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Working in a Sitting Position - What to Avoid while Sitting

Why is body position or posture important while sitting?

Poor arrangement of the workstation encourages an awkward body position. A poor body position or posture can hinder blood circulation, affect the nervous system, and contribute to injuries and illnesses

What to avoid doing while sitting?

  • Tilting the head forward to prevent neck injury
  • Sitting without lumbar support to prevent back pain
  • Working with arms raised to prevent neck and shoulder pain
  • Bending wrists to prevent wrist pain and muscle cramps
  • Working with unsupported forearms to prevent shoulder and back pain
  • Lifting or dropping the shoulders
  • Keeping elbows far from the body
  • Frequently reaching for things (especially when bending or twisting of the back is necessary)
Avoid working with unsupported...
  • Cramming thighs under a worktable will affect blood circulation.
  • Sitting on a chair that has poor support for your body or stability
  • Rounding the back (slouching)
  • Excessively arching the lower back
  • Leaning forward without supporting bodyweight
  • Reclining the chair’s backrest at an angle greater than 30°
  • Dangling feet

How does sitting on a chair that is too high affect your body?

  • It puts pressure on your thighs which reduces the flow of blood and can cause varicose veins and swelling in the legs and ankles
  • It puts pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain or discomfort

How does sitting on a chair that is too low affect your body?

  • It disrupts blood circulation in lower legs, causing swelling
  • It creates too much pressure on buttocks and causes discomfort
  • It can cause rounding of the lower back, resulting in lower back pain
Avoid sitting on a chair that is too low

How does work at a worktable that is too high affect your health?

  • It causes bending of the wrists to reach the worktable, or resting the wrists on the edge which  result in damage to tissues and pain
  • It prevents use of proper lumbar support and can cause back injury
  • It makes it necessary to lift the shoulders, causing pain
  • It tires the whole body

How does work at a worktable that is too low affect your health?

  • It causes excessive rounding and bending of the back to reach the worktable, leading to back pain
  • Bending of the wrists may occur when working on the table (e.g., typing on a keyboard), causing wrist pain
  • Supporting the weight of the upper body causes fatigue


Document last updated on September 28, 2022
Document confirmed current on September 28, 2022

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.