What is the correct sitting posture to protect my back?

Dr Leisa

Good Question, a popular one too. This question has a few different answers, however, one thing they all have in common, is that you should always sit up straight! I’ll talk about correct sitting posture while sitting at home, office, and even in the car. Many of you have requested I elaborate on proper sitting, as a part 2 of my chair article earlier.

Sitting At Home

When sitting at home, be sure to sit in a chair that has a good back, and an even seat to it. Regardless of your height, and length of your legs, your feet should touch the floor. If your legs are shorter, and your feet do not touch the floor, get a foot stool to rest your feet to support your spinal muscles. When your feet ‘dangle’, your spinal muscles have to engage to support your lower back. This causes undue strain in your lumbar spine.


I recommend only a few styles of recliners. There are a few Scandinavian brands that make recliners that gently shift your body back, almost mimicking a reclining position, rather than actually reclining back in your chair. This is because when your body reclines back in the ‘recliner’, the ‘load’ or pressure into each lumbar vertebrae and it’s disc, is changed. This change in load, causes pressure on the disc, compromises its strength, and may cause bulging or protrusion of the disc over time. According to the late Vladimir Janda, MD, world renowned neurologist and physiatrist, disc issues became more common since the invention of the typical reclining chair.

Sitting At The Office

The correct sitting posture, while working at a computer, is to be sure and sits all the way into the chair, and do not slouch. The chair should be set at the correct height, so your arms are at a 90% angle to the desk, and once again, your feet should touch the floor. The back of your head should remain in a straight posture position. Picture a plumb line dropped from the ceiling. It should go through your ear, and shoulder. Many people bring their head too far forward, trying to look at the monitor. Do not do this! If your head is too far forward, your back will not be against the back of the chair. This, in turn, causes the muscles of your back to support your spine, instead of the back of the chair supporting your spine. This will cause pain and fatigue by the end of your work day, if not just a few hours into your day.

Sitting in The Car

When sitting in the car, again, do not slouch. Most vehicles today have reclining seats. It is tempting to recline the seat, but please resist the urge. Reclining seats are good for a quick nap at a road side rest area, but are not designed for driving in that position. When getting out of the seat, rotate facing out the door, and gently swing your legs in that direction. Now, stand up straight ahead, as if you were getting out of any other chair. This allows you to get up without twisting, and getting into contorted positions to get out of the vehicle.

Fir any questions regarding my articles, please contact me.

Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician
21043 N Cave Creek Rd. #A9
Phoenix, AZ 85024