Good Sitting Posture In 2020
What is good sitting posture – that is the question.
In a constantly changing world, where computers are getting sleeker, screens are getting smaller and we are readily attached to our devices more and more, what is good sitting posture?
Some argue that there is no one true posture, and that may be true to some extent, but one thing is certain there is bad posture.
Bad posture is any posture that you stay in (and don’t move out of) for a significant amount of time. That may be hunched over like a hermit in your computer chair staring into your laptop, or sitting ramrod straight. Any position, sustained hour after hour, week over week and year over year is a bad posture. This is where most people get it wrong.
We like to think of things simply. Mitch, how should I sit in order to never have back pain, neck pain and make 1 million dollars a year? This is a question I get often, and the answer is always this: Your next position is your best position. If you want to keep it simple, then just remember that.
Our body craves movement, so in order to feed that craving, we need to integrate movement into our day.
I know that our modern world is a sitting world. Heck, the phrase ‘Sitting is the new smoking’is a real thing now! Our sedentary lifestyles are one of the biggest contributors to heart disease, stroke, and obesity on the planet. I also know that sitting isn’t going anywhere, so, what do we do?
Well, there is a big trend, and push towards sit to stand desks (the Fellowes Lotus Sit-To-Stand is my personal favorite), which is amazing but the vast majority of folks that use them still tend to sit, a heck of a lot more than they stand. We’ve upgraded equipment, but not change the behavior.
So what’s the solution?
Well you’ve heard me blabber on about how when it comes to posture â€˜the next position is the best position but I totally understand, for the reasons listed above that sitting is here to stay – so with that in mind, in 2020, what is the best sitting posture!
To dissect this, I’m going to break things down into the 2 most common situations that we encounter.
- How to Sit at a desk
- Best Phone Posture in 2020
*Now my caveat here is that the best sitting posture I’m recommending, aka good sitting posture is based on the fact of what the majority of folks are doing out there.
So let’s Dive in.
1. How to Sit at the desk in 2020
So when it comes to sitting at your desk, there are a few big things to consider. The first and foremost is setting up your workspace to keep you in the most optimal position.
What is the most optimal position? The position that you are in the least. For the vast majority of us, hunched forward, staring into our computer screens is where we are most, so setting up your workstation to promote the opposite of that, a more upright position, would be optimal.
Now in order to find this ‘optimal’ position. We are going to use the simple Rule of 90. That means each of our major joints are going to be bent at 90 degrees. So our ankles, knees, hips, and elbows are all comfortably resting at 90 degrees. And there is a straight line from your hips, up to the top of your head.
Now, it is normal to vary from this position throughout the day. But given it is likely the least common position for you, returning to it often is important. Here is a video we did back when we were known as The Movement Centre on how to sit properly (we’ll include the transcript for the video below):
The Biggest Problems
Now the biggest problems that tend to arise are what I call force leaks. That means awkward hinges, or bowing of joints which don’t allow for ultimate force transfer.
Take for example this photo:
Her back is rounded and her neck is kinked. Both are force leaks. Weight is no longer being transferred equally through the centre (and weight-bearing portions) of our spinal segments, but the majority of the weight is hinging through 2-4 segments instead.
Instead, a better posture would be something like this:
The neck is straight, meaning its loading equally and the lumbar spine is doing the same. She has a phone to her ear (which is a whole different story…those cellphone rays can’t be good!), not kinking her neck at all to the phone. She looks natural and comfortable – not robotic at all like most people think good sitting posture means.
She’s following the Rule of 90 here. Her ankles and hips are bent to 90 degrees, her spine is straight from her hips to her brain and she looks comfy!
2. Best Phone Posture in 2020
Now phones have changed the game. Most of us are essentially walking around with mini-computers in our pockets. These bad boys do a lot! What that means is that most of us are spending a lot of time on our phones. Now, I don’t think that’s a bad thing! These things are great.
Phones allow us to be mobile, work from anywhere and be super-efficient – but they also create new challenges for our bodies.
The crime or the problem for phone users commit is that they keep the phone in their lap and bring their face to their phone. This is a problem because in order to do this, we have to hinge through our neck. We’re going more into why this is such a problem in a future post, but for now, just know that it’s bad news bears!
So, what is a good sitting posture when on your phone?
Well, the first rule is to keep your neck in a neutral position. That means keeping your chin gently tucked in and if you want to bring your face closer to your phone, hinge from your hips, or simply bring your phone closer with your arms (photos below).
So, what is a good sitting posture when on your phone?
Well, the first rule is to keep your neck in a neutral position. That means keeping your chin gently tucked in and if you want to bring your face closer to your phone, hinge from your hips, or simply bring your phone closer with your arms (photos below). Using a helpful tool like a Pop Socket can really help promote an optimal wrist and neck position. These tools better position your phone, or device in your hand and will allow you to easily find the best position for you.Â
That’s all for this one folks. I hope that helps shed some light on the right and wrong way to better your posture in 2020! Our understanding of how posture releates to and effects our body has changed drastically over the years and in order to keep ourselves moving like we mean it, we can to keep all of this in mind!
Since people always ask:
HERE are some pretty awesome tools you can use to help maintain this posture in 2020.
Upright Go Trainer – This handy little gadget syncs with your phone and sticks on your back to give you real-time feedback (and reminders) of your posture. Now, I love this because it trains your behavior. It reminds you to do it! It doesn’t just hold you in place like many of these other brace style devices.
Pop Sockets – These bad boys are super simple, but they are also effective! With all the phone time spent nowadays, these are an amazing way to save your body. They essentially allow you more easily support your phone in one hand so that you’re not leaning it on your pinky, and kinking your wrists giving yourself carpal tunnel!
Sit-to-Stand Desks – This is an obvious one, but there are so many out there! We actually did a whole post on The Top 3 Things To Consider When Buying a Standing Desk, but my overall favorite is the Fellowes Lotus Sit-To-Stand.
Physiotherapist and Founder
A Toronto-based Physiotherapist with a passion for sports, orthopedics, and human movement. Mitchell’s goal is to understand how the site of pain is impacted by the entire body – rather than pinpointing a specific disturbance. He is also the founder of DeskJockeyPhysio.com - a website geared toward giving people the tools they need to self-manage, treat and prevent their injuries.
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