How to Sit in an Office Chair During Pregnancy? (Step By Step Guide)

Maintaining sitting posture is always essential as it impacts your health long-term; the impotence increases during pregnancy. Maintaining a definite posture during pregnancy is a must. 

So, How To Sit In An Office Chair During Pregnancy? To sit in an office chair properly during pregnancy always keep your back aligned to the back of the chair, don’t leave space, that is keep your upper body straight. Keep your knees and hips at a 90-degree angle, put your feet flat on the floor, and don’t cross your legs.

Is this your first pregnancy or the second or third? No matter which one is this, you need to read this article. This article holds essential and scientifically proven facts that will help you in this pregnancy phase. 

Well, the first few months of pregnancy can be troublesome, mainly because you will not be granted maternity leave for the time being. As a result, you might have to spend most of the time sitting in a chair.

Nothing to worry about! I am here to provide the perfect guideline along with various professional advice based on scientific studies. So, keep reading this article. 

How Does My Sitting Posture Affect My Pregnancy?

The sitting position can affect the position of your infant by creating unwanted pressure in the uterus. 

During pregnancy, you might feel tired and search for a comfortable sitting arrangement, but amidst all the trouble at work, you might have to spend most of the time sitting behind a desk.

Moreover, back pain from the growing baby’s weight can be reduced by sitting in a proper posture. 

The long-time sitting position is harmful to both the mother’s and baby’s health. It is advised you take short breaks and change the sitting position carefully. 

A study conducted in Academia has shown sitting position has no significant effect of pregnancy on the upper-body posture; however, in some cases, a tendency for a flatter spinal curve was seen as sitting during pregnancy progressed.  

Back pain is experienced by most pregnant women. A study by the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery has provided an overview of pregnancy-related back pain. The study shows such back pain can impact women’s life even after childbirth. 

Two of the common types of back pain during pregnancy are lumbar pain & posterior pelvic pain. As a result, women during pregnancy should sit appropriately and take definite precautionary steps. 

Let me briefly tell you about both types of back pain you might witness during pregnancy,

Lumbar Pain – Lumbar pain or strain usually occurs to the lower back and damages tendons and muscles. Spasms in the lower back can initiate severe pain, and you will not be able to touch the part. 

Posterior Pelvic Pain – Posterior pelvic pain creates discomfort near the back of the pelvis, below the spine. You can also experience pain in the sacroiliac joints. The pain can also radiate towards your buttock checks, lateral thighs, and groin.

You might have heard different suggestions regarding securing your belly and pubic region, such as continuously wearing a belt, which will also help to reduce pelvic joint pain. 

However, the study by PTJ, concluded that rigid or non-rigid support belts don’t add much to the baby’s health nor the mother’s health.

Then again, while sitting in a chair, if you don’t sit appropriately, it can enhance pressure on the baby and create resistance in the baby’s growth. 

So, it is advised to sit by evenly distributing the total weight of the upper body on both your hips. 

Always remember a good sitting position can help you feel better and may prevent some of the discomforts that can happen during and later in pregnancy.

How to Sit in an Office Chair During Pregnancy Properly?

You are now aware of the importance of sitting appropriately in an office chair; let me tell you the right way to sit in an office chair during pregnancy. 

  • Firstly, sit at the end of the chair and completely slump back to the end.
  • Sit straight and relax your shoulders back.
  • Check if the buttocks are touching the back of the chair.
  • Pull yourself up and let the curve of your back move as far as possible. 

TIP: If the chair’s back does not feel comfortable enough, you can roll up clothes or a towel and put it behind your back. You can also put pregnancy pillows; these are mostly cheap and highly comfortable. 

  • After holding it for a few seconds, slightly release the position. It is advised to release up to 10 degrees; you will find it to be more comfortable.
  • As you now know, the importance of distributing the body weight evenly on your hips, now by keeping your hips and knees precisely at a 90-degree angle and placing the feet flat on the floor. 

TIP: During pregnancy, do not leave legs relaxed on the floor or crossing your leg as it will affect the baby

  • Adjusting the height of your chair according to your workstation or desk is mandatory. This preference can vary from person to person so, choose the perfect seat height of the chair for you.

TIP: Sometimes, you might find while adjusting the height with your desk, your feet might lose contact with the floor. At that time, I advise you to put a small stool underneath so that your legs can be placed flat. 

  • To avoid unwanted accidents, keep your office chair adjacent to the desk. 
  • Let your elbows and arms relax on your chair’s armrest or the desk.
  • You might use chairs with wheels for moving comfortably in your working area. However, studies show that people tend to move chairs by twisting the waist. It can be dangerous during pregnancy, so move your whole body while moving the chair.
  • But this can sometimes cause accidents, such as the chair’s wheels might feel resistance with the floor or the carpet and end up making you fall off the chair.
  • That is why you should be conscious and be careful at every step. 
  • During pregnancy, don’t sit on the chair for too long. Try to change the sitting position, or you can also stand up. A 10-minutes break is recommended.
  • You can give your hands and legs a slight shake and bend your waist forward and backward. Other than these, you can also do some pregnancy-safe stretches to release the tension of the muscles. 

