When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Sewing Ergonomics: Sew Without Getting Backache [Tips Provided]

Back, lumbar and cervical pain is, in that order, the most common ailments among those who sew. These muscle problems are conditioned by long working hours and the hours we spend sitting (or badly seated).

But there are some techniques that you can apply to deal with and overcome this problem and continue working on your sewing machine without it being painful. Discover how to get rid of the backache when sewing here!

Why You Will Get Backache When Sewing?

If the sewing machine is your work tool, then you may spend many hours a day sitting. If you are not mindful of your posture, you will likely experience strain on your upper back and lower back, leading to chronic back problems over time.

The backache pain can be due to two well-marked reasons:

  1. When the workplace is not suitable, you tend to raise your shoulders and tilt your head forward. This causes compression in the neck, shoulders, and skull, causing fatigue and increased muscle tension in these areas and even injuries to the vertebrae.
  2. Sitting for a long time is the worst enemy of your hips and lower back. Several muscles cross over the hip (flexors), which contract after sitting for a long time as the hips lean forward, causing a curve in the lower spine.

6 Ways to Improve Sewing Room Ergonomics

Here we share 5 practical ideas to organize your sewing room ergonomically. We want you to decide to realize your passion for sewing and give you some tips to start organizing your workplace.

#1. Lighting

In a sewing workshop, a key factor is lighting, and that is, to work comfortably, light is essential. Ideally, you can have natural light so that you can place your work table next to a window or under it.

Some rooms are also designed with a low ceiling where it has a portion of clear glass for daylight to enter.

On the other hand, if you work on the sewing machine at night, it is best to place a good Led lighting. There are many lamps with this type of lighting, and they are very advisable since they are low consumption.

Also, there are table lamps that are articulated and where you can use anti-fatigue light bulbs to take care of your eyes and avoid headaches.

#2. Tilt Table

Using the sewing machine for many hours, the body remains in certain positions where the shoulders, arms, and neck perform repetitive movements.

Therefore, it is best to use an ergonomic table that allows you to adjust the sewing machine’s height and inclination. In this way, it will help improve the back and neck posture and improve the work’s angle of vision.

The height of the table should be such that the elbows can be placed on it comfortably.

But if you do not have a table that allows you to adjust the inclination on the market, some surfaces act as a tabletop that allows you to angle the sewing machine.

It is like a very comfortable platform that you can remove and place whenever you need.

#3. Adjustable Chair

Choosing the correct chair to use in your sewing room is as important as the use of light. You should avoid using backless stools as your back needs support.

Therefore, chairs with a padded backrest would be the best option. This chair relieves musculoskeletal stress by distributing the body’s weight evenly between the knees and the back.

On the other hand, these chairs usually have caster wheels, which will make any movement you need to make more delicate. And also, they usually bring a knob with which it is possible to adjust the height.

#4. Pay attention to the iron position.

If you sew, surely you also iron. This helps make the sewing of some fabrics easier and neater. And many people who sew ignore the posture they adopt when using the iron.

Ironing in the wrong posture for a long time can end up affecting you. Correct posture is the key to ending unnecessary tension and pain in a daily task like this.

Try to adopt an upright posture, i. e., do not arch your back or bend your neck; your arms should be slightly bent, and to balance the weight, rest your unoccupied hand on the ironing board.

Besides this, don’t forget to use the proper table. The surface you work on is also important.

This must be firm and, above all, be at the correct height, that is, at the hips. In this way, you will not have to bend your back, and the movement of the arm will be fluid.

To relieve the pressure on your back generated by standing for a while, you can use a small stool. Resting one foot and then the other is a great way to avoid discomfort.

Also, always stand close to the ironing board to avoid having to bend over unnecessarily.

#5. Hang your Iron Cord

In the market, you can get some hooks or other devices that help to hang your iron cable.

In this way, apart from preventing it from getting tangled, it prevents you from pulling it and makes ironing more comfortable and faster.

#6. Align your Feet and Hips

Many people ignore the hips’ unevenness because one foot is usually on the pedal and the other on the floor. For them, there are devices that you can get where they allow both feet to be at the same level while pressing the machine pedal.

On the other hand, to avoid that the pedal also stops moving (something that you have experienced many times), there are some mats where the pedal is placed to not move under the table.

These tools will prevent you from making bad movements and avoid future pain in your lower back and hips.


To avoid backache, having the correct accessories in your sewing room will go a long way to reduce these discomforts.

Whether you use the sewing machine for work or as a hobby, having an ergonomic sewing room will be perfect for relieving muscle tension.