How Should I Sit if My Lower Back Hurts?

Last Updated on by Artem

There are many causes of back pain among adults. It may be a medical condition, an injury, or incorrect lifting.

Another leading cause of lower back pain that many people forget is bad sitting posture. How you sit plays a significant role in your back health.

With a hurting lower back, the last thing you want is to sit down for long periods during the day.

But what if your work involves a lot of sitting?

Luckily, sitting using the tricks discussed in this article will reduce back pain while sitting and hasten the recovery process.

See also – Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sit In An Office Chair?

Sit at a Proper Backrest Angle

A wrong backrest position will ramp up pressure on your back by compressing the spine discs. An example of such a position is slouching. This will only cause or worsen the pain of an already hurting lower back.

Studies have revealed that a reclined angle of 135 degrees is the best, giving your back a proper rest and least pressure.

However, since such an angle is unrealistic to work from, 100 degrees is still okay to support your back without compromising productivity at work.

If you use a chair with an adjustable backrest, you can switch to 135 degrees recline during resting or break time.

See also: 21 Ways To Relieve Back Pain

Support Your Lower Back

Ideally, the lower back should have a slight backward “C” curvature while sitting to ease pressure on the spine.

To achieve this lower back support, you should use a good chair or include a pillow in your chair for more support.

To know whether your chair offers sufficient support to your lower back, sit with your hips pressed firmly on your chair’s backrest.

If there is a big gap between your back and the backrest, it is a good sign that you should get another chair or use a pillow for more support.

See also: 7 Tips on How to Reduce Back Pain From Office Chair

Shift Between Neutral Sitting Positions

It is not easy to remain in one neutral position for the whole sitting time. Even if it is possible, it will be doing more harm than good.

Even when sitting in a good posture, it is advisable to switch to another neutral position to ease pain and protect your back health.

Examples of neutral positions include standing, reclining your seat to over a hundred degrees, or sitting at a perpendicular angle to your chair.

Alternating between these positions will change the pressure point on your spine, making you feel better in the process.

See also: How to Adjust Ergonomic Office Chair in 7 Steps

The Knee Angle is Critical

How you position your lower body more, especially the legs and feet, plays a crucial role in your lower back health.

Always ensure your knees are bent, forming 90 degrees with the floor. This is a simple practice that will force your upper body to assume a somewhat neutral position.

With your thighs parallel to the floor, put your feet flat on the floor. If you find yourself self-straining, you can use a footrest to be more comfortable.

Crossing legs is never a good practice and should be avoided at all costs. Moreover, crossing legs can make you tired very quickly.

See also – How To Sit On Ergonomic Office Chair Without Buttock Pain

Rest Your Hands Comfortably on the Keyboard

The best position for easing back pain includes all the efforts to maintain a neutral spine and easing pressure from the back.

Such effort can include positioning your arms in a way that does not add any stress to your back.

To do this, ensure to position your chair at a good distance from the table and the keyboard. This will ensure your arms are getting to the keyboard easily without having to overstretch or hunch your shoulder forward.

The time you try to hunch a shoulder or stretch your arm can mess up entirely with your sitting posture, which will, in turn, affect your lower back.

See also – 8 Advanced (Unorthodox) Core Exercises for Posture That Work

The Head Position

There is absolutely no point in doing all the above when your head is not well balanced above your shoulders.

The head can put pressure on the shoulder, which will, in turn, affect the back and the lower back.

Your head should be at a reasonable distance from the monitor and well balanced above your shoulders.

Check How You Stand After Sitting

Besides sitting in the correct posture, the way you stand from sitting is essential as well. If you are already suffering from lower back pain, stand in the following steps;

Spread your legs for support with one leg slightly behind

Use armrests if present as leverage to transfer your weight to the legs.

Put little to no pressure on the back and back muscles as you stand.

Bend backward a few times to ease your back.

Additional things to Try

Don’t Overstretch

It is an excellent practice to place the items you may need during your working time near you. This will reduce overstretching your hands and shoulders to pick them.

Overstretching disrupts your spinal balance, and you won’t expect good results from that.

If you need a document but it’s a bit far, you better stand to pick than stretch.

Reduce the siting time

As much as you are sitting in the right posture, you should avoid sitting for too long whenever possible. Also, it would be best if you incorporated short breaks after sitting for some time to ease your back.

Try Ice for Pain Reduction

Using ice can help reduce the pain of an unbearable paining lower back. Applying ice on the lower back for some minutes causes numbness to the area, reducing pain and preventing further damage to the lower back muscles.

Get an Ergonomic Chair

Nothing is so frustrating as trying to get a good sitting posture with a poorly designed chair. Nothing good will come easily with the wrong chair.

On the other hand, an ergonomic chair is designed to keep your lower back in position even when you don’t mean to. This will reduce the pain in your back while boosting quick recovery.


Back pain has become very common among adults in the United States today. Whereas bad sitting posture is the leading cause of lower back pain, you will reduce and heal back pain by incorporating the above practices.

However, if your lower back pain persists, it is essential that you talk to your doctor who will advise on the best remedy.

I hope you have found this article helpful as you try to manage lower back pain while sitting.