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How to be a comfortable couch potato.

  1. Stretch-sitting

In the first instance it is best to sit with your feet on the ground and place your spine up against the back rest of the couch, with your hips and knees in a 90 degree right angle. This may be complicated if you have an oversized couch, this can be remedied by placing a pillow or two behind the small of your back or by folding one over in half if they are feeling too soft.

Another pitfall when relaxing on your settee at home, is that often the neck, upper back and shoulder support is inefficient leading you to often strain holding your neck forward in an awkward position.  If so, you can build your pillows up to shoulder blade level ensuring that your spine remains vertical.

2) “Stacksit” on the edge

Stacksitting is a good option for those who have soft couches, which often feel like they will eat you whole. Even with only a small amount of support on the backs of your thighs, will create a good stretch on your spine. By giving more comfort in the longterm, by saving your spine from the pain caused by over arching your back when sinking into a soft non-supportive couch.

The stacksit can be achieved by placing yourself on the edge of the couch and slightly pushing your pelvis forward. You can avoid rocking, by setting your shoulders backwards and pulling your shoulder blades together. If you find that your knees are above your hip joints, you can cross your legs over at the ankles and let your knees roll open to each side or by extending your legs out infront of you. By crossing your legs and allowing your thighs to drop down further encourages pelvic anteversion. Alternatively if you are struggling with flexibility, you can cheat by sitting on an extra pillow to elevate the hips.

3) Reclining

If you are able to take full advantage of the space on your couch, another comfortable option is reclining, as long as you don’t have to share with anyone else.

Using the full length of the sofa you can extend your legs, and support your spine with the arm rest. The common pitfalls with this position is that most arm rests fall too short or are too vertical to lay against, which lead to a poorly supported slumped position. This can be remedied by the use of pillows tucked into the small of your back to support the natural curve of your spine and stop the pelvis from slipping posteriorly. Careful again of straining to hold your neck, shoulder or upper back forward.

Important to note with any of these positions, is the angle that you may be facing when looking at the television. Like with any desk based computer work, it is important to keep the height at eye level and facing head on.