What is the Right Way to Sit While Reading a Book?

good posture when reading a book

Book nerds don’t have to suffer from bad posture. Unfortunately, when you are so engrossed with what you’re reading, you may slouch as you try to finish reading a book. After all, slouching is more comfortable than sitting with your back upright. But we all know that bad posture can be bad for your health and spine. So, what is good posture when reading a book?

Here are some things to consider.

What is Good Posture When Reading a Book?

When you read a book and you know you’ll be in that position for so long, try to follow a more ergonomic way to read a book.

That is, you have to sit on a chair or a bench. How you sit is vital.

Make sure that each part of your body has adequate support. That is, you must provide support to the muscles around your legs, eyes, neck, and back.

To support your back muscles, for instance, your back must rest on the back of the chair. This will keep the spine in a safe position.

Opt for a chair with a straight back that can offer support. 

When sitting, your leg muscles must be relaxed. The thighs must be parallel to the floor. Your feet must lay flat on the floor. To achieve it, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.

Make sure that your neck doesn’t suffer while reading a book. That is, don’t bend your head too much. Bring the book closer to eye level by raising the level at which you’re holding it.

Keep the book at an arm’s length away. In that way, you won’t slouch forward or bend your neck to read it.

Your raised elbow should be supported by adding pillows under it.

Next, you should hold the book at the proper distance from your eyes. There must be adequate light focused on the book while you’re reading.

You should also avoid reading a book with small letters. Otherwise, you will suffer from headaches after 30 minutes of reading it.

Read: Good Posture When Sleeping

Can You Read a Book When in Bed? 

Although it’s not always advisable to read a book while in bed, there are times that you’re just too comfortable reading in bed.

Thankfully, you can read a book while in bed without compromising your posture. The best position is to keep your back upright. Make sure that your neck isn’t tilted forward.

The book must be raised to your level. Don’t bend your head forward while reading. Support your back by using cushions. Then, your legs must be stretched out.

Reading is a relaxing activity. It can release your daily pressures. It’s one reason reading in bed before going to sleep is popular.

You might want to roll onto your side to continue reading. However, it’s not advisable. It can be comfortable to stretch out your one arm in front or curl up in a fetal position. But this position can strain your eyes and spine.

You should also avoid reading while lying on your stomach. This position is tricky. When you’re on your tummy, holding your body can be quite a challenge.

Should You Read Sitting or Lying Down? 

good posture when reading a book -- reading is relaxing

As mentioned, reading relaxes your mind. However, you have better posture when you sit, rather than lie down.

When you’re sitting, your feet are flat on the floor. But this isn’t possible when you’re reading in bed. That’s why sitting offers a more ergonomic position when reading a book.

Furthermore, when you’re reading a book in bed, you tend to slouch or lie flat to make yourself comfortable. But this can put a strain on your neck and spine.

However, if you really wish to read to help you fall asleep, your legs should be straight out. This will minimize the straining of your spine. It’s also relaxing.

Read: What is Good Posture When Sitting?

Provide Support to Your Feet 

If you wish to sit in a relaxing posture, make sure that there’s support for your feet. The more cushion you have given to your feet, the more relaxed you will feel.

Then, make sure that your back has adequate support. This will prevent you from hunching forward. Keep in mind that hunching can lead to neck and back pain. It typically reduces your focus and concentration.

In that case, if you wish to read the book comfortably, make sure that you provide your back with the necessary support that it needs.

Keeping Spine in Neutral Position 

When there’s support on your back, you’re keeping the spine in a neutral position. Sitting straight up in your chair requires that your feet are flat on the floor while your tailbone snugs against the chair.

You must avoid yourself from reading with your shoulders slouching or your face lowering.

As mentioned, eye contact is vital when reading a book. Thus, you must bring the book up to meet eye levels. This will keep your back straight.

Take a Lot of Breaks

Indeed, reading can be a satisfying activity. you can learn from the book you’re reading or the magazine you’re browsing. However, no matter how good your sitting position is, make sure that you take regular breaks.

For instance, after 20 minutes, you must get up and take small walks. You may prepare coffee or shake your leg. Do anything that gives your body a break from sitting in one position for so long.

Taking breaks will also make reading more pleasurable because you’re not straining your eyes and body.

Read: Best Posture Brace in Canada

Wearing a Posture Corrector 

If it is challenging for you to maintain a proper posture while reading a book, you may consider wearing a posture corrector.

You don’t need to wear it for an hour or so. Just 25 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your posture. It helps you maintain a proper posture while reading a book.


It’s important to maintain good posture when reading a book. There are ways to ensure that you’re in proper posture. If it’s difficult to maintain a proper posture when standing or sitting down reading a book, you may find a posture corrector helpful. Shop our posture correctors here.

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