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The Essential Thing to Know if You Find Sitting Painful or Uncomfortable- The “How’s Your Trunk?” Series Part 6

Mar 09, 2022
sitting at desk

Sitting, we all do it everyday, some more than others dependant on your job and activity level. Sitting can be the equivalent in duration of running a marathon.   Your muscles are still working when you sit, just in a different way.   Sitting can be an endurance activity!

So many people we see on a weekly basis get pain when they sit either in their back, neck, shoulders or hips.   In actual fact, you can pretty much get pain anywhere when you sit.   Why?

Well, the reason is…

How you sit totally depends on how well you can SQUAT!

I can hear those pennies dropping now!   How many of you squat well?   Do your knees hurt when you squat?   Does your back hurt?   Do you have stiff ankles or hips…?

If you don’t squat well you won’t sit optimally, therefore regions of your body will be loaded in a way they aren’t meant to be loaded.   Compressing joints in a way they weren’t meant to.   Certain muscles will have to remain switched on and working hard just to keep you upright and looking at your computer screen or allowing your head eyes to face forwards to drive.

Over time this can lead to the pain or discomfort we feel when sitting…anywhere in your body.   It can also make sitting so painful we try to avoid doing it!

Your WHOLE body moves when you squat to sit.   To squat well, your head needs to be controlled relative to your trunk, shoulders dissociate relative to your trunk and your hips sink back in the sockets of your pelvis allowing your pelvis to tilt forwards.   Your spine stays in the same regional “S” shaped relationship as it moves forward in space.   Knees and ankles bend.

Squatting to sit does not require your spine to bend, your pelvis to tilt backwards, your hips to push forwards or your knees and ankles to barely move!   These are things we see everyday. These non-optimal ways of moving are why we get sore and sit badly.

Sitting when done optimally should feel:

  • low effort
  • easy
  • symmetrical
  • relaxed
  • comfortable

If it doesn’t feel like this, do something about it.   See a Physio.

The reason why you don’t squat and sit well can come from anywhere.   Commonly people who have back pain start squatting to sit in a very braced and rigid way, working many of their muscles way to hard.   If you squat like that it isn’t going to help sitting!

Learning how to squat well is the start place for easy, effortless, pain free, sustainable sitting.

This week, your “One Thing” to think about is how well you squat.   Can you touch the floor with ease and in a pain free way?   If not, the chances are you struggle with sitting in some way.

Do something about it.   Retraining how you squat is easy once you know what is causing the poor squat technique in the first place.   Find the driver and train the change.   It really can be that simple!

P.S. Hands up who gets sore when they pick up heavy things…? same thing applies…. to pick stuff up you need to squat.   Poor squat, poor loading when lifting.   Just saying!


With love,


originally posted 31st May 2017

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