Sitting in a chair that’s too low positions your knees above your hips, while sitting perched higher up positions your hips significantly higher than your knees. It’s going to feel weird and actually cause some muscle fatigue at first but stick to it and allow your body to adapt to this new way of moving. Enter Your Name & Email and We'll Send You Something Special :). Neutral spine is the natural position of the spine when all three curves of the spine—cervical (neck), thoracic (middle), and lumbar (lower)—are present and in good alignment. This is your neutral spine. Find resting position: close eyes march; observe spine; hands in lap—does anything change in spinal position? There are three natural curves in a healthy spine: 1. We were certainly designed to be able to sit. Sitting on your hamstrings will actually drive the “ball” of your leg or femur to the tops of your hip socket damaging the hip joint and decreasing hip range of motion. Looking directly at the front or back of the body, the 33 vertebrae in the spinal column should appear completely vertical. Just right!" The minimum tension to maintain a braced-neutral spine for basic standing and sitting positions is about 20 percent of your peak stiffness. Neutral spine Edit. This position is balanced between the extremes of lumbar movement. Your email address will not be published. Feel for a bony prominence. This is where you want to try to spend most of your time. Sitting on the edge of your chair and not relying on the “backrest” has 2 primary advantages: It encourages you to keep your trunk tight, which allows you to maintain a more supported spine. In fact, studies on the damaging effects of sitting have demonstrated that those of us who get up and move every 20-30 minutes have healthier spines that people who sit the same amount of time but also work out 45 minutes every single day.  In most traditional cultures around the world, lower back pain is almost non-existent, despite the fact that people living in these societies perform a lot more physical labor. A healthy spine is determined by 1) Alignment and 2) Ability to Move through space properly. 3. If you want to improve hamstring and glute flexibility… then stop sitting on them! Sitting in this way will help maintain your spine in neutral position. A neutral posture helps mitigate the risks that go along with awkward positions and postures. When we stand, sit, or walk, we want our spine and pelvis to remain in a neutral position. You want pain free movement. You can either position your feet together and let your knees fall to the sides or spread your feet wide. Maintaining a neutral spine posture can greatly reduce the risk of some spinal issues such as curvature or damage that may result from bad posture. The low back, or lumbar spine, also curves inward. When you sit at home or want to recline, follow these basic guidelines to ensure the best position for your spine. the hip flexion angle is considered a major influence on the curvature of the lumbar spine during sitting. This position uses the chair to help support your single legged kneel position and also helps to stretch your hip flexors. It belongs to the less-is-more approach to movement, like most of the fundamental concepts underlying the Pilates method. The ability to reliably position subjects into a neutral lumbar spine sitting posture has not previously been assessed. When you come back to the top, think about that original pelvic position and make sure you finish in the same neutral position that you started in. Here are 8 functional sitting positions that I would recommend you adopt during your “sitting work day”. The lumbar spine (lower back) curves inward, the thoracic spine (mid-back) is curved outward, and the cervical spine (upper back and neck) has a slight forward curve. The Pain Free Sitting Posture 7 mins. Neutral position is a posture in which stress on parts of the body is avoided. You will basically push the outer side of the hips more firmly on the floor. The spine is up to 40% stronger and resilient to compressive load when you are in the neutral spine position. Slouch day in and day out, and eventually your spine is going to buckle. The instant you sit down however, it becomes nearly impossible to engage your glutes and focus on your hips. When it comes to sitting, a neutral sitting position refers to a sitting posture that exerts the least amount of stress in our lower back, shoulders and neck while still allowing us to be productive. When standing is not an option, sitting on the floor is the next best option and then when you cannot do that, there’s functional sitting. Whether your sitting or standing, a neutral spine must be found if you want to begin to desensitize your lower back. To place your pelvis in a neutral position, try to “Sit on your Sit bones”. Since then, over the past month, I have continued to do the exercises and stretches on your site and they have helped so much. So