How You Should Sit At Your Desk, According To Science

Among all the not-so-wonderful daily working habits we all engage in despite knowing better, how you should be sitting in your office chair is perhaps the worst offense. The days are long, the coffee is never strong enough, and most people can't afford a standing desk (nor could you just randomly bring it into your office one day and expect your boss to accommodate you). While it's certainly not as easy to sit correctly (come on, by 3 p.m., everyone is lagging even just a little), apparently it's really important. According to Harvard Medical School, the implications of bad posture are nothing to joke about. In particular, it can cause:

  • Inflexible muscles that decrease range of motion (how far a joint can move in any direction). For example, overly-tight, shortened hip muscles tug your upper body forward and disrupt your posture. Overly tight chest muscles can pull your shoulders forward.
  • Muscle strength affects balance in a number of ways. The “core muscles” of the back, side, pelvis, and buttocks form a sturdy central link between your upper and lower body. Weak core muscles encourage slumping, which tips your body forward and thus off balance. Strong lower leg muscles help keep you steady when standing.

And it's Harvard, so, looks like we have to listen. Thankfully, our friends over at Omnicore made these pretty amazing infographics that explain what an ideal seating position is, and how to achieve it. Check them out below, and remember that being an adult means doing things because they're important, not necessarily fun.

Ideal Seated Position

Your head should be up, your spine should be erect, and your wrists should be straight. Your elbows should be angled at 90 degrees, and your eyes focused on the upper third of the monitor.

Pressure Distribution

You should be bearing your body's weight evenly on your behind, so one area isn't overwhelmed by too much (and that your as$ doesn't fall asleep during the day).

The Best Kind Of Chair

Obviously, getting to great posture means investing in a great chair. They recommend looking for the following: fabric, backrest, seat height, tilt system, and pivoting arms, among other features.

In Defense Of The Office Chair

Now this one is a doozy (you'll be scrolling for a while!) but it's basically the best argument that you'll ever get as to why the standing desk isn't actually the solution to all of your problems. From explaining how many hours of your life you'll spend sitting in a chair to what work-related injuries actually cost to different positions you can try out so you're balanced and realistic, this is basically The Ultimate Infographic Of Being Healthy At Work. So sit back, relax, and uh... wait... I mean, sit up, and enjoy!

Images: Omnicore (4); Pixabay