting positions and postures, which makes them susceptible to health problems. To maintain a healthy body posture, you need to train your body on how to stand, sit and move with the least possible pressure on the muscles and cords. Anybody posture, including the sitting posture, involves the skeletal system (and the bones it is made up of), as well as the muscles, joints, and other tissue that link the body parts to one another. Those who spend long hours sitting at desks need to take additional measures to ensure that they maintain a healthy sitting position.

Why healthy sitting is important?
Maintaining a healthy sitting position supports the body in many ways. It helps:
  • Maintain the health of bones and joints, thus allowing the muscles to support the skeleton correctly;
  • Prevent the fatigue caused by improper functioning of the muscles;
  • Reduce the pressure on the cords that link the joints to the backbone, thus reducing the effort exerted by the body;
  • Prevent back and muscle pain. 
Complications of unhealthy sitting: 
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, back, hips and legs
  • Lack of body flexibility
  • Reduced capacity for joint movement
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Constant pain
  • Numbness in the fingers, and wrist pain
  • Eye strain, which may develop such symptoms as: red and dry eyes, pain and headache
  • Frequent fatigue
How to maintain a healthy sitting position?
  • Adjust the height of the chair or seat so that, when you use the keyboard, your forearms become straight and parallel to the ground, thus preventing frequent fatigue. 
  • Adjust the level of your computer: keep the screen level becomes suitable for the eye level, without having to bend your neck.
  • Adjust the level of your forearms and wrists: keep them parallel to the chair, and relax your shoulders.
  • Support your back: keep it upright, and, where possible, use a soft back-supporting pillow.
  • Position your knees correctly: maintain a small gap between the back of the knees and the chair.
  • Place your feet on the floor or footrest, keep them flat, and avoid crossing your knees or ankles.
  • Adjust the waist and hips: make sure your body weight is evenly distributed on both sides of the waist, by maintaining an upright posture.
Besides, make sure to avoid the following:
  • Sitting on the tip of the chair, bending your backbone, or staying in the same sitting position for too long;
  • Sitting for too long: take at least a 10-minute break for every hour of sitting;
  • Straining your neck for too long while looking at screens or using your smartphone;
  • Sitting without support for the back (especially the lower back).
General guidelines for maintaining the health of your bones, muscles and backbone:
  • Exercise regularly for 30 minutes every day, and combine between stretches and resistance exercises;
  • Avoid staying in the same body position for too long, and change your position or activity every hour;
  • Keep the screen at the eye or chest level when reading, to avoid straining the neck of the upper backbone;
  • Sit upright and look forward when looking into the screen of your computer or smartphone;
  • When lifting or carrying heavy weights, bend your legs rather than the backbone;
  • When lifting or carrying heavy weights, keep them close to your body;
  • Adjust the car seat position, so that it provides support to your back without straining it, and allowing your knees to bend;
  • Add back-supporting pillows to your chairs and seats (including the car seats) to reduce the back straining;
  • Wear comfortable and supporting shoes when standing for a long time;
  • Keep upright while walking, and avoid hunching over or sliding.
FAQ: 
  • How can I properly use a swivel chair?
    • When using a swivel chair, make sure to rotate your body as a whole, and not just the waist. 
  • How can I properly stand from a chair?
    • When standing up from a chair, push your body forward to the tip of the chair, and then lift your body up, making sure to keep your legs straight. 
Myths & Truths:
  • A sitting position where the shoulders are hunched, and the back is bent forward does not cause pain.
    • Truth: Bending the back forward may give a temporary feeling of comfort, but in the long run, it causes pain in (and damage to) the backbone in particular, and the whole body in general. 
  • Healthy sitting is uncomfortable.
    • Truth: Healthy sitting may feel uncomfortable at first. This is due to the fact that the body is not used to healthy sitting. Over time, however, the body and muscles get used to the healthy sitting. 
  • Bending the chair backward is appropriate for the back.
    • Truth: This position may feel comfortable since it relieves the pressure on parts of the backbone (especially the lumbar vertebrae area). Though, it causes substantial pressure on the neck, shoulders and arms.

Clinical Education General Department
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