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Best Chair For Posture

Experiments in seating position for desk work. What works and what doesn’t for posture.

White desk with desk raiser and laptop, with a black cat on a side board looking out of the window.
One contender- elevating a standard office chair with cushions and sitting on the edge of it to engage core muscles. Then having the desk raiser to alternate sitting with standing. Cat optional.

My experiment in finding the best way to sit in front of a computer whilst being comfy and keeping a good posture involved acquiring lots of different seating options and trying them out. My goal? Avoiding the dreaded rounded shoulders posture, as well as tech-neck aka nerd neck and forward head posture caused by craning over a screen.I was also keen to try and avoid seating positions which contribute to anterior pelvic tilt (ATP). But what is ‘anterior pelvic tilt’? Essentially its when your tummy sticks out and your lower back curves in too much- and its linked with rounded shoulders too. Don’t worry, it can be helped by certain exercises and avoiding bad habits like certain seating positions…

My different office chairs experiment!

Some failed attempts

The wobble stool

I was hoping that this funky seating options would be the answer to my dodgy office chair posture because in theory, sitting on a stool encourages you to engage your core muscles (like abs and glutes) instead of relying on the back support of a standard office chair and slumping. The problem with sitting on a stool however, is that you overcompensate due to not having back support in order to sit up straight by sticking your bum out, which can further aggravate anterior pelvic tilt. This below pictured ‘Wobble’ stool is height adjustable so you can perch on the edge whilst almost standing or sit normally on it. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but I found it really uncomfortable and sold it!

Wob

The saddle stool

Again I was hoping that a stool was the answer because you have to engage your core in order to sit upright. But it’s just too forced and ends up being uncomfortable. You hold yourself up and strain your lower back in the process.

Saddle stool at a computer desk with a desk raiser and laptop
The flat stool

Similar story. It just didn’t feel right and put pressure on my lower back.

The kneeling chair

I bought one (very cheaply from a charity shop fortunately). After a few hours my knees started to hurt and I felt like my anterior pelvic tilt was getting worse. Then I read that they encourage you to stick your bum out which contribute to you arching your lower back in as you can see in this pic. A thumbs down from me. Amazon link.

Kneel

Some better options!…

Sitting on the floor

Sitting on the floor is a great option for your posture; sitting cross legged or with legs to the side like in the pic below are good positions. Floor sitting is well worth experimenting with if you can. Sat like this compared to on a chair, I feel a lot less pressure on my shoulders and neck whilst working and it’s easier for me to concentrate. Sitting on the floor to eat is the norm in some cultures and I can see why, I feel more aligned and less squished in the spine compared to chair sitting! However, just resting the laptop on something in this position, this means you’re either looking down to see it or raising your arms to type, which isn’t ideal.

Pige

This video explains floor sitting well and it even offers chair based alternatives…

If you’re WFH you should definitely try sitting on the floor.

For office workers…

I’ve seen fancy swivel chairs which allow you to sit as you would on the floor which might work in a big office setting. Maybe persuade your boss?!

Swivel

Or Japanese floor chairs could be a contender, with which would need a low desk..

Takeaway

The best position for posture whilst working at a desk is your next position- you must keep moving around and not holding any position for longer than 30 mins to prevent a buildup of tension. Most office seats and stools can lead to back stiffness if you don’t move around enough. The best position for posture whilst working IMO? A mixture of standing up at a desk (with an adjustable desk raiser like in the first image in this blog), and sitting on the floor (or office chair if you can’t do this at work)- your body likes the variety!

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