Should your knees be higher than your hips when sitting?

A vital query underpinning functional sitting and ergonomic furniture use is: "Should your knees be higher than your hips when sitting?". Understanding the correct positioning can aid in minimalizing improper strain on our bodies while enabling peak performance throughout your workday.

Is it Bad To Sit With Your Knees Higher Than Hips?

When your chair's height is significantly lower than necessary, the positioning can inadvertently push your knees higher than your hips. Such a posture may impose a needless burden on your spinal column.

Although manageable for short spells, prolonged maintenance of this posture can escalate to discomfort and, eventually, pain. The UCLA Health affirms this standpoint: enduring time spent in an awkward sitting position could potentially strain your back by day's end.

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How High Should Knees Be When Sitting?

Considering your posture when sitting, the position of your feet is crucial. They should be firmly planted on the ground, with your knees well apart. Avoid pulling your feet below the chair. Chair height adjustment is central to this, allowing your knees to hover slightly lower than your thighs.

Prioritizing this adequate ‘open angle’ between your torso and thighs contributes to a more comfortable seating arrangement. As per OSHA's overview on the topic, maintaining an open trunk-to-thigh angle is important to avoid back pain and other musculoskeletal discomforts.

Where Should Your Hips Be When Sitting?

Accommodating your hips correctly is as critical as addressing your knee height and foot positioning. Ensuring your hips are positioned deeper into your seat allows your ankles, knees, and hips to form right angles. Aligning your thighs level with your knees boosts comfort and reduces the risk of strain.

If adjustments are needed, consider swapping your chair for an ergonomic option or utilizing cushions for the desired height, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic. This could be optimally accomplished with the help of height-adjustable sit-stand desks such as those available at Desky.

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What Sitting Position is Bad For Your Knees?

With so much focus on correct postural habits, adopting an improper or awkward seating position, for instance, by crossing your legs or crouching under your seat, pressurizes your knees. This could result in discomfort, irregular blood circulation, and the potential for chronic pain conditions.


Ergonomics is valuable in offering insight into the most conducive seating positions for better health. Extending attention to knee and hip levels may avert unnecessary strains, fostering a more comfortable and productive work environment.

Prioritizing these measures in your workspace guarantees a step towards healthier work habits. By emphasizing comfort and correct posturing, we can mitigate the risk of prolonged strain, potential discomfort, and increased productivity.

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