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Dynamic sitting at work, at school and in the home office: Prevent back problems with the right posture

No matter how intensively we work out in the gym at the end of the workday, and no matter how diligently we exercise in nature on the weekends, the eight hours we spend sitting every day can permanently damage the back and back muscles. Taking a break every 40 minutes can help. Because studies have already proven it: Static sitting makes you sick. A new concept offers a possible solution for anyone who spends long periods sitting. It is called “dynamic sitting” and is intended to prevent stagnation and rigidity. What is meant by this and how the principles of active sitting are implemented in everyday life, we explain in the article.

Dynamic sitting: Definition and explanation of the basic principles

active sitting in office with stool tips

What does the term “dynamic sitting” actually mean? The definition is quite simple: to avoid incorrect posture and the resulting back problems , you should change your sitting position as often as possible. Toddlers between the ages of 2 and 10 actually do it intuitively. If you watch them, you will notice that they never sit still and constantly change their sitting posture. At the same time, they keep their upper body upright. Adults can also learn from the children and implement the concept in their daily lives. However, since they have been sitting for many years, the body has only “learned” one posture and you hardly move. Therefore, to encourage active sitting, you can follow several simple basic principles:

Dynamic sitting definition and explanation of basic principles

1. move every 10 minutes. For example, you can lean forward slightly at first, then sit upright again, and then slowly lean back. When doing this, avoid making a hunched back.

2. Your legs should also change position when you sit. Stretch them out, keep them close to your body, or put weight on them with various exercises.

3.As for the arms, they should stretch upward and, if there is enough space, sometimes to the side.

4. move the head to the left and right, make circular movements with the shoulders every 30 minutes.

5. move as you please. Above all, it is important that you feel comfortable. And even if the sitting position is super comfortable at the moment, you should change it every 20 minutes.

At first glance, the concept of self-regulation may sound super simple, but it can take weeks for your body to get used to it and for you to move back and forth naturally.

dynamic sitting in office on right or on ball

The benefits of active sitting:

  • You can prevent misalignment and tension and relieve back pain.
  • By sitting dynamically, you strengthen not only the back muscles, but also the abdominal muscles.
  • Thanks to active sitting, the intervertebral discs can be supplied with important nutrients.
  • The movement promotes blood circulation and supplies the body’s cells with oxygen.
  • Dynamic sitting promotes concentration and can strengthen performance in the long term.
  • Anyone can implement the concept at school, in the office or in the home office.
  • With dynamic sitting, you can even do simple exercises.

The benefits of active sitting have also been scientifically proven. In a new study, researchers from Sweden tested the benefits of active sitting. It was found that people who sit on an active stool or office chair move significantly more than those who sit on a traditional office chair. The researchers referred to this movement as “light physical activity.”

Dynamic sitting: Active seating at a glance

dynamic sitting in home office recliner chair

To help you sit dynamically at school, in the office or in the home office, active seating furniture plays an important role. They allow free movement and proper posture. You can find different models in stores, but they all have one thing in common: they are adjustable. Thus, everyone can regulate the height and sitting position according to their own needs. Active seating furniture can, but does not necessarily have to have a backrest. Here are the variants at a glance:

Dynamic sitting: The office chair and its alternatives

Active sitting in office with correct posture prevent back problems

The classic office chair is not suitable for dynamic sitting. This is because it severely limits or completely prevents free movement. There is a backrest and two armrests that promote only one posture . Models that are height adjustable provide some freedom of movement.

The kneeling chair

Dynamic sitting advantages of kneeling chair

The kneeling chair has a curved wooden frame and a padded seat. The design is made to follow the natural movements of the body and promote an upright posture. When you sit down, the chair tilts slightly forward, which strengthens the back muscles. Body weight is evenly distributed across the back, thighs and knees.

Ideal for: The home office, the children’s room

Advantages: Promotes natural body movement

Disadvantages: A long time to get used to

The active stool

dynamic sitting stool leaning forward

The active stool is equipped with a movable seat mechanism, so you can move back and forth and lean forward. The padded seat prevents slipping and provides more sitting comfort. The stool is perfect for dynamic sitting, as it allows you to change posture in all directions and prevents one-sided pressure on the intervertebral discs.

