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 9837 2385
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Sengkang: 6284 4878 | 9817 2361
Toa Payoh: 6226 0829 | 9827 3139
Potong Pasir: 6241 2124 | 9837 2385

What is the Best Posture for Sitting at a Desk All Day?

Incorrect and Correct Sitting Posture

It is definitely necessary to learn the best posture for sitting at a desk. A lot of jobs require us to work on a desk for about 8 to 9 hours and it isn’t always possible to get up and stay active. We all know sitting for long periods of time can lead to back and neck pain. The culprit is usually prolonged, sedentary posture.

What is a Good Sitting Posture?

A good sitting posture involves training our body to sit in a position where there is the least strain on your muscles and ligaments, and at the same time supported by the right amount of muscle tension while seated for a period of time.

Correct sitting posture can help by:

  • decreasing the stress on the spinal ligaments thus improving spine health
  • preventing the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • reducing wear and tear on the joints, muscles and ligaments
  • preventing backache and muscular pain.

Why should we Avoid Poor Sitting Posture?

Sitting with a poor posture, places strain on the spine and associated ligaments, and cause misalignments to the spine. Most of the back pain sufferer will admit their posture is less than ideal. Over time and repetition, the structures deform and surrounding muscles are forced to compensate, leading to chronic pain conditions.

To prevent bad posture and back health we should avoid:

  • sitting for an extended period without taking a break
  • sitting slanted to one side with the spine bent
  • dangling or not properly supporting the feet
  • straining the neck for long periods while looking at a monitor screen or document
  • sitting in a position that does not fully support the back, especially the lower back

Correct Sitting Posture
A Simple Guideline to Maintaining Good Sitting Posture

Tips for Proper Sitting at a Desk

Having learnt this process, it is natural to assume sitting up straight will solve the problem. However, research has shown that sitting up right at 90 degrees causes the most spinal disc deviation, meaning the most strain is felt when perfectly straight. In fact, the least spinal disc deviation is found to be seated with a slight tilt backwards, and that is the sitting posture we should employ.

Thus, when working at a desk for long periods, a person can help improve their sitting posture by:

  • sitting up with a slight tilt backwards and looking forward without straining the neck
  • keeping the shoulders in a relaxed position
  • keeping feet flat either the floor or a footrest
  • avoiding crossing knees or ankles
  • positioning knees at the same height or slightly lower than the hips
  • placing ankles in front of the knees
  • keeping the forearms and knees parallel to the floor where possible
  • keeping the back fully supported against the chair, or using a backrest or cushion if there are places where the back does not comfortably meet the chair, especially in the lower back region
  • getting up and moving around occasionally, especially when experiencing any muscle or joint pain
  • avoiding sitting for long periods at a time, ideally taking at least a 10-minute break for every hour of sitting


By knowing what a good sitting posture looks like and following a few simple rules, most people can learn how to self-correct and thus achieve good posture. Making additional lifestyle changes, such as doing a good amount of various exercises and taking movement breaks throughout the day, can also help.

A person with poor posture can correct it with time, awareness, and commitment. It can take weeks to months for some people to see significant benefits from working on their posture. Once a person has improved their posture they will need to work at maintaining it, so they may often have to remind themselves to recognize unhealthy positions and correct them. Always remember that once you are in the correct sitting position, try doing a mental check every 10 to 15 minutes to see if the posture has altered and then correct any changes.

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