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09 June 2020
If someone told you the real number of hours you spend sat on your sofa each year, you’d probably be shocked!
Some studies suggest this could be as much as 40 days or over a thousand hours!
But did you know that the way in which you sit on your sofa could spell disaster for your back in the long run?
Changing your seating position could help to protect you from future back pain or posture problems. It’s time to break any bad sitting habits…
Sofas tend to be our default ‘go-to’ place to relax after a hard day at work or running after small children.
We can stretch out to take a nap, which is great when we’re feeling under the weather.
We can snuggle up with loved ones to watch our favourite film.
And yet we probably don’t even notice the way that we usually sit on our sofa.
It’s important to make sure you’re not risking any damage to your back, as well as your neck and shoulders.
If you tend to be a ‘sofa-slouch’ with your feet in front of you on the floor, but without any support in place for your lower back, you will end up with a very stiff and sore neck.
If you’re bent over a laptop all day, this position will only cause or exacerbate neck strain, which could then spread into your upper and lower back areas. Try facing forwards when you’re watching TV.
If you haven’t got a handy footstool or a reclining sofa (yes, these do exist!), then you may be tempted to stretch both legs across your sofa, twisting at an angle to watch the TV.
The problem with this is the pressure placed on your hips and pelvis. Over time, this position may put a strain on your spine. So, always ensure your face and body are aligned in one direction.
If you have got a footstool, then don’t be fooled into thinking your position is okay unless your back is fully supported. If you start to slouch in this position, then you could strain the muscles in your neck and shoulders, as they struggle to support your head.
You could end up with weak abdominal and back muscles, which will inevitably lead to back pain at some stage. If this is a bad habit you may struggle to break, then it’s worth regularly offsetting some sofa time with an exercise regime that focuses on strengthening your core muscles.
Try facing forwards when you’re watching TV. Ideally, your back should be supported by the sofa backrest or cushions. Your feet should always be flat on the ground in front of you.
If you prefer to use a footstool, then make sure you have good support in place for your back before you raise your feet. Think about aligning your body posture to prevent any needless pressure on your back, neck and shoulders.
Get up, stretch and walk around the room every hour or so to prevent any stiffness (yes, even during a Netflix binge!).
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