New Year's Guide to Sitting - Day 5 - The Couch

To kick off the new year, I’m sending out a daily email this week, focusing each day on a different type of chair or way we sit.  At the end of the week, I will launch my long-requested audio guide for sitting!  

How we sit is more important than what we sit on, but...if your seating is working against you, you’ll be on a uphill battle to sitting better.  

Each day this week I’m talking about a form of seating, some common issues with each one, and suggest simple solutions to help with the most common problems.  If you missed the previous days, check them out here on my blog

Day 5 - The Couch

Your living room couch may seem to be far from the ideal ergonomic workstation, but given the portability of devices, you probably spend a fair amount of time sitting on it if you work on a laptop.  Here are two ways to set yourself up for avoiding strain.

1.  Lean back and relax, but really lean and scoot all the way back so your bottom is where the seat of the couch meets the back.   You can put a pillow behind you for extra support or to keep your back supported if you want to lean back at an angle.  Sitting all the way back against a pillow or the back of the couch avoids the downward slide where you could end up practically sitting on your lower back (ouch!).  It may feel comfy at first, but after awhile, sitting on your lower will likely cause strain. 

Also, make sure you're really letting your shoulders relax back onto the couch.  If you tend to pull your shoulders forward when you type, see if you can type while simply keeping your shoulders leaning back on the couch.  Don't pull them back, just let them relax back as much as you can.

If you're laptop is on your lap, you'll have to look down a bit to see it.  Instead of dropping your head and upper body forward and down, gently tip your chin and just slightly nod your head.  

2.  Lie down and prop your upper back and head up with some pillows.  If you like working in this position, I highly recommend investing in a "Chill Desk".  You can use it if you work on your laptop lying in bed as well and it can also be used to turn your desk or a table top into a standing desk.  Check out this video on the chill desk here.

Tomorrow I'll talk about sitting in transit.  And stay tuned for the launch of my audio guide on sitting coming up on Saturday!

And check out what further topics to expect this week:
Seating in planes, trains and automobiles
The floor