2 Minutes To Improving Your Sitting Posture

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

2 Minutes To Improving Your Sitting Posture: Downtown Toronto Chiropractor

Do you have bad sitting posture?


Have you started to get neck pain, lower back pain or mid back pain when sitting too long?


Quick, correct your sitting posture right now? Does it improve how you feel?


Chances are if you have bad posture correcting your posture will improve how you feel in the lower back, upper back or neck. Good sitting posture makes you look better and takes away that stiffness and pain that comes as you sit for prolonged periods of time. Sitting up straight gives you the air of confidence and puts less pressure on your ligaments, tendons, and muscles making your whole body feel better.


Better sitting posture improves your breathing, circulation, and puts less pressure on your joints.

How to Improve Posture

The secret to great sitting posture is to keep the natural curves of your body. Your mid back is supposed to curve backwards. Do you know the Hunch Back of Notre Dame? He has an exaggerated upper back arch. Your upper back shouldn’t be as curved as this Hunch back but you can now visualize what direction I’m talking about.

Hyperlordosis Posture-Excessive Low Back Curve: Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

Similarly your lower back should be curved forward like this lady above, but she has too much of a curve. There should be a little bit of a hollow in your lower back when standing. If you stand against the wall you should be able to put your hand between the lower back and wall but it should feel snug.


The key to sitting is to maintain your lower back arch like most of you have when standing. Having evaluated thousands of people for their posture I can tell you that the vast majority of you, the lower back arch becomes straightened out while sitting.


Why is keeping the arch in your lower back important in the sitting posture? Slouching or straightening out your lower back arch, puts more pressure on the disc and puts a strain on your ligaments eventually leading to pain in your lower back. It probably feels more comfortable and it’s certainly easier to slouch and not keep the arch in your lower back as it takes more effort from your muscles.

Sitting Posture: Core Exercises To Help Your Posture: Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

You can maintain your lower back arch when sitting by “active sitting”. This means that you are consciously sitting in the “proper posture” by trying to maintain your lower back arch which automatically brings your head backwards, thus putting less pressure on your neck. Notice how in the picture above that the man has a straight lower back. He is not maintaining the arch in his lower back. His lower back position and pelvis position affects the position of his head and brings it further forward.


So the lower back is the building block to having having good posture in the neck and the upper back. Like a house built on a crooked foundation you can’t have good sitting posture without your lower back in the correct position.


Next you need to bring the head back a little further from that forward position. While lower back posture helps bring the head back, it usually requires a little bit more coaxing.


The second secret to great sitting posture is being aware of your body. Most of you probably aren’t aware if your lower back is forward or backward or neutral. This can be changed with these exercises.


You need to do the Slouch Correct Exercise.

      1. First, sit down and slouch. Most of you should be pretty good at this as most of you including myself slouch sometimes.
      2. Next: Correct your posture – Bring your lower back forward or in other words make your tummy protrude out as much as you can.
      3. Tuck in your chin as much as possible so you have a double chin
      4. Stick your chest out which makes for easier breathing.
      5. Now let go about 10% at the lower back and neck area.
      6. Do this 10X for one set. Do 3 sets each day.

Doing these exercises makes you more aware of your body. By being more aware of your posture you can correct your posture more easily.

So the key to having great sitting posture is to put your lower back forward while sitting, which brings your neck backwards. Next tuck your chin in so it brings your neck a little further back. Finally do the Slouch Correct exercise so that you are aware of your posture. Conscious sitting, with practice will improve the endurance you have for sitting in your new correct posture. After several several weeks to months you will have the endurance to hold your posture better.

You will be rewarded with less pain in the lower back, neck and upper back. That’s why you should change your posture.

Keep in mind there are some individuals with certain type of conditions such as stenosis and relatively rarer types of disc herniations where slouching takes away their pain, so slouching is good for them.  For the vast majority of you though you should sit up straight.

So, mother was right about my sitting posture!


Dr Ken Nakamura

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