How To Sit On Your Sofa
You may take a look at the title and do a double take as to why would you need a guide on how to sit on a sofa? Most likely it has been something that you have done for years without too much thought. As back care professionals we have had hundreds if not thousands of conversations with patients about sitting on their sofa. For most of us it is perfectly natural to be focussed on what needs to be done during the course of a day rather than on how. Including how you sit on your sofa.
Is your sofa the centre of your universe?
The chances are your life is busy. You probably have a million and one things to do and spend your time just getting the necessary jobs done. This most likely leaves little time to think about how you are moving, sitting and using your body. Please spend a few moments to reflect on a few of the areas we highlight in this article to help you to avoid back pain unnecessarily. There are some quick and easy pointers that can make all the difference to relieving any undue strain on your back.
What do you use your sofa for?
This isn’t a trick question.
Is it purely to sit on, or is it also your dining room chair, your office space, your social media hub, your reading room, and/or the playground? The possibilities are endless…..
Whether you brought your sofa purely on aesthetics, the space you had to fill or considered its dimensions and functions for the use it would get, there are still some considerations you need to take into account when preventing back pain around the home.
We have put together 3 quick tips to help you get the best from your sofa and prevent it becoming a source of back pain.
1) Have a change of scenery.
We humans have a tendency to form habits and that includes which seat we favour.
Do you always sit in the same place to watch TV for example? If so are you always watching from an angle?
- Repetitive postures cause strain and weakness to the same body part each time.
- A twisted sitting position adds additional tension to the ligaments and muscles at the base of your back.
If it is possible, move your sofa so that it is positioned straight on to your television. Try to sit directly facing what you are doing so you are not twisting or turning. At the very least change your position each time you go to sit down. There is no need for “your spot” on the sofa, besides it is good to see things from a different perspective.
2) Don’t get stuck in one sitting posture
How do you tend to sit on the sofa? Do you cross your legs, sit with your legs tucked up or lie down?
- If you sit, for example with a leg tucked under, you most likely always tuck the same leg. This repetitive pattern leads to compensations that could cause back problems down the line.
- Look at the picture on the left (and the first image) Can you see the angle Lorna’s pelvis is at (higher on the right, lower on the left)? She is also leaning to the left. Imagine what this is doing to her spine. That all adds up over time.
- Keep changing position. Keep an eye out for any habits you have to the way you often sit on the sofa. Ideally you would sit straight, looking straight ahead as often as possible.
3) Is the ‘Sofa Office’ the best option?
Do you work on a computer at home? What is the set up like? Where do you work? Is it a desktop or laptop?
- It is all to easy to sit working on the laptop on the sofa. This often makes a good working posture hard to achieve.
- Lying on the sofa like the image to the right causes unnecessary strain on your head, neck and spine.
Try to work from a desk or table, sitting straight on to the pc/laptop, and keeping mobile.
All these sitting habits can really start to build up and take their toll on your body. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t be doing any of them; just that variety is the key.
Keep moving and changing, and avoid long periods of poor postures so that you are not straining your body more than is necessary.
We hope this short guide keeps you enjoying your living space pain free.