Home » Self Care » 6 Everyday Posture Hacks for Short (& Average-Sized) People
  • 6 Everyday Posture Hacks for Short (& Average-Sized) People

    lost in the furniture

    Why is All the Furniture Too Big?!?

    If you’re short like I am you may have some real problems maintaining decent posture when sitting on most furniture, especially if it’s supposed to be “ergonomic.” I want to know… ergonomic for whom? Probably the person who designed it. It sure doesn’t fit my body no matter how loosely you use the term ergonomic.

    For that matter, furniture in general tends to be made for people who are taller. In some cases, it’s too big for average sized people, too. This is especially true for chairs and couches with really deep seats. You know, the kind where if you want to be able to bend your knees so your feet can touch the floor, you have to slouch. And then your low back hurts because you’re constantly bending it the wrong direction.

    What’s a short (or normal-sized) person to do?

    It’s Easier Than You Might Think

    The point of a hack is to make your life easier, not more complicated. In this case, the point is also to improve your posture and lessen your pain. So today I’m going to give you a few hacks that use things you probably already have and are easy to rig up, but are also easy to move/take down should the need arise.

    All you need is some combination of these 6 items:

    • Throw pillow(s) – The number you need depends on  how fluffy they are and how much support or bolstering you need
      • Use these to support your low back and bring you forward when you’re sitting in a chair with a seat that’s too deep. They’re especially helpful with hard backed chairs that you don’t sink into. If you’re sitting properly, i.e. ON your sit bones (as opposed to sitting in front of them and leaning forward or sitting behind them and leaning back/slouching) you shouldn’t need more back support because your body will be properly “stacked” and will naturally and effortlessly balance you.
      • Sit on one if your work/play/eating surface is too high to be comfortable. Note, if you’re short you will probably also need to use then next item as well.
    • Phone book(s), encyclopedia, small stool, an aerobics step- Whichever of these you have is fine, and it’s a great way to get some use out of that aerobic step you’ve had since 1990 but haven’t bothered to take out of the box yet.
      • These go on the floor in front of your chair so your feet have something to rest on instead of dangling and making you feel like you’re four years old again. Your feet need to rest on something in order to maintain proper sitting position. If you’ve ever sat on a tall bar stool without a high enough rung to rest your feet on you know that dangling feet will eventually either pull you off your stool, or screw up your good sitting position and put you in line for some good old-fashioned low back pain.
    • Standard sized bed pillow – Here’s a great use for those pillows you replaced years ago but can’t bring yourself to take out of the linen closet and throw away, even though you never use them.
      • Great full back support that will bring you forward in a seat that’s too deep. I used to use these on my couch and they worked great, until I found the next item and fell deeply and madly in love with it.
    • Bedrest pillow – These are those crazy shaped pillows that look like they have mini armrests built into them.
      • I now have one these on my deep-seated couch and I can’t imagine life without it. The wonderful thing about this beauty is that it never falls over and never needs to be readjusted, it just sits where I put it. Here’s a picture of one from the Target website. (Note: I am not necessarily endorsing Target (but I do like them) or snubbing other companies (I like them too), it was simply the first search pic that showed up that was from a widely recognized source.) Lots of stores have them and they come in just about every imaginable color and pattern. I paid less than $20 for mine last year, so they’re not financially out of reach for most people.Posture Hack Pillow
    • Cheap woven belt, long scarf, exercise band, etc – Anything long that will fasten or tie can be used.
      • If you hate having to pick your back support pillow off the seat and stand it back up again every time you return to your chair, simply belt or tie it to the chair. Voilá! It will now stay in place until you set it free.
    • Bath and/or hand towel – Which one(s) you need depends on the amount of support or bolstering you need
      • Keep a folded towel in your car to put behind you, wherever you need support. Better yet, leave it on your seat, or belt/tie it in place so it’s no muss/no fuss.

    So there you have my most common posture hacks for short people, and a few that average-sized people can use as well. Truth be told, tall people can benefit from a couple of them, too,  since ergonomic chairs don’t fit them either, just in a different way.

    Do you have a hack for dealing with outsized furniture that I didn’t mention? Tell me about it in the comments?