Experiments in seating position for desk work- what works and what doesn’t for posture
My experiment in finding the best way to sit in front of a computer whilst being comfy and keeping a good posture involved acquiring lots of different seating options and trying them out. Goal? Avoiding the dreaded rounded shoulders posture, as well as tech-neck aka nerd neck aka forward head posture, as well as anterior pelvic tilt. You’ve probably heard of and maybe have rounded shoulders and forward head posture. But do you know about the very common ‘anterior pelvic tilt’? Here’s an image below to show what I mean- essentially its when the tummy sticks out and the lower back curves in too much- and its linked with rounded shoulders. Don’t worry, it can be remedied by certain exercises and avoiding bad habits like certain seating positions…
Chair Experiment- Some failed attempts…
The wobble stool
I was hoping this would be the answer; stools encourage you to engage the core (abs, glutes etc) instead of slumping. The problem with this is that you overcompensate in order to sit up straight by sticking your bum out which can further aggravate anterior pelvic tilt. This stool is height adjustable so you can perch on the edge whilst almost standing or sit normally on it. But I found it really uncomfortable and am trying to sell it, want to buy it from me?!
The saddle stool
Again I was hoping that a stool was the answer because you have to engage your core in order to sit upright. But its just too forced and ends up being uncomfortable. You hold yourself up and strain the lower back in the process.
The flat stool
Similar story. It just didn’t feel right and put pressure on the lower back.
The kneeling chair
I bought one (very cheaply from a charity shop fortunately). After a few hours my knees started to hurt and I felt like my anterior pelvic tilt was getting worse. Then I read that they encourage you to stick your bum out which contribute to you arching your lower back in as you can see in this pic. A thumbs down from me.
Sitting on the floor is definitely the best seating position for posture; cross legged or legs to the side are my favourites. This is well worth experimenting with if you can. I feel a lot less pressure on my shoulders and neck whilst working and its easier for me to concentrate. However, just resting the laptop on something like this means you’re either looking down to see it or raising your arms to type, both dodgy options for posture. See the last image for a better version of this.
This video explains floor sitting well and it even offers chair based alternatives…
If you’re WFH you should definitely try sitting on the floor.
For office workers…
I’ve seen fancy swivel chairs which allow you to sit as you would on the floor which might work in a big office setting.
Or Japanese floor chairs could be a contender, with which would need a low desk..
The best position is your next position- you must keep moving around and not holding any position for longer than 30 mins. Also, most seats and stools are rubbish and ruin your posture! Floor sitting is the best. If not possible to do try a Japanese floor seat or a fancy swivel chair with a flat base which allows you to sit cross legged and in different positions.
Good posture: arms are comfy typing with elbow and wrists at a similar height. Eyes are in line with the top of the screen. You have wiggle room to sit either cross legged, legs to the side, legs apart. Then when your legs get squished it means its time to get up and move around. This setup makes you move which is what is good for posture. Its chair based rigidity which is the problem.Go back