Musculo-skeletal and pulmonary effects of sitting position - a systematic review

Ann Agric Environ Med. 2017 Mar 31;24(1):8-12. doi: 10.5604/12321966.1227647.


Introduction: Year after year, we spend an increasing amount of time in a sitting position. Often, we sit with poor posture, as indicated by numerous pain syndromes within the musculoskeletal system. Several reports confirm that body posture and the amount of time spent in a seated position have extensive implications for our health. Previous studies and a literature review suggest there is limited knowledge regarding an ergonomic sitting position.

Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze the research relating to a proper sitting position and the consequences of incorrect sitting posture. A database search was conducted in Science Direct, Scopus, PubMed, Medline, and Google Scholar. Selection was made on the basis of titles, the abstracts and full texts of the studies. No limits were applied to the date of publication.

Conclusions: Incorrect sitting posture contributes to many disorders, especially in the cervical and lumbar spine. It also determines the work of the respiratory system. Most authors suggest that maintenance of the physiological curvature of the spine is crucial for the biomechanics of the sitting position, as well as the location of the head and position of the pelvis. It raises awareness of work-related hazards and the introduction of education on the principles of proper seating. It is necessary to draw attention to the risks associated with work performed in a sitting posture, and education on the principles of ergonomical sitting.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Ergonomics*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal System / physiopathology*
  • Posture*
  • Respiratory System / physiopathology*