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How to Sit and Stand Properly

by Kay Ireland

About Kay Ireland

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.


Maintaining proper posture when you're sitting and standing can help keep your back healthy and make you look taller and more confident. When you keep your body in the same position during a large portion of the day by sitting at an office desk, standing on a store floor or driving in your car, your posture can be compromised. By constantly reminding yourself to sit up straight, drop your shoulders and keep your body relaxed, you can maintain good posture no matter what your daily activities entail.

Step 1

Adjust your desk chair so it helps you maintain better posture, suggests the Spine Health website. Start by ensuring that the arm rests allow you to hold your arms at a 90-degree angle. You should be able to rest your elbows comfortably while you type. Adjust the lumbar support so that you sit parallel to the seat back with only the small of your back touching the back of the chair.

Step 2

Move your computer closer to the edge of the desk to eliminate slouching that occurs from leaning forward to see your screen. If you have trouble remembering to sit up straight, roll a towel and place it between your back and the back of the chair. This will push your back forward so you have no choice but to maintain good posture while sitting.

Step 3

Lower or raise your seat so your feet can sit flat on the floor, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. If you sit with your office chair or car seat too low, your lower back will be forced to compensate for the shift in balance. If your chair is too high, you may find yourself slouching to reach your keyboard or steering wheel. Ensure that your hips and knees are level, suggests Cleveland Clinic.

Step 4

Stand in front of a mirror to take stock of your standing posture. Even if you have good posture when you sit at your desk, your standing posture may still be poor. From the side, your shoulder should be in alignment with your hip and your ankle. If your shoulders are pushed forward, you need to straighten up. Too far back, and you need to relax your body.

Step 5

Balance your weight evenly on both feet. Place most of your weight on the balls of your feet. This is especially important when you're standing for long periods of time. Shifting your weight to one side of your body can incorrectly redistribute your body's weight for poor posture. If you stand constantly for your job, wear comfortable shoes that allow you to stand up straight with good support.

Photo Credits:

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.