Finding Your Neutral Spine: How to Sit More Comfortably!
If you work in an office chances are you may have experienced a few aches and pains – anywhere from your neck and shoulders to your lower back.
Of the patients’ I see in the clinic, the majority have a neck or back issue, many have both.
Every day I see the impact neck and back pain has on the population and the resulting effects on one’s ability to work, exercise and enjoy life.
If you haven’t had neck or back pain, wouldn’t it be great to keep it that way?
Whether you sit or stand at work, it is important to make sure you do so in a neutral position for your spine, to reduce stress on your joints and tension in your muscles.
Can you find neutral?
1. Sit forward in your chair, sitting on your hands (palms up). Roll your pelvis/hips backwards and forwards and feel your “sitbones” moving. Can you find the spot where the bones stop moving? Stop once you’ve got it!
2. If you have overactive or tight hip flexors it’s important to make sure that they are relaxed. In your neutral spine position, shift your weight onto your left hand. With your right hand grab your right hip pulling it back and sliding your hand out. Now repeat for your left hip by shifting your weight onto your right hip. Feel you sitbones more prominently against the seat?
3. Now that you have found neutral for your lower back and relaxed your hip flexors sit back in your chair so that your lower back contacts the backrest. Place one hand on your pubic bone (below your belly button) and one on your sternum. Stack your hands over each other (to ensure you are not leaning forwards or backwards). Lastly roll your shoulders back and down and lengthen your neck. This last bit helps to ensure that your top half is evenly stacked.
If you sit all day, it’s not likely that you will maintain “perfect” neutral posture all day. That’s why we recommend you avoid sitting for longer than 30-40 minutes and when you go back to your chair you start by finding your neutral spine position.
Let us know how you go!