Posture – Sitting and Sleeping

Have you read the latest study that sitting too much is bad for your health? If you sit a lot, even with exercise, you are at risk for a bunch of diseases as well as early death. Yup. Not the most encouraging study for those of us stuck behind a desk all day, but a nice endorsement for the standing desk. If you have not read the study yet, you can find a brief summary at the Washington Post.

I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of sitting. So today I looked up proper sitting posture. It may kill me, but at least I’m going to do it correctly. According to the Cleveland Clinic your natural spinal curves should be in place (no bowing over like a giant C) and your buttocks should touch the back of the chair while your shoulders and arms should hang naturally at your sides.

The Cleveland Clinic also provides helpful information on the proper way to drive a car, lift heavy objects, sleep, and lay down. While I don’t spend a lot of time driving or lifting I do enjoy sleeping. First they suggest using a pillow to keep your neck in “normal position.” I’m not sure what they mean by that. Normal, as in my neck should continue to attach my head to my body? They also suggest a lumbar support to make you more comfortable such as a rolled sheet or towel tied around your waist… which sounds like the very opposite of comfortable.

How to use a pillow.
How to use a pillow.

After some further poking around I found an entire Cleveland Clinic page devoted to sleep positioning. As you can see from the drawing above there are proper ways to use a pillow and maintain a “normal” neck. Proper hip and spinal alignment are also recommended. A pillow between your legs and a soft mattress can help. Check out the page for more information.

I am exhausted from sitting and staring at a computer all day. Time to get some properly aligned rest.


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