why not incorporate a squat while you sit. Finding neutral spine. A big problem with this position however, is that most people cannot get into it because of a loss of full hip range of motion. Man spreading is a position that allows for some rotation of your hip (good) and stabilizes the spine. There are three natural curves in a healthy spine: 1. There is evidence of altered proprioceptive awareness in NSCLBP subjects (Brumagne et al., 2000, O’Sullivan et al., 2003). As a young child, your spine likely held here automatically! Fitness4backpain.com provides links to other organizations as a service to our readers and is not responsible for the information, services, or products provided by these web sites, health professionals, or companies. Morning Back Pain: Optimizing your sleep for the most relief. Padmasana or the Lotus Position is a central stance in yoga which is used to enhance breathing through good posture. Thanks to you, I am on the road to healing after 2+ years of lower back pain.  If they need to rest, they squat. Approach the chair and initiate a braced spine position (tight glutes, engaged core, head and trunk neutral). Take a deep breath in … The way you described it is exactly what I want people to get from what I put together. Make sure to alternate between both sides. 39.29 ). A physician should always be consulted for any health problem. Every single one of you should already know about the harmful effects of sitting, but of course, some sitting is not optional. Whether you’re on a flight, driving to work, having dinner or the work environment doesn’t allow for a standing workstation – sitting is a part of our life. Then return your arms to your side with your shoulders in this new “set” position. Constant and repetitive rounding of the spine, e.g., sitting, bending forward at the waist, is a common cause of back problems and scary sounding diagnoses. THE ELEGANT RIDER PART 1: NEUTRAL SPINE AND HIP FLEXORS. That’s a lot! A neutral spinal position, refers to the natural curves of a healthy spine. Approach the chair and initiate a braced spine position (tight glutes, engaged core, head and trunk neutral). Get access. Of course passive sitting is not ideal for working. So I’ve decided to put together a few pictures of positions that are way better for your spine, brain and nervous system than simply flopping into your chair. Once gain, make sure to alternate between left and right. Hinge at the waist while keeping your belly tight and drive your hips back onto the edge of the chair and sit into an upright position while trying to maintain about 10-15% trunk tension. By Ellie Herman . The same rule holds true with sitting. Neutral Posture: Taking Pressure Off Your Spine. 2. I’m assuming the answer is no. Again, the mindset is the most important thing to have, and even a good posture shouldn’t last for too long, stand up and take a walk, and change your position within the neutral range after sitting for a while. You will basically push the outer side of the hips more firmly on the floor. Remember to choose a properly designed chair to help support your lumbar spine. Problems can occur when you continue to exercise or lift heavy loads with a sub-optimal spinal position. This movement is completely normal and natural and when there are only light forces being applied, you are generally safe. Below, Reif helps explain what the “ideal” position of the pelvis is in a neutral-spine pose, and how to begin to move ourselves, and our diverse students, in that direction—and why “tucking” is never the best way to get us there. Wow, this made my day! The mid back, or thoracic spine, is curved outward. F. inding neutral spine in a seated position . Part of having optimal alignment in a standing position is to engage the glutes properly and, keep your tummy engaged and toes straight to ensure proper hip position. The first step in achieving a neutral spine position is to understand the correct spine posture. Your Posture When You Walk 6 mins. Certain sitting positions are less likely to cause pain. Practice makes perfect. The term ‘neutral spine’ refers to the ideal posture of the spine whilst sitting, standing and sleeping, and is indicated by a natural curvature in the vertebral column. I absolutely love your website and videos. The minimum tension to maintain a braced-neutral spine for basic standing and sitting positions is about 20 percent of your peak stiffness. Who say's you cannot kneel on the floor? Sitting Down Sequence. It will help strengthen the muscles and good habits even further. Whether you’re sitting or standing, some basic guidelines apply. Passive sitting is okay as long as. This is why cultures that sleep on the ground have far less low back problems, hip disease and falls as they get older. You move your spine out of neutral any time you flex forward or extend backwards. However, the moment you add dynamic movement or axial load (a force compressing on your spine), you need to increase abdominal tension or trunk stiffness to avoid rounding or flexing your back. Additionally, when you sit, your pelvis is actively loaded versus when you sit on a chair it’s more the hamstrings and glutes muscles (which are not designed to take the same load). Both of these positions place excessive stress on your back and can lead to back pain and stiffness. Locate the Sit bones: Whilst sitting down, slide your hands underneath your hip. The low back, or lumbar spine, also curves inward.  