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Can’t Sit: Living with a Sitting Disability


Sitting is so basic.

Everybody does it every day and does it so often that most people never think about it. To most, it is so overtly strange that somebody would not be able to sit, but many of us are forced to rethink this most basic thing every day.


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What is a sitting disability?


Most people have never heard of sitting disability, despite the fact that “as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives,” according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Basically, it works like this: it hurts when I sit.

Main Articles

What is a Sitting Disability?

In chess, checkmate is defined as a position where the king has been captured and has no other place to go. If the king moves to the left, he will be captured. If he moves to the right, forward, backward, it doesn’t matter. And when the king has no more moves, it’s...

How I Get Around

I live in Chicago, a city that has widespread public transportation. The city is big and it takes a long time to get from place to place. As the years have passed, my mobility has lessened and I go to fewer and fewer places. When I moved here in 2005, I brought my car...


Every story should have a happy ending, right? I am convinced that I am not going to get better. My doctors back me up on this theory. We are working together to manage the pain, not solve the pain. I don’t have a happy ending for this story. But, the positive side is...


Driving to Michigan

I had always wanted to see the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan. It seemed like an easy trip for someone who needed frequent breaks. There would be plenty of available bathrooms it and wasn’t too demanding, like, say, hiking up to Macchu Pichu, climbing Mount...

My Good Friend Cathy

A year after having a lumbar fusion at the L5-S1 level of my spine, I began to urinate more frequently than usual. At first, my doctor explained it was from fibromyalgia. Like the 10 years of low back pain that led to the surgery, my symptoms of overactive bladder...

Why I Passed on the Spinal Cord Stimulator

I have a sitting disability caused by chronic pain in my lower back and left leg. It hurts when I sit, stand, or lie in any one position for more than half an hour. For the past 17 years, I have been receiving, on and off: physical and occupational therapy,...

Pride Story in The Mighty

The Mighty ( is an online community where people with chronic illnesses share their stories. There are hundreds of categories for illnesses and diseases to chose from when you post your story. Sitting disability isn't one of them. I'm hoping that...

My Computer

Using a computer is incredibly hard for me. This is my setup to make it a bit easier. I’m not promoting specific products and these are not necessarily the best, just what I have.

In addition to finding the best position, I do various office desk exercises and stretches.