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Working in a Sitting Position - Good Body Position

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.

Sitting position recommendations

  • Keep the joints such as hips, knees, and ankles at an angle of 90° or slightly higher
  • 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 seat
  • Keep feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.
Keep the joints...
  • Keep the upper body straight (not twisted) and in an upright position
  • Keep the lumbar support of the back rest in your lumbar region (curve in the lower back)
  • Keep the back straight (avoiding twisting)
Keep the upper body...
  • Keep the head aligned with the spine
  • Keep upper arms between vertical and 20° forward
  • Keep elbows at an angle around 90°, close to the body, and avoid lifting or dropping shoulders
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
  • Avoid this position when high force application is needed to complete job tasks

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.