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Are your sitting habits the perfect recipe for back problems?

by , 31 July 2013

FACT: Right now, you're probably among the many people who don't know a thing about good sitting posture! And bad posture is the main contributor to back problems. But it's never too late to learn. Read on to discover the three poor sitting habits you must avoid.

“Most of the experts agree that just sitting in a chair or on a couch is one of the most stressful positions you can get into in relation to your low back and neck,” says Chet Cunningham author of the Sciatica Report.

The good thing is that by making good sitting posture a habit, you just might be able to avoid back problems that can be caused or seriously aggravated by bad posture when sitting down.

Here’s how you can correct your sitting habits to avoid back problems

#1: Crossing your legs

When you cross your legs while sitting, you tip your pelvis to one side and this produces a curve in your spine. Usually this curve is temporary and will go away when you stand or move to a new position.

According to Cunningham, the best way to counteract this sideways curve is to alternate your leg positions. So cross your right leg over your left the first time and then reverse the cross after a short period. This reverses the spinal curve and negates any long-term problem.

Another tip is to push your pelvis firmly against the back of your chair before you cross your legs. This will give you a more stable platform.

#2: Stressful sitting

Avoid sitting in any position that causes you to have tightened muscles in your back or your neck just to maintain the position.

Don’t, for example, lean forward in your car when driving, stressing the muscles in your back. Or try not to tense up the muscles in your shoulders and back when you are stuck at your desk for hours pulling together that final report or answering emails.

Instead push your hips against the back of a firm chair, lean back, relax and let the chair hold you in a good sitting position.

#3: Sitting in the same place too long

“We humans are not designed to sit in one position for hours at a time. Sitting is much more stressful on the spine than standing,” warns Cunningham.

So even if you’re in a good sitting position, it’s good to give your body a break and get up and move about or change your sitting position. Cross your legs the other way, move to a different chair, do some work that requires you to be standing for some time.

It’s advisable to work out a variety of sitting positions to keep your body in better tune.

Adopting good sitting habits will help you maintain a good posture. And, as a result, you’ll prevent back problems.

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