April 10, 2018


Do you sit in your most comfortable couch or recliner only to dread getting back up? With certain back, tailbone, and hip pain, the sensation of sinking into a soft surface may be comfortable at first but then your body stiffens up while you are distracted by your favorite episode of CSI (which I never understood) or binge-watching Downton Abbey (the second season ruined it for me. What’s up with Brendan Coyle? He seemed out of place to me. Maybe too modern? Too suave? I felt the same way about Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Anyways, I digressed. We know all about that, don’t we? Ha ha ha ha…) and you have trouble getting off the couch or the recliner. Well, maybe these will help.

Modified Strategies

Sit on a firm chair or a bar stool or alternate between a couch and a chair.


Risers – these are blocks that can withstand the weight of a couch or an armchair. There are different kinds for raising the height of the couch/armchair, bed, and recliners. If you have trouble standing up from low level, it will certainly help to raise whatever you are sitting or lying on because you can then slide off the furniture rather than pushing up from it.


Amazon link

couch risers.


Recliner risers.

staples link. One type of footrest usually used in offices. The tilt function could be helpful if you tend to lean back and spread out. If you sit upright, the tilt function won’t help much. These models also tend not to raise your feet too much so shop around.

Of course, this applies to toilets, car seats, dining chairs, milk crates, etc. If you have trouble pushing off with your legs, raise the height of the item you are sitting on. On the other hand, if you raise the seat height too much, you may force your back to arch, aggravating your back pain after sustained sitting. In this case, it might help to rest your feet on a footrest (a.k.a. box, binder, yellow pages – remember those?, case of pop/beer, etc.) while sitting. When you are ready to get up, push the “footrest” aside before standing up. For goodness sake, please don’t stand up on the footrest.

There are extra tall toilets that you can buy but if you don’t want to go through the trouble of replacing the whole toilet and if you don’t mind uglifying (it’s probably not a word but it should be) your bathroom, you can install a raised toilet seat.

lowes link. It’s easy to install (usually a clamp-on, just turn the knob) but make sure it fits properly because it may not fit securely into some narrow or long toilet seats. You can get a raised toilet seat with or without armrests. If you need to hold onto something when you get up, you can use the armrest but be careful not to put too much weight on one side because it can tip the seat. They really need to come up with a model with two clamps to prevent this from happening but who am I to complain? I’m not motivated to redesign it myself.





ObusForme back and seat cushion










Remember, the best way to sit is with your hip and knee joints in 90 degrees…in theory. I personally don’t’ feel comfortable in this position so end up constantly shifting my position. I minimize crossing my legs because this definitely bothers my back and knees. Find what feels the most comfortable for you. Please listen to your body.

The principles of pacing are always the same regardless of the scenario. 1) Don’t do anything too long. 2) Stop before it starts to hurt.

Change positions often to keep your body loose. Sit, shift weight, raise your feet upon the couch (if permissible), lean forward, lie down (if permissible), sit back up, stand (if permissible), etc. Watch your movie 30minutes at a time, do something else in between. Get up and grab a snack, go for a walk, sing in the shower, the world is your oyster. If the movie is too good, I guess then you have a choice to make. Enjoy and suffer or tone down on the enjoyment but suffer less.

Set a timer/alarm if you tend to forget to change positions. Train your dog to bark every 30minutes (or less or more). Check on your roast or cookies regularly. Good for the roast, good for your body.

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