Whenever we tell people that we’re performing an office ergonomics assessment, oftentimes their first reaction is to sit up straight. The upright posture has been ingrained into society as the proper way to sit, but does science prove that this is the best position to be in?
When seated, joints in the back and hips endure the force of gravity acting on the upper body, resulting in tissue strain and fatigue. The more weight the joints must endure, the more strenuous it is on the body, which means that the stick-straight back posture that most have come to associate with “proper” posture isn’t actually the best for the body.
When seated, a slightly reclined posture, where most of the weight is supported by a back rest, is suggested to reduce pressure on the lower back. But be careful. Too much leaning back, or too little, can increase fatigue in a prolonged seated posture.