[Source] Sn the other side of the coin, there are some specific things you want to avoid. For one, [Dr Jenny Pynt], the physiotherapist, told me, “avoid chairs that force your upper spine, that part between the shoulder blades, forward. So called Executive chairs often do this.” Basically, you want something that’s supporting your back, not sculpting it. The same goes for the lower region. Another common mistake, Pynt warned, is “sitting with the low back maximally arched. This position compresses the joints in the spine creating pain.”

Despite Dr Pynt's status as a physiotherapist, this article is directed at laypeople, yet the bolded noun phrase confuses me. How do you determine/deduce from the words, the visualisation intended of the bolded mistake? I'd relish a picture to help.

  • Maximally arched = arched to that point where it is impossible to arch any further. The navel thrust forward.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 1:02
  • A paraphrase might be: sitting with your lower back arched as far as it will go.
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 1:44
  • Optimum -> optimally. Maximum -> maximally. Minimum->minimally.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


Left image. Lower back is arched "too much" aka "maximally". (But note that the far-right "good posture" is also bad posture because the chair is too tall for her!)

enter image description here

  • Is it the chair or her heels that are too short?
    – Adam
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 0:11
  • 1
    @Adam You're joking, right? It's a good point that she's wearing high heels, which is also horrible for posture. I hadn't noticed that, thanks! That makes this picture even more ironic. Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 17:17
  • 2
    Definitely joking. She looks horribly uncomfortable in all three pictures.
    – Adam
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 13:57
  • Yeah, but without high heels, her feet wouldn't touch the floor! In any case, that's not an ergonomic chair for working. Maybe for eating. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:29

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