Back Safety: Sitting

Sitting can strain your back if you don’t do it properly. Learn the right moves to protect your back.

Image of woman in chair lifting herself up off the chair using her arms

Image of woman in chair lifting herself up off a chair using her arms

Sitting down

Follow these steps to sit down. Reverse them to get back up.

  • Make sure the chair is behind you.

  • Place one foot slightly behind the other.

  • Tighten your stomach muscles. Bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight.

  • Hold the armrests or sides of the seat for support.

  • Bend your knees. Use your leg muscles to lower yourself onto the seat.

  • Scoot back in the seat until you are comfortable.

Image of man in chair sitting with legs up on a footrest

Sitting safely

  • Keep your feet flat. Don’t cross your legs.

  • A low footrest (no higher than 8 inches) may help.

  • A support behind your lower back or at your shoulder blades can help make you more comfortable.

  • When sitting for long periods, change your position from time to time. Also, get up every half hour and move around.