Best Position for Sitting With Restless Leg Syndrome

   This post has been quality checked in line with our Editorial and Research Policy.

Best Sitting Position for Restless Leg Syndrome

Over the last thirty years, I have been successfully treating patients suffering from restless leg syndrome. Not only do I have an invaluable perspective on the subject, but I have also been able to alleviate this frustrating condition.

As a general rule, those who suffer from restless leg syndrome most often have poor posture while seated.  Never slouch while sitting. It is possible for leg pain to be caused by a herniated disc, a ligamentous sprain, or a muscle strain. Medical conditions may also contribute to this.

When my clients couldn’t even sit at their desks, I helped them find relief! Using this series of simple and short sitting positions and movement ideas, you should find a position that is more beneficial for you while also keeping track of how your body is positioned.

I hope these tips from my past experience will help relieve some pain for those who suffer through long days on their feet or with chronic leg pain issues.  Here is a Youtube video that I made on Restless Leg Syndrome that already has 100K views!

How to Manage Restless Legs Syndrome While Sitting

Your Chair: Getting It Right

When you’re sitting working, it’s easy to forget how important your posture and comfort are. The way we sit can affect our health in many ways! For example, if the chair is too low or too high for us then back problems may arise from this position of bad alignment. Your seat pan should also be shaped properly with a slight angle so that we don’t end up slouching over into an unnatural position which ultimately could lead to neck pain as well as other ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). 

woman with leg pain

It sounds like there is lots more work involved when choosing an office chair than one might think at first glance; luckily my tips will make sure that every time you find yourself seated during long hours of computer use.

4 Adjustments Your Office Chair Must Have

Adjustable Seat Height

It is essential that you elevate your seat height so it’s at its highest point. You’ll need to rest your feet securely on the floor when sitting down.  This is one of the most important aspects of comfort is being able to regulate how high or low you are in a chair by adjusting its position accordingly. 

adjustable seat height

Adjustable Seat Depth 

As a general rule, the more surface area you sit on, the more comfortable you will be. A seat depth adjustment is common on decent office chairs.  This is a great resource! As you sit, you should be able to rest your back against the chair’s back with two or three fingers between your knees and its back. 

seat depth

Forward Tilt

The way you sit can greatly reduce back pain. Your hips should always be above your knees, and the weight is shifted from your spine to your core when sitting this way. It’s okay if there isn’t a chair that tilts forward – just buy an ergonomic wedge cushion! When both seat tilt and depth are adjusted on office chairs by my patients, they find the most significant reduction in leg pain!

forward tilt seat angle adjustment office chair

Lumbar Support 

Support for the lumbar region is essential, and it should be comfortable.  The best office chairs are designed with adjustable lumbar support, which can help to relieve pressure by improving your posture. Having the ability to adjust is crucial.  Females, for example, typically have a higher lumbar apex curve than males. When this feature is not available, a small towel or cushion must be used.

office chair with lumbar support

Consider Intermittent Standing

Standing is a great alternative to sitting, but you have to do it the right way! You can’t just stand there with your knees locked together or flopped over. Always make sure that when standing up straight you keep both legs unlocked and push down through all of the weight on your feet; don’t let any pressure build-up in your lower back.

Standing with good posture and spreading your weight evenly across both feet should help you reduce strain on your lumbar spine over sitting. 

young woman at standing desk

With the growing prevalence of leg pain, standing desks are becoming increasingly popular. Perpetual standing cannot replace sitting, in my opinion. It is impossible for a chair to go out of style, and fashions change constantly. 

Standing desks can be a great way to increase productivity, but you might want to take it easy and not work standing up for long periods of time because your neck and shoulders will start hurting.

If you are considering a standing desk, I recommend that you do: A standing desk is a great way to be energized and on your feet! Changing between sitting, walking, or even moving about is best. The truth is that we move every twenty minutes to avoid habitual postural positions from adapting. I typically advise my patients that the ideal posture is a moving posture! 

