Ergonomic sitting is the term that I have created for performing work-based activities throughout the day for comfort in prolonged sitting. The term was created by me after finding I had overcome the postural scoliosis in my spine, caused from one leg being longer than the other; which is common in tall females like me.

This has happened quite by accident from my love of cycling. I love being outdoors and exercising and I needed to lose weight, because I love eating. My friend dragged me on a cycle weekend many years ago, when I lived in Ontario. From that day on, I was hooked on cycling; because I had so much fun outdoors and socializing with other people.

What I did not realize was how much strength the sitting on a bicycle has given to my back. Since that time in the 1980’s when I first took up cycling until now; cycling has been a major part of my life. I have participated in time trial racing, recreational touring around the Alps and New Zealand and now in Vancouver Canada, I now cycle-commute.

I use to have a car, but then I spent more time getting around on the bike, because of the ease in parking the bicycle, that I ended up selling the car. I now have a trailer, so that I can carry my groceries from the supermarket and anything else that I need to carry.

I can now understand the true skeletal health benefits that cycling creates for one’s back. When you sit on a bicycle seat, the whole weight of your body goes directly on to your pelvic bones; because you need to pedal with your legs, holding the handle with your arms. There is nowhere else your body weight can go. So even if you use drop handle bars or upright handle bars, the majority of your body weight will still be running down to your pelvic bones.

I call the position of the spine, when on the bicycle seat a “relaxed hold” because there is no stress on the spine, while your legs are pedaling and keeping the hips mobile and flexible. It is a wonderful position for the spine to feel, because the spine is comfortable and relaxed. I find all the yoga moves much easier to manage because I have strong core, which is my pelvic area. I can even get my head to reach down and touch my legs, because my hips are so flexible.

A chiropractor has told me that all the sitting on my bicycle has helped to train my body to be able to stay vertical, even though I have a leg length discrepancy of 3 centimeters. It means that I don’t have the risk of impinging the sciatic nerve that I use to have before cycling.

I still do NOT lift anything, because this will cause stress on the sciatic nerve. It means that you can avoid trips to the chiropractor, by simply getting on the bike and juggling the impingement of the nerve from your spine, by taking a long cycle ride. Sometimes it takes a few rides if the impingement is bad.

The chiropractor was utterly amazed that I had never been to see a chiropractor before. I told him that the bike cures my back pains, except when we had a foot of snow on the ground with no snowplows to move it. This is what Occupational Therapy is all about, although I had no idea that cycling was actually curing my own back problem.

I cannot say that this will cure all back problems, but it makes sense that the spine is safe and secure on your pelvic bones. The movement of your pelvis will help to create movement in the spine to relieve trapped nerves and maybe other back disorders.

Author's Bio: 

The author, Gail McGonigal is a qualified Occupational Therapist, who has overcome postural scoliosis in her spine, by accidentally taking up cycling as a recreational hobby. Gail understands the pain and functional limitations associated with back pain. She has found that by ergonomic sitting on a bicycle has relieved all her symptoms of sciatic pain in her back.

Gail has a company called Active Living Solutions Ltd: initially selling ergonomic seating for people with back problems, for enabling them to be safe in an ergonomic chair.

Gail is writing about ergonomic chairs and their parts, so that people, particularly the Big, Tall & Wide will receive the help they need, for overcoming their skeletal discomforts:

Gail is offering a free “Therapeutic Active Living Plan” with purchase of one of her chairs that will help them overcome their discomforts, become active and lose weight for an improved quality of life.