Is It SITTING or HOW We Sit?
An interesting article on National Public Radio’s website looked at sitting and back pain. In it, they looked at sitting from different viewpoints; do we sit too much or do we sit wrong? The article brings up interesting points.
Working on the assumption that North Americans sit too much, researchers at the University of Arizona studied a group of people in Tanzania who still live as hunter-gatherers. As a result of this lifestyle, they walk for about 75 minutes each day while getting their food. To see if they sat less, the subjects were given heart rate monitors. What was found is that they sit almost as much as North Americans. And they experience less low back pain than we do.
Other researchers looked at how we sit. In other cultures, they were able to find examples of people who sat as long as we do, but their posture was better. The back was flat and long, not rounded. These researchers even looked into our not-too-distant past and found our grandparents and great-grandparents sat straighter than we do now.
The important part of sitting is not to make a C-shape when someone looks at you from the side. You want to sit on your pelvis so the spine can extend up and not backward. One suggestion mentioned in the article is to think about where your tail would be if you had one. Then, don’t sit on your tail! To find where this position is, it is suggested that before you sit, bend forward at the hips. This makes you stick out your backside, which gives you a better target for sitting and not sitting “on your tail.”