Your comfortable sitting position might vary, and sometimes you might want to relax your body. These are completely fine. You can choose to sit in a different position for a while but make changes after a while and follow precautionary steps.

To know more about the precautionary step, keep reading the article.

What Things Should Be Kept In Mind For Choosing The Right Sitting Position? 

The comfortable sitting position might vary from person to person. But there are a few sitting positions that you should avoid during pregnancy.

What positions should be avoided during pregnancy?

I would recommend you to choose your sitting position during pregnancy wisely and implement these four things–

  • Choose the position you feel comfortable but don’t let the baby (your belly) feel pressure.
  • Evenly distribute the weight of your body on your hips. 
  • Avoid slouching and do maintain a straight back while sitting.
  • Keep your feet flat on a plane surface. 
  • Do not sit with crossed legs. It will affect the circulation to your legs & result in swollen ankles.
  • Avoid changing the posture quickly, take time and slowly move from one position to another.
  • Keep the essential items nearby so that at the time of emergency, you can quickly grab those. 
  • Do not bend your waist too much, as it could strain your back.

What Are The Precautionary Steps Before Sitting In An Office Chair During Pregnancy?

  • The most important thing is checking the chair if everything is perfect and safe to sit on.
  • It is advised to use an ergonomic office chair as its ergonomic features will help to support your body. Check out my recommended ergonomic office chair here.
  • If the chair contains wheels, make sure they are not damaged, as it can cause accidents.
  • Using chairs with armrests is recommended as it will hold your body and let your arms rest comfortably. 
  • Before starting your work, adjust the height of your chair accordingly. If you face trouble, never hesitate to call for help. To calculate the right seat height for you, check out this article.

Related Questions

Can I Sit Cross-Legged When Pregnant?

You should not sit cross-legged during pregnancy. Not only during pregnancy but in regular times, you might feel comfortable sitting in an office chair while leaving your legs crossed. You might think it won’t affect you or your child during pregnancy. 

Nonetheless, you cannot sit with crossed legs as this can impair circulation. Although it won’t cause a sudden medical emergency, it can impact your blood pressure and lead to poor posture. 

In a study by the Journal of Clinical Nursing, it was found that crossing your legs can temporarily increase your blood pressure, and another study by the Journal of Hypertension also established that people who crossed their legs by putting the ankle on the knee experienced a slight spike in their blood pressure. 

Sitting for an extended period of time with your leg over your knee can initiate pain by rotating and tilting your pelvis. In such cases, your muscles are forced to compensate, which might also cause pain & stiffness. 

Are Wooden Chairs Safe During Pregnancy?

Wooden chairs are safe for pregnant women. A wooden chair can be super comfortable and help the mother to relax the body & mind. Upholstered wooden chairs can be comfortable to take a nap without getting too tired from the physical discomfort. 

Nevertheless, Wooden office chairs can be problematic. The absence of upholstery won’t let you sit comfortably. Sitting on a hard surface for a more extended period of time might increase the pain. 

If you don’t feel comfortable in your wooden chair, we have a dedicated article that discusses making your wooden chair more comfortable. You can read the article here

Is It OK To Sit For Long Hours During Pregnancy?

It is not recommended to sit for long hours during pregnancy. Doctors suggest taking a thirty-minute break from the sitting position to release the tension from muscles. 

Sitting for a more extended period of time might initiate symptoms of depression. Moreover, this will put the mother at risk of weight gain and contracting gestational diabetes, which might further cause Type II diabetes

This is why you should take the necessary steps to keep yourself active during pregnancy by avoiding long-time sitting on a chair. 

Take a break from work and go for a short walk nearby. This will also help improve the mother’s physical and mental health and reduce the metabolic risk factors of the newborn.  

Final Thoughts

Although studies show that sitting does not necessarily impact your upper body, you need to sit up with your back straight and keep your shoulders back.

Always remember that your buttocks should touch the back of your chair; never leave space in between your buttocks and chair. That is, go up to the back of the chair, then rest your back.

In case you feel uncomfortable, you can always use rolled-up towels or cushions. You will also find pregnancy pillows; these are primarily cheap but will provide you with much comfort. 

You must ensure that you are providing total support to your back and lumbar. You should evenly distribute the total weight on both your hips. 

If you are thinking of keeping your legs relaxed on the floor or crossing your legs, then let me tell you, you should not do that.

It would be best if you kept your hips and knees precisely at a 90-degree angle, and both your feet should be placed flat on the floor. It would be best to balance your body weight; too much pressure on a single side will create a disturbance that might hamper the baby. 

I will suggest you not sit in a single position for an extended period. Studies show it is wise to change the posture and take a break every thirty minutes during pregnancy. 

Using an ergonomic office chair will provide you with better support to hold your body. 

Your office chair should have an armrest; rest your elbows and arms on your chair’s armrest or the desk; however, you should be relaxing your shoulders. 

An ergonomic office chair will further help to adjust your height as per your need. Leave your chair close to your workstation to avoid accidents. 

In case your chairs contain wheels, you have to be highly conscious. While moving your chair, don’t just twist your waist; try and move your whole body.

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.