The Foundation of Sitting - It’s not Lumbar!!
“Lumbar” support may be the greatest sitting fallacy to be widely accepted. Stick with me here.
Imagine the spine as a building. The pelvis is at the base of the spine and can be considered the foundation of the “building”. The lumbar area is above the base of the spine at about the 5th floor.
Using this analogy, a chair supporting the lumbar area is like supporting an entire building but only from the 5th floor up.
What is the result? The result is the collapse of the building or the collapse of good posture.
We can all relate to this when sitting in traditional office chairs. I might start out sitting well and upright, but over time my body tires, my pelvis tucks, and I’m in the dreaded “C” posture with a forward head.
You can actually feel the difference it makes to support the pelvis.
Let’s try it! It’s not perfect, but there’s a low tech way to support the pelvis. Choose a firmer seat surface in your home or office. Get a towel and roll it up as shown below. Rather than placing it at the “5th floor” (lower back), place the towel on the seat directly behind your pelvis, sit on the front edge, and the pelvis will be supported in neutral. Now pull the towel out and feel the difference.
This simple test is not a long-term sitting solution since a towel is not sufficiently supportive for long periods, and eventually the upper back will seek support. Click here for a long-term seating solution.
To sum up: The standard office chair first distorts your posture and then tries to “fix” the problem by further distorting your posture with lumbar support.
No wonder people hate their office chairs, and no wonder 80% of Americans have low back pain.
Trying to impose posture on the spine by pushing on it is utterly misguided.
Supporting the pelvis naturally aligns the spine in perfect posture- there’s no need to force it!
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