1. Leonie

    Have you looked into the impact of seat height in relation to this? Sitting properly is much easier when your feet are firmly on the ground, which is hard when chairs are too high. I have recently had a 3 inch mat issued at work to raise my feet (as I could not move my chair lower), and found it much easier to sit in a comfortable position – the position you describe in this article.

    Most seats and lounges seem to be too high for smaller women, and unless that is rectified it will be hard to effectively change the posture. I have a 1950s couch specifically because they were built smaller and I find that more comfortable as my feet can sit on the ground solidly, but until I read this article I had not equated it with the alignment of my legs & knees as well.

    1. Barbara

      Yes!! This is hugely important and I’m going to blog on it. It might be on my blog about plantar fasciitis. I believe this is why pf affects mainly women. When your feet are always pointing down, the pf shortens, and when you go to stand, it acutely stretches it. My suggestion is that shorter women buy something like those old bench step aerobics benches and put them under the chair, couch or wherever they sit for long periods of time. Feet flat on the ground as much as possible. You can’t lower your chair because it affects the position of keyboards, monitors, etc. I promise I’m going to blog on this soon. I’ve been remiss on blogging. Thanks for reminder.

  2. Carol

    Can’t wait for that blog! I’m 69, 5’ tall, have had bursitis and arthritis and almost always have to sit with only my toes on the floor. What’s the best position for me if I don’t have a bench step?

  3. Mary Thompson

    Great article. I had a knee replacement ten years ago and find when seats are too low, my replacement aches when I get back up. Have to shake the leg out. So is there an issue while sitting, if the leg is bent because there is not enough room for the leg to be at a 90 degree angle? My ortho had no explanation, and I left frustrated at lack of suggestions. Am thinking of putting a cushion on the couch. As Leonie’s question came up, thought I’d ask about the position whereby knees are up further. Hope this makes sense! Thank you so much. BTW, pass on your SLAM advice and to all my female friends, and to ortho docs here in Pittsburgh.

    1. Barbara

      I think I understand. If your knee is bent up more than 90 degrees, it hurts when you go to stand up. First of all, read my blog post called 10 tips to Decrease Pain of knee arthritis. Some of those tips will help your TKA too. But the main one is to bend and straighten your knees before you go to stand, especially if you’ve been sitting for a while. But, you’re right to try to sit higher. I recently, reupholstered all my couches in order to raise them back up to where they were when I bought them. They weren’t that old, and they match my decor, so I didn’t want to ditch them. Before doing that, I was putting pillows on them. I found that those thick dog pillows for large dogs worked quite nicely! They’re a little tacky, but just the right size for a couch! Sitting higher, and using chairs and couches with arms is always best. Bend and straighten the knees before you go to stand. You’ll be amazed how much this helps. Your soft tissues aren’t what they were when you were twenty. I learned this first hand when I started dissections in medical school. Hope this helps.

  4. Nancy Herlin

    Thanks for the article!! I’m 5’9″, 58 and a former athlete. I naturally want to sit this way and so I do. I have received comments about how I’m sitting like a man, but if my body is most comfortable this way, why not? One question. I remember my Dad sitting cross legged. I stretch this way after weights and am tight in the hips. Is this another way we should be regularly sitting?

    1. Barbara

      Keep sitting like a man. It’s the right thing to do.
      Based on what you’re describing, it sounds like your dad would be stretching his ITB when he sits cross-legged. While I don’t advocate sitting like that all the time, it’s okay to stretch your ITB. They tend to get tight!

  5. Julie Larsen

    Dear Dr. Bergin
    I read your article about hip pain and ‘sitting like a man’ yesterday in our Omaha World Herald. They had reprinted it from the Washington Post. I live in a small town in Nebraska and receive the daily World Herald. I too am 65 and have had hip pain, most recently for the last 4 weeks. After reading your article, I spent the last 24 hours not crossing my legs, and sitting with knees apart as you recommend and guess what?? I wake up today and no hip pain. Not a bit, not even a hint. I will share your article with my three daughters.
    I just wanted you to know that your message and great information have reached far beyond Texas and I hope they will continue to do so.
    Thanks for helping me be pain free!!!
    Julie Larsen

    1. Barbara

      That’s so wonderful! It will be particularly important for your daughters, who might be able to prevent some of these conditions. Please check out my blog post regarding Sit Like A Man on https://www.drbarbarabergin.com! Thanks!
      Would be super cool if you friended me on Facebook, and repeated what you said above. No worries if you don’t feel like it.

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