Sitting Right

We all spend a LOT of our time sitting. Our recent Workplace Wellness survey indicated that Michigan State University Extension employees are no exception.


According to the 2018 Workplace Wellness survey, the average MSU Extension employee spent close to 17 hours a week sitting at home, and just over 71 percent of their time at work sitting. For someone working a 40-hour work week, that is over 45 hours a week sitting.

We sit more than ever, and the increase in oversized, soft and squishy chairs and furniture has made it increasingly hard to sit up well.  Hello, back problems!

Jan Couch is a coach for proper sitting, and her article “Can’t Get Comfortable in Your Chair? Here’s What you Can do” has some simple yet powerful tips. You really need to read it, but the main ideas are below:

  • Sit, or "perch" on the edge of the chair
  • Position your legs so that your knees are lower than your hips
  • Squishy chair? Use a firm pillow positioned on the edge of your chair so that you have a firm sitting surface and your hips are positioned higher than your knees
  • Use a firm pillow at mid back for car and airplane seats

Sitting properly is a great first step to combat stress on your body from the hours spent at your desk. Also consider your workstation set up.  MSU’s Health4U Program has a useful handout on Setting up Your Work Station. Be sure to check it out as well!


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