These steps can help us avoid becoming comfortable in long periods of inactivity. This is commonly found in office jobs where people have been staring at their computer screens all day long instead of taking a break to walk around in the fresh air.

Incorporate Movement into Your Work Schedule

I bet your legs are sore and stiff all the time while you’re sitting in front of a computer for hours on end! Your body is just trying to tell you that it would be better if we got out of our chairs from time to time.

The best thing you can do to handle this is get up and move around as often as possible. Movement has many benefits, not only for your body but also for your mind!

movement in office chair

Getting moving is important, but it does not have to involve travelling. Moving your body even a little bit from time to time can make you feel better! As you sit comfortably on the couch or in an office chair (or wherever). You could learn more about the different positions that we sit in – that way, no matter what position you’re in, your leg(s) shouldn’t feel uncomfortable anymore.

When you’ve been sitting still for more than 10 minutes, your muscles can get stiff. That’s because they’re confined to a small space and don’t get the chance to move around very much! So if you start feeling really uncomfortable after being seated or standing too long then try moving every once in a while – maybe walk outside with friends during lunch breaks or stretch while at work.

How to Prevent Leg Pain While Sitting

When you’re working on your computer, make sure to sit up and use a backrest to help keep the leg pain away. Your feet should be planted firmly onto the ground for maximum support! For the next few weeks or so at work (or however long it takes) practice these two things: having good posture (as mentioned above in my 4 steps) and keeping those lower-back muscles strong by utilizing proper seating practices with both feet planted securely on the floor; which will also lead to healthy spine alignment when seated properly while typing/mousing over time!  

Steps to Prevent Leg Pain Sitting:

  • Ensure that your hips are higher than your knees when you sit as seen in the diagram below:

prssure on body from different sitting angle chart

  • Never lock your knees while standing (ever).
  • There is more to leg pain than meets the eye. Excessive sitting or poor posture causes your back to swell from excessive pressure placed on leg muscles and joints.

Why Leg Pain Gets Worse When Sitting

Sitting incorrectly causes leg pain! In the long run, your bad posture could aggravate your pain further if you continue to work on your computer screens the entire day. Make use of an ergonomic chair with lumbar support or stand up at the office for a bit instead of sitting down- that might help your muscles relax until they heal from their damage over time!

How Your Chair Can Cause Leg Circulation Problems

How Your Chair Can Cause Leg Circulation Problems

Inflammation can also lead to leg pain due to an injured muscle or joint, which in turn is compounded by discomfort and pain. Sitting with leg pain usually means you have bad posture, and that needs to be corrected in order to eliminate it. In addition, a chiropractor or physical therapist can also assist and provide solutions for leg pain.

Takeaway

Although the causes of restless leg syndrome are not yet known, it is clear that improper posture while seated can exacerbate symptoms. The most important thing to remember when dealing with this condition is to make sure you have proper ergonomic seating at home and in your office chair. For the most useful guidance on how to set up an ergonomic workstation, visit my blog today!

References:

  1. Allen, R.P., Picchietti, D., Hening, W.A., Trenkwalder, C., Walters, A.S. and Montplaisi, J., 2003. Restless legs syndrome: diagnostic criteria, special considerations, and epidemiology: a report from the restless legs syndrome diagnosis and epidemiology workshop at the National Institutes of Health. Sleep medicine4(2), pp.101-119.
  2. Katz, J.N. and Simmons, B.P., 2002. Carpal tunnel syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine346(23), pp.1807-1812.
  3. Harrison, S.A., Stynes, S., Dunn, K.M., Foster, N.E. and Konstantinou, K., 2017. Neuropathic pain in low Back-Related leg pain patients: what is the evidence of prevalence, characteristics, and prognosis in primary care? A systematic review of the literature. The Journal of Pain18(11), pp.1295-1312.
**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Share This