How to Sit

This is Dana Ranahan at Body Works Sports Physiotherapy in North Vancouver and I’m here today to show you a technique for sitting better. I work with a lot of people who end up sitting at a computer a lot of the day, or driving for long periods commuting to and from work and how to sit is really important because it sets base of support for the rest spine effectively and can effect your lower back, your hip. If you have pain in these areas, this will definitely be helpful for you and sometimes it can even effect your neck.

A lot of times I ask people to show me how they sit. A lot of times, I’ll see people reaching up staying quite upright and sitting more upright through their body and then when they come back it ends up putting them into a position where their pelvis sort of rotates back or they slouch a bit through their lower back. When we’re here, it creates more easy position to slouch up top.

So when I’m teaching people to sit, one of the things I get them to work on is thinking about where’s the hip position come in space relative to the rest of the body. So if the hip stays upright when you sit, there’s more of a vertical load and it’s going to push you into this postural pelvis position. What I teach people to do is think about bending from the hips initially, almost like you’re bowing over like a waiter bow, and then sinking back into a deeper squat, where you’re going to bring the hips right back and open wide through the hips to the back of the seat so that when you sit upright the spine will be more supported by the chair and the pelvis is broader or wider. So effectively, the sit bones that we sit on in the day will feel wider like a wider base of support. And if we come around and look at it from the front, we’ll see that the knees and the feet line up in front as well, so when you’re looking at yourself sitting, you should see that your feet and knees line up with your hips.

Often times as we’re working in the day doing things, we get into these positions where we shift or twist or we sit cross-legged which creates a twist in the pelvis, and these positions if held for long create twists in the spine that can lead to pain. I encourage you try this sitting technique where we’re going to think about hinging, sinking our buttocks back into the chair and sitting deep into your chair at work and see if that helps you manage some of your symptoms.

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