Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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What is a good sitting body position?

There is no one or single body position that is recommended for sitting. Every worker can sit comfortably by adjusting the angles of their hips, knees, ankles and elbows. The following are general recommendations. Occasional changes beyond given ranges are acceptable and sometimes beneficial.

  • Keep the joints such as hips, knees and ankles open slightly (more than 90°).
  • Keep knee joints at or below the hip joints.
  • Keep ankle joints in front of the knees.
  • Keep a gap the width of three fingers between the back of the knee joint and the front edge of the chair.
  • Keep feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
Keep the joints...
  • Keep the upper body within 30° of an upright position.
  • Keep the lumbar support of the back rest in your lumbar region (around the waistband).
Keep the upper body...
  • Always keep the head aligned with the spine.
  • Keep upper arms between vertical and 20° forward.
  • Keep elbows at an angle between 90° and 120°.
  • Keep forearms between horizontal and 20° up.
  • Support the forearms.
Keep elbows...
  • Keep the wrists straight and aligned with the forearms.
  • Place the working object so that it can be seen at viewing angle of 10° to 30° below the line of sight.
Place the working..
Place the working...
  • Keep shoulders low and relaxed.
  • Keep elbows tucked in.
  • Tuck chin in and do not bend forward when looking down and forward.
  • Change positions frequently but remain within recommended ranges.
  • Alternate crossed legs.
  • Avoid bending to the side.
  • Avoid bending forward.
  • Do not slouch.
  • Do not sit for more than 50 minutes at a time.
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Document last updated on November 1, 2010

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