Sitting is a reality in our modern lives. But, how much we actually need to do it is up for debate. I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines screaming SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING in Huffpost, Forbes, NBC News and even Runner’s World. Most of those articles focus on the potential for earlier death due to increased disease rates brought about by our sedentary lifestyle….kinda depressing. And, hard to wrap our mind around when one doesn’t have type 2 diabetes or heart disease right now.
But, what you might have right now is shoulder and neck pain or low back pain or maybe your knees hurt. All of these can be caused and aggravated by misaligned sitting posture. AND, all of these can impact how your voice is functioning.
I am definitely not an advocate of sitting more than we all need to, but the reality is our lives often require it – for instance, as of this writing, I spend almost 2 hours in the car one-way to get to Cambridge on a Thursday to teach voice. Then, I sit at a piano for most of the day. I do get up and down several times within each 45 minute lesson, but that’s a whole lotta sitting. If I’m not careful about it, I will end the day with a tension headache and my low back will bother me.
You may be at a choral rehearsal that requires you to sit, or you may have a job that doesn’t have the potential for a standing work station (here’s a note, standing isn’t automatically better, but more on that in another post). If you are sitting at work all day, sitting in your car to get to rehearsal and then wondering why your voice isn’t functioning optimally, switching up how you sit can make a big difference.
Basically, this post is to say, sitting isn’t great, but if you HAVE to do it, here’s how to do it better, so your immediate physical aches and pains might lessen, your voice will be freer and along the way you can start to make some choices about how to incorporate more movement into your day.
You want to sit on your sitz bones – the bottom of your pelvis. Very often we roll back and end up sitting on our sacrum. Being on the sitz bones gives your spine a chance to rise up with ease. BUT, if you are new to sitting on your sitz bones, it can feel effortful, so give yourself grace and choose to focus on this for only short periods of time and begin to integrate movement to help you long term.
I made a little video tutorial on how to sit better. It doesn’t get into what to do when you have to hold your folder of choral music too, but I’ll do another post on that later!
Click on the link below to have a watch on YouTube and see how you can shift your sitting posture today.