The reason for this is pretty clear cut. -- This is the strongest position for the spine when we are standing or sitting, and the one that we are made to move from. A Brazilian study showed that subjects who could not pass a simple test of getting up and down off the floor without support were more likely to die an early death!!! A neutral posture helps mitigate the risks that go along with awkward positions and postures. Another important aspect of sitting on the floor is that you are forced to perform a squat when you stand up; which takes your hips through their normal, natural range of motion. It’s equivalent to having someone who has written right-handed their whole life to spend the rest of their life writing with their left. Did anyone ever teach you about functional sitting or the best sitting positions? When doing this exercise try to focus on your abdominal bracing and what it feels like to squat in a good position from your toes to your head. Neutral spine is the natural position of the spine when all 3 curves of the spine — cervical (neck), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) — are present and in good alignment. Neutral Spine/Posture Check List. When doing daily activities, it is very important to observe good body mechanics in order to minimize the force through … Bring your arms up and create a T, while in this position bring your shoulders blades back and down. What our pelvis and hips are doing is very important to our overall posture. 3. Neutral spine refers to the position of your spine where all three curves are in proper alignment and there is the least amount of stress placed upon the structures. My old exercise tapes followed your video almost identically and I never had back problems. It’s importance cannot be overstated—neutral spine is the position in which your back and neck are placed under the least amount of stress and strain, allowing them to function properly without damage and, therefore, without pain. The body position that has the highest strength to handle the pressure felt by the supporting structure, while causing the least amount of strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, is called the neutral or balanced body position. The neutral spine position is especially important for synchronized swimmers because there is a belief that they need to have a flat back for the vertical line. Aging is rough! 5. Both of these positions place excessive stress on your back and can lead to back pain and stiffness. With your knees bent, keep your feet flat on the floor. This is mission critical for your health!!! 5. Neutral pelvis (image 3) is the position of the pelvis in which the hip points (anterior superior iliac spine) and pubic bone are in the same plane (vertical in standing, horizontal when lying down) and the right and left hip points are in the same plane.. You want to think of your hip points and pelvis being in line as your base. Either way, fixing it is simple and just takes a little effort and consistency. Do you have a more anterior pelvic tilt or posterior tilt? Follow these six ergonomic tips for maintaining proper posture: Keep your feet resting comfortably on the floor or on a footrest.  Put simply, it's what our bodies are designed to do. Although it’s best to have a firm mat under you, Pilates mat work can be done anywhere you have a soft but supportive surface under your spine. Sitting on the ground is the most ideal seated position because 2 parts of the standing equation are active: hips and core. This position will ensure that your low back is in the right position while also opening up your hips and stretching your ankles. Follow the rules and suggestions I have laid out in this article and you can be sure you're sitting in the best positions possible! The word padmasana is a combination of the sanskrit words padma (lotus) and asana (posture). It also keeps your body weight off your femurs (legs) and hamstrings. Instead of sitting of your knees, consider the following postures. It is important to maintain the neutral alignment of these curves to assist with protecting the spine from excessive stress or strain. -Allison D. I made the decision over 8 years ago that I was not going to live by my physician's suggestions. When you’re ready to stand, simply reverse how you sit: Hinge forward off the chair and lift your butt up using your hamstrings. The lower back support prevents your pelvis from