Sit up straight! - my mum used to say...

Everyone remembers how parents and grandparents always used to tell them to sit up straight. How right they were! Good posture, especially sitting posture is very important for the maintenance of the human frame, and for the adequate, or even optimal, functioning of the nervous system.

Home is a place for relaxation, rest and comfort - therefore we slump in to the sofa or the settee, and often stay rooted for long times in a horrible twist to watch the telly. Not good. Not good at all! Many people will recognise themselves from one or more of  the following descriptions: 

1) Sitting leaning onto the arm rest, with legs tucked to the side of  you  - often your  neck is rotated in the opposite direction to gaze into the telly

2) Leaning back and sliding down until only your bum is touching the front edge of the sofa and your shoulders and neck are touching the cushion at the back - spine slumped down

3) Semi cross-legged sitting, one leg tucked under the bum, the other dangling in front. Crouching down to work on a laptop is optional (yet frequently observed)

4) Sitting somewhat up right, with legs crossed at the knee - sometimes legs tilted to one side to maximise the twisting of the pelvis and lumbar spine

5) Lying down on the sofa, wedged in between the arm rests, with neck jammed into full flexion against the arm rest as the legs are too long to comfortably fit in the sofa - you may require  help from someone with a crowbar to be able to get out of this position

6) Side lying, with head propped up with five cushions and one leg on the arm rest, the other twisted over so that the knee is resting on the floor - unable to get off the sofa as both arms have gone numb

7) The case of a seriously soft sofa - as you sit down, it feels like your bum is sinking through the floor, so that you end up with your knees sticking up in front of your face. It may take several attempts to get out, as you need to build up momentum by rocking back and forward to finally launch yourself up and into freedom


Needless to say - not one of the previous examples is very good for you, as all place excessive strain onto the body either through twisting, compressing or due to lack of support.

The human body is very badly designed for sitting, yet in the modern world most of us spend ever increasing hours sat down. There are a few important check points that will reduce the likelihood of causing yourself mischief whilst sat down.

1) Seat height should allow you to sit with your feet resting flat on the floor and with your knees below the level of the hips.

2) Seat depth should let you comfortably rest your back against the back rest with your bum tucked into the fold of the seat and with your legs resting down with bent knees.

3) The seat as well as the back rest should be firm and supportive.

Most importantly, you should always try and sit as tall as you possibly can - Remember that sitting position is 90% reliant on the person to do it right, not the seat.


For people with back trouble, and equally for those without, the sofa is generally not the best choice. A good dining room chair with good support is the weapon of choice, or if you are particularly tired then why don't you just have a lie down on the floor?


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic, call 01932 - 429584 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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I was in so much pain last week I couldn’t imagine that I would feel this much better in 7 days
Heather Penncock

I first went to Mika About 2 months ago. I could not walk straight line or very far. I was also in pain as I have had two knee replacements. After about 3 weeks I can now walk upright and in a straight line. Also a lot of pain relief. I cannot recommend this practice enough.
Frank Whittington

I have been working with Dr Mika Janhunen of Shepperton Chirorpactic Clinic for four years. During this time he has not only been able to help me overcome various niggling injuries and to enjoy better health, but has been able to improve the performance of a number of my golf coaching clients as well. His detailed knowledge of the human body and the complexity of the golf swing movement pattern is virtually unrivalled in terms of results that I have ever seen. I will continue to refer my players to see Mika, and would encourage anyone to do the same.
Rob Watts, PGA Golf Professional