People + Process = Performance

The Best Sitting Posture That May Surprise You

“What is the best sitting posture?”  That question always comes up whenever I do office ergonomics training.  The answer to that question always surprises people.  My first answer is “your best posture is your next posture” as our bodies are not made to stay in one static position for long periods of time.  My second answer addresses the actual posture that is best based upon the pressure (forces) on the lumbar spine and hips/thighs.  As you can see in the graphic below the ‘old school’ thinking of sitting upright isn’t the best posture and neither is sitting forward, leaning into your workstation.  Reclined posture is best based upon forces; however, it is difficult to achieve in the traditional office workstation set up.  There are two primary workstation changes that need to occur in order work in a reclined posture—1) a task chair with head support is needed otherwise the person will flex the head/neck which isn’t good posture and 2) the monitor and keyboard/mouse need to be positioned at different height and angles.  A dual swing monitor arm and articulating keyboard/mouse tray (adjusts for height and tilt angle) have the flexibility to accommodate the position necessary to work reclined.