The ideal piece of furniture for active sitting in the office and at school

Advantages: Takes up little space, allows free movement

Disadvantages: Is quite heavy, as it has a base made of metal

Dynamic Sitting: Stool offers sitting and standing assistance

Active sitting with seat and standing aid

The next model offers the ability to quickly switch between sitting and standing. The seat height is infinitely adjustable by a lever. Most standing stools are equipped with gas suspension and are very stable. They can be combined with high tables.

Ideal for the home office

Advantages: Quick change between sitting and standing position.

Disadvantages: Heavy, takes effort to transport

Dynamic Sitting: The saddle chair

Active sitting on saddle chair advantages and disadvantages

The saddle chair, as the name itself suggests, visually resembles a saddle. The sitting position and movements are also similar to those you would make on a bicycle. Thanks to the position of the knees, blood circulation is promoted and oxygen is transported faster than when sitting.

Ideal for: Office, school, home office, children’s room.

Advantages: Promotes a natural and healthy posture

Disadvantages: Long time to get used to

Dynamic Sitting: The seat cushion as an aid

If you spend a lot of time sitting every day, but divide your working time between home office and office, you need a flexible solution. A seat cushion is an ideal aid for the office chair. It promotes movement and alternation of posture. To what extent the seat cushion really protects the back depends on the chair. Chairs with an ergonomic backrest and without armrests are best. If the chair design hinders movement, then the seat cushion cannot help. The seat cushion also cannot affect the position of the legs, so you need to stretch them every 30 minutes. If you use a seat cushion as a tool for dynamic sitting, then every hour you should take a break for at least 5 minutes, stand up and do stretching exercises. Then you can save your back and strengthen the muscles.

Dynamic sitting at work: exercises that strengthen muscles

dynamic sitting in office on right or on ball

If you want to implement the concept of “dynamic sitting” in the office or home office, without replacing the old chair with a new model, you can do exercises. You can do simple stretching exercises such as stretching your arms and legs or making circular movements with your head. Above all, it is important that you do these exercises not only in the morning, but spread throughout the day. When doing so, try not to hold a particular posture for more than 30 minutes. Here come several suitable exercises in the seat:

  • Basic tension to strengthen the shoulder muscles: stretch out your arms and rotate them forward and backward.
  • Keeping your back straight, place your hands on the seat of the chair and slowly push your shoulders back in semi-circular movements. While doing this, look up and slowly lift the head.
  • Place the arms on the thighs and lean on them. Then slowly bend forward.
  • Keeping the back straight in the seat, hold the right knee with the two hands and bring it towards the chest.
  • Bend the hands behind the head and lift the right knee. At the same time, press the left elbow toward the knee while slowly bending the torso forward. Repeat the exercise with the right elbow and left knee.
  • Stretching exercises: You can extend your arms up and legs forward or stand up and do another stretching exercise of your choice.

Dynamic sitting at school

dynamic sitting in school chairs

Children suffer from back pain much less often than adults. Nevertheless, dynamic sitting has also become accepted as a concept for school. The reason: In the era of digitalization, even young children are spending more and more time at the computer. So it’s worth promoting the right back position. Toddlers have a much greater urge to move than adults anyway.  Scientists from the USA have therefore developed active stools for children as well.

Parents can help children to change their posture at home as well. For this purpose, simply change the sitting conditions. The easiest way to do this is for the child to alternate between sitting at a desk, crouching, or lying on his or her back. For toddlers, beanbags and seat cushions that encourage alternating postures are a good choice. Children should take breaks every 30 minutes and spend no more than 4 hours a day on the computer. Cell phones can also lead to back pain because they encourage improper body posture while sitting. Stretching exercises can help against this.

Dynamic sitting in the office the active furniture at a glance

Dynamic sitting is a very simple concept, but it has proven to be very helpful in office and school life. Both children and adults can implement it without much effort. Investing in an active office chair and a stool for active sitting is definitely worth it. But you can also prevent back pain and strengthen your neck muscles with exercises. However, don’t forget to stand up every 40 minutes. This boosts blood circulation and relieves tension.