Better Sitting Posture: So you’re gonna teach me how to sit…?

Sit up straight or your boobs will sag, I was told as a teenager.  Men look inches taller with good posture.  But when you look around, we are a nation of slumped shoulders, sway backs, hyper extended spinal curves, and lower back problems.  Why?  Read below for tips on good sitting posture on the ground, and in this series I’ll cover sitting posture, driving posture, standing posture, and sitting in front of a computer WORK posture.

What I think I look like when sitting cross legged…

posture - good (nude woman)
By Jack Versloot from Beijing (cropped from Pinagbuyutan Private Beach) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
What I actually look like when sitting cross legged…

Angus fans sit Indian-style
By Megan Mcintosh ( via Flickr

 You wanna be the Hunchback of Notre Dame?  I don’t think so… When we are born we have beautiful posture.  Naturally, young children sit up straight but learn how to slouch from observation.  They watch us and learn bad habits.  We sit in front of computers all day, drive cars, sit on couches, and do all sorts of activities that weaken our back muscles and cause tightness in our pecs.  In addition to strengthening the lower back with some core exercises (like in my videos here and here), and stretching out the pectoral muscles, following the instructions below will help correct a lifetime of neglect.

Sitting Crosslegged Instructions (And you thought you already knew how.)

  1. Sit on the floor and cross your legs.
  2. Let you knees drop to the lowest level that is comfortable.
  3. Make your back relatively straight (in this posture, there will not be much curve to your lower back).
  4. Push your chest out slightly.
  5. Tuck your chin in a little.
  6. Look forward.

You want to feel very grounded. Your hip bones should be connected to the floor, and you should be comfortable.  Avoid over extension of the back, and slouching forward of the shoulders.mmYes, you will probably get tired.  Yes, you will say it hurts to sit up straight.  That is your body’s signal that your muscles are weak.  You might want to start with just a few minutes and change positions when you get tired.  Do some cobra/upward dog type stretches and slowly build up to sitting longer periods of time, but don’t sacrifice form and start slouching again!

By Chi Chang Wu [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Sit up straight!

  • CLICK HERE for driving posture: tips and exercises to do to alleviate and prevent back pain while driving
  • COMING SOON – post about correct posture and exercises to do while sitting at a desk all day in front of a computer
  • COMING SOON – post about correct posture while standing



3 thoughts on “Better Sitting Posture: So you’re gonna teach me how to sit…?

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