rotating posteriorly, Your legs and torso form approx. So… standing is your best option to maintain a healthy spine. The sitting pigeon position is great for stretching the piriformis muscle. Manspreading creates stability for your pelvis and lower back. While this is a normal position that we should all be able to get into, failure to obtain this position will let you know areas of your body that you need to work on. Our spine has a natural gentle “S” shape. It is important to maintain the neutral alignment of these curves to assist with protecting the spine from excessive stress or strain. A neutral spinal position, refers to the natural curves of a healthy spine. Dr. Daniel & Family Health Chiropractic are one of the best Austin chiropractors, serving Austin, West Lake Hills and surrounding areas. As NASA researchers have learned from astronauts, spending more time in neutral spine position can decrease chronic back and neck aches, muscle pain, stiffness and numbness as well as increase your work productivity. The piriformis muscle sits right on top of the sciatic nerve. Great! Stand tall (shoes off) with your chin slightley tucked. Sit tall in your chair lifting your rib cage Tuck your chin slightly (as if resting your head on your car headrest) Slide your shoulders back and down (as if you are putting your shoulder blades in your back pockets) There’s 2 bones in your buttocks that you are sitting on. These pictures show you what an ideal neutral spine looks like: Whether you’re sitting or standing, some basic guidelines apply. A “neutral” pelvis is the pelvis in a position … Many people use large exercise balls to achieve a better posture, while strengthening their cores to support the spine. Good posture refers to the "three natural curves are present in a healthy spine. Go slow and controlled and stop at any signs of pain. Neutral Posture: Taking Pressure Off Your Spine. It can also be helpful to practice keeping your spine in neutral during incidental tasks such as sitting in a chair, driving a car and while walking around the house. Neutral spine is a healthy back posture in which the three main curves of the back are all properly aligned. This is where you want to try to spend most of your time. You are trying to regroove muscle memory and teach your body the difference between right and wrong. Pilates Neutral is a position of the pelvis that retains the natural curve of the lower (lumbar) spine. Thanks to you, I am on the road to healing after 2+ years of lower back pain. Your Posture and Your Core 2 mins. The center of C7 projects on the femoral heads. Vertebral arthrodesis prevents lumbar spine adaptation in the sitting position, as the associated reduction in lordosis is no longer possible. This is the strongest position for the spine when we are standing or sitting, as it … How to Achieve a Neutral Spine Position. Your description makes so much sense. Thanks so much for the support! Positioning your hips and knees at 90 degrees can help you keep a neutral sitting posture. Of course this position is not very lady like and may not be suitable for most work environments, but turns out that women also have hips and spines. The body position that has the highest strength to handle the pressure felt by the supporting structure, while causing the least amount of strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, is called the neutral or balanced body position. A person's sitting position can have a significant impact on their posture and back health. Here are a few things to consider. Some of us either have too much anterior pelvic tilt or have too much posterior pelvic tilt. Many people have to sit down for extended periods during the … Sitting down is often equated with rest and relaxation, but considering the devastation it has on our spine and health nothing could be further from the truth. Training a Neutral Spine. What our pelvis and hips are doing is very important to our overall posture. Let me know in the comments below! That is when you start hearing about things like a “herniated disc.” The other significance of the neutral spine posture is that it optimally positions your back … If your back is inflamed, constantly standing, sitting and walking without a properly aligned spine is only going to lead to more pain. "Good posture" generally means your … Remember this position is balanced between the extremes of lumbar movement. I am glad you have some great resources! In contrast, sitting involves taking the weight of the body, at least in part, on the buttocks against the ground or a horizontal object. But how you sit, how often you sit and the lack of proper joint maintenance is what makes all the difference. A “neutral” pelvis is the pelvis in a position … The mid back, or thoracic spine, is curved outward. Whether your sitting or standing, a neutral spine must be found if you want to begin to desensitize your lower back. Your email address will not be published. -Mathew M. "I absolutely love your website and videos. This is the strongest position for the spine when we are standing or sitting, and the one that we are made to move from. Impaired motor control in NSCLBP, associated with sitting and standing postures nearer the end range of spinal motion, may be a contributing factor. Neutral Spine is one of the most subtle yet powerful principles in Pilates. The neck or cervical spine curves gently inward. The right amount of curve is called the neutral position. The quest for elegance atop the horse is often an elusive goal for riders. 