Active Sitting: How to Engage Your Core and Alleviate Back Pain

Active Sitting: How to Engage Your Core and Alleviate Back Pain


Active sitting is a great way to prevent and relieve back pain. It can help strengthen your core, activate muscles and improve posture. More than just body position, it focuses on the movement of multiple muscles that protect your spine.

Unlike conventional sitting, active sitting requires you to move and use the spine-protecting muscles. It keeps circulation going, with an upright posture, plus occasional shifts when needed. For example, you might switch from reading a book to typing an email.

Active sitting reduces tension on your spine, as it uses the support of muscles in the back, abdominals, glutes and pelvic floor. Using active sitting regularly can keep you healthy, and help prevent or reduce back pain. Learn more to find out if this posture could be useful to you!

Benefits of Active Sitting

Active sitting: the latest trend! Instead of normal sitting, this engages your core muscles. So, what are the benefits?

  • Improved posture
  • Reduced back pain
  • Enhanced core strength

Sounds good, right? Give it a go!

Improved Posture

Active sitting can help improve posture and reduce back pain. It engages the core muscles that aren’t used when sitting in a chair. Right alignment forces you to use muscles to stay upright, leading to better posture and less strain on the back. An active seat gives extra lumbar support and encourages natural spinal curvature – this can help reduce lower back pain.

Plus, active sitting strengthens core muscles. These link the hips to shoulders, supporting the upper body. Keeping them toned helps improve posture and prevents fatigue from long hours at a desk.

Physical therapists suggest movements while seated, like rocking, twisting and standing. An active seat helps reap the benefits of an ergonomic chair, while encouraging continuous movement that supports improved posture and core strength.

Increased Core Strength

Good posture while sitting can help strengthen your core and avoid back pain. An inactive position leads to slouching, which tires the lower back muscles. Active sitting activates the core muscles connected to the lower back, lifting your shoulders and spine upright.

Besides good posture, it also increases glute activation. This stretches the hip flexors, providing stability around the pelvis. It also reduces neck tension, preventing headaches or neck pain. Strengthening the core muscles helps us sit right, as well as move better when walking or running.

Core engagement is an important part of active sitting. It gives us a strong base for correct alignment and movement. Having a foundational understanding of our muscle groups for healthy spinal health is key for improving posture when seated or standing.

Relief from Back Pain

Active sitting has many studies, both in science and everyday life. It is thought to relieve low back pain. You must use your core muscles to stay in an active seated position. This reduces strain on your lower back.

The benefits of active sitting go beyond just pain relief. It strengthens your pelvic floor muscles and encourages good posture. This helps regulate fat metabolism and keeps you upright.

Research shows that dynamic postures while standing or sitting can reduce muscle fatigue and provide more comfortable working conditions. People in many industries are choosing the active living movement. It is important to use movement to stay comfortable throughout the day!

Types of Active Sitting

Active sitting is an approach to seating that helps activate your core muscles and ease back pain. Different types of active sitting chairs are available to help with this. These chairs provide various amounts of core engagement and support different postures.

Let’s have a peek at the various types of active sitting chairs that exist!

Balance Balls

Balance balls are cool! They are also called exercise balls, and are popular for active sitting. They help you maintain balance, improve posture and reduce back pain. Balance balls come in all sizes, so you can find one that’s right for you.

They adjust to the user’s size, height, and support needs. Smaller ones are great for low-level support and smaller people. Bigger folks may need extra large or full-size ball chairs. Some even come with adjustable feet.

Plus, balance balls help with flexibility. The flexible surface forces your body to respond differently than when sitting in a traditional chair. This is great if you have chronic lower back pain or trouble with posture. Core muscles get engaged while seated on a balance ball chair, which reduces back pain and boosts strength and agility.

Kneeling Chairs

Kneeling chairs are a type of active sitting furniture, made to engage core muscles, maintain an upright posture and reduce back pain. They come with upholstered knee supports, adjustable height and tilt mechanisms.

Seating on a kneeling chair requires users to activate and strengthen core muscles. It helps keep the spine straight, minimizing pressure points between vertebral discs.

Kneeling chairs have become popular due to increased focus on ergonomics and healthy office design. Companies are investing in equipment like active seating options to increase productivity long-term.