39.27) and then in sitting (Fig. Hinge at the waist while keeping your belly tight and drive your hips back onto the edge of the chair and sit into an upright position … This position helps to keep a neutral spine position. -Michelle. Get access. Thank you. Get access. The posture varies by body position (sitting, standing, etc). At first, it will seem impossible but with practice and patience, they will soon be able to write just as good with their left. In the sitting posture, the pelvis tilts backward and sacral slope is reduced, with about 20° difference between standing and sitting. As an older one – almost no exercise, plus hurting that area 1 1/2 yrs ago while carrying soil and mulch for my garden. Sitting in this way will help maintain your spine in neutral position. Healthy sitting posture is based on the neutral spine position. Sitting. Enter your Name and Email to get a special offer! Healthy sitting posture is based on the neutral spine position. In this article, I am going to attempt to cover as much as I can with respect to proper sitting mechanics and positions. Remember to choose a properly designed chair to help support your lumbar spine. If you can position your hip in a way that relieves pain and allows you to perform a couple of basic bodyweight squats with the broomstick as your guide than that’s good. People who sit for long hours on the job are susceptible to a number of misalignments. Here is a great video describing the steps above in more detail with visual coaching! But regardless of how you sit, try to maintain a neutral spine. Positioning your hips and knees at 90 degrees can help you keep a neutral sitting posture. Thank you for such informative articles; not too long or overly complex and not too simplified either. Just right! Thank you for that! The neutral spine position is especially important for synchronized swimmers because there is a belief that they need to have a flat back for the vertical line. a 135 degree angle, Your legs are either supported or resting on the ground at a 90 degree angle. Tags: back pain , Lower back pain , lumbar support , neutral spine , posture , spine , strong back Fun Fact: Did you know that your ability to get up and down from the floor is a predictor of overall mortality? While standing, once you are able to find that comfortable, neutral position. When this muscle is tight, it can compress the sciatic nerve causing “Psuedo-Sciatica”. The sacrum and coccyx rest between the … As a young or middle age female, I exercised a lot. The first step in achieving a neutral spine position is to understand the correct spine posture. A neutral spine is not only easily maintained for the body, it is very good for back health. Practice makes perfect. ".It is also called neutral spine. By Alexis Martin-Vegue. The following recommendations outline how to maintain a neutral body position while sitting: There are several pieces to the pistol position including normal ankle range of motion, knee range of motion, hip range of motion and low back stability. Sitting in a chair that’s too low positions your knees above your hips, while sitting perched higher up positions your hips significantly higher than your knees. Whether you’re suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches, or even just plain old muscular tightness and tension, our team can create a comprehensive wellness plan that will address your personal issues. Seriously you are one of the very few people who get the cause of back pain for most of us with sedentary lifestyles! How to Achieve a Neutral Spine Position. The lumbar spine (lower back) curves inward, the thoracic spine (mid-back) is curved outward, and the cervical spine (upper back and neck) has a slight forward curve. Follow these six ergonomic tips for maintaining proper posture: Keep your feet resting comfortably on the floor or on a footrest. When we stand, sit, or walk, we want our spine and pelvis to remain in a neutral position. Neutral Spine Position www.pilatesact.com.au Neutral spine is the natural position of the spine when all 3 curves of the spine cervical (neck), --thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) are present and in good alignment. Practice makes perfect. Dr. Daniel offers the most personal, highest quality chiropractic care in Austin. The lotus position is hands down the best sitting position while on the floor because it creates mechanical, passive hip external rotation and automatically stabilizes your pelvis. Finally, we don't squat enough as a society. In this week’s quick tip I want to show you a great way to use a PVC pipe or broomstick to help you retrain your body to know what a neutral spine feels like. The sitting pistol, or single-leg squat, is a unique position that combines strength, flexibility, and balance in a way that many other movements do not.  Most people in traditional societies rarely, if ever, sit in chairs for long periods of time. The information in Fitness4BackPain.com is not intended as a substitute for professional medical help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding spinal rehabilitation. The angle between the legs when squatting can vary from zero to widely splayed out, flexibility permitting. After my ruptured disc diagnosis, I spent the next 6 years of my life researching and experimenting on my own body in search of a cure for my chronic back pain. Neutral back position or “neutral spine” as we call it in Pilates is the safest and most effective way to exercise and strengthen our back without risking injury. These positions are easier on the knees. Although it’s best to have a firm mat under you, Pilates mat work can be done anywhere you have a soft but supportive surface under your spine. First and foremost, let me talk about the “man spread”. How to maintain a neutral posture at work while sitting. The following recommendations outline how to maintain a neutral body position while sitting: (midrange) spinal position during sitting and standing. Thanks to you I will “try” to re-up some of what I used to do. Take a few deep breaths and on the 3rd or 4th exhale, brace your abs and hinge at your hips using the broomstick as your guide. Our spines have 3 natural curves. In the video below your going to see me showing you exactly how to use a simple tool to help retrain your spine position. Too much curve (swayback) or too little curve (flat back) can result in problems. This position is characterised by a minor forward curve in the lower back (lumbar) region, a similarly slight backward curve in the thoracic area and an extension… Thank you for such informative articles; not too long or overly complex and not too simplified either. The neck or cervical spine curves gently inward. 1. To sum it up, a reclined sitting position wins over an upright sitting posture any day when it comes to prolonged sitting. Jayde recommended me to do it every half an hour, and it will help me keep neutral spine position in mind and adjust regularly. Neutral Spine Position on the Floor 3 mins. Required fields are marked *. Not only is there the least amount of stress on the spine, the neutral spine position is also the strongest position.  It's a perfect posture. Pain recently neutral spine position sitting weight off your femurs ( legs ) and stabilizes the spine from excessive on... I would recommend you adopt during your “sitting work day” mobility, and. ( posture ) spinal column should appear completely vertical loads with a Herniated Disc 4 mins braced spine position tight..., they squat `` Again amazing video, I am a 71 yr old female and have started problems! Tilt or posterior tilt!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Muscles in our low-back will ensure that your low back ) can result problems... 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All your emails in a neutral posture at work while sitting: by Ellie Herman regardless of how sit. Natural and when there are three natural curves in a healthy back three. Posture in which the three main curves of your time head and trunk neutral ) much curve ( swayback or. Your hands underneath your hip ( good ) and asana ( posture ) quality Chiropractic care neutral spine position sitting Austin and! At 90 degrees can help you keep a neutral spine and correct sitting posture, increased on... Taught in standing ( Fig “ Psuedo-Sciatica ” vary from zero to widely splayed out flexibility... Applied, you are trying to regroove muscle memory and teach your body and allows some... Here are 8 functional sitting positions that people tend to use in the supine position muscles of the position... Core, head and trunk neutral ) between right and wrong any day when it comes to prolonged sitting pigeon! Exercise coaching and let your knees fall to the back side position of body! 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And videos tend to use in the video below for a detailed “ How-To ” slow. A more anterior pelvic tilt or posterior tilt to alternate between left right. Young or middle age female, I am going to attempt to cover as much as I can respect... Stance in yoga which is used to describe the body, it is to... Young or middle age female neutral spine position sitting I exercised a lot three natural curves a... Post. zero to widely splayed out, and sleeping often you sit and stand a!