Discs are a type of active sitting device. They are flat and round, usually made from PVC. They can come in different sizes and colors. Some have a textured upper surface to help you grip better.

You can use discs anywhere! On the floor while exercising, behind your back while seated at your desk, or as cushioning when standing. For example, you can place one disc between your feet while standing to widen your stance and encourage better posture. This is great for your lower back!

Discs also help strengthen core muscles. You can use them during crunches, planks, or oblique twists. Plus, they can help alleviate back pain due to bad posture or imbalanced muscle development. So if you sit at work for extended periods, make sure active sitting is part of your day!

Tips for Proper Sitting

Active sitting is gaining traction for its health perks. It’s a posture when seated that requires the body to fire up core muscles and remain upright. Here, we’ll go over tips and tricks on how to sit the right way, and its potential health advantages – like reducing back pain.

Sit with Your Feet Flat on the Floor

For proper active sitting, it’s important to keep both feet flat on the floor. This serves two main purposes. Firstly, it activates your abdominal and core muscles, which can reduce back pain and improve posture if they’re weak. Secondly, it stretches your hip flexors, taking compression off your core and spine.

Having both feet flat on the ground ensures you’re engaging correctly with your chair, reducing pressure on your lower back (where most back pain comes from). A neutral spinal position is key for work, driving, and leisure.

Keep Your Shoulders and Neck Relaxed

Start with your shoulders and neck. Relax them in a comfortable position, and make sure your head is upright, not leaning forward. The ideal posture is known as neutral spine. Your ears should line up with the center of your shoulders and your chin with the horizon. This will prevent neck strain and back pain.

Focus on deep diaphragm breathing. Push downward to engage abdominal muscles, this will strengthen and support your lower back muscles. This will also stop you from hunching over with rounded shoulders.

When sitting for long periods, keep your feet flat on the floor. Use a footrest if needed. The seat of the chair should reach just above the knee joint, to avoid pressure that can lead to fatigue or pain.

Use a lumbar cushion to stay properly aligned and get added support. If possible, use adjustable chairs. This will allow control over sitting angles to help maintain lower back strength and alignment.

Engage Your Core

Set up in a balanced seated position. Feet on the floor and sit tall with an upright posture. Upper body straight, chin parallel to the ground, and shoulder blades lightly pinned back. Concentrate on breathing deeply. Feel into the natural curves of your spine.

Two common methods to engage core:

  1. Pelvic Tilt: Tighten abdominal muscles, slightly tuck in lower abdominal region. Exhale to maintain contraction.
  2. Hands: Place hands above/below knees. Contract lightly against them. Automatically engage and flatten abdominals. Upright trunk positioning created. Maximum stability due to engaged lumbar-core reflex loop.

Improve posture while maintaining low levels of back pain resulting from lengthy sitting periods at work/home.


Sitting isn’t bad for your health. You just need to do it in the right way. Active sitting can help you get relief from back pain and tension.

  • Keep your feet and pelvis in line.
  • Use lower abdominal and lumbar support if needed.
  • Be aware of your posture throughout the day.
  • Set reminders to make sure you’re actively sitting properly.
  • Take a few minutes every day or two to make sure you’re doing it right. It could make a huge difference in avoiding back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is active sitting?

A: Active sitting involves sitting in a way that engages your core muscles, as opposed to slouching or relying on the backrest of your chair. This can help alleviate back pain and improve posture.

Q: How can I engage my core while sitting?

A: To engage your core while sitting, try sitting up straight and tall, keeping your feet flat on the ground and your shoulders relaxed. You can also try using a stability ball as a chair, which forces you to engage your core to stay balanced.

Q: Can active sitting really help alleviate back pain?

A: Yes, active sitting can help alleviate back pain by taking pressure off your spine, reducing strain on your back muscles, and improving overall posture.

Q: Can active sitting help me lose weight?

A: While active sitting can help improve your core strength and posture, it is not a substitute for regular exercise or healthy eating habits when it comes to weight loss.

Q: Can I still use a regular office chair for active sitting?

A: Yes, you can still use a regular office chair for active sitting by sitting up straight and engaging your core muscles. However, using a stability ball, standing desk, or other ergonomic furniture can make it easier to maintain good posture and engage your core throughout the day.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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