Sewing is a Pain in the Neck

Posted by Alfonsina Uriburu on

Do you get a backache and neck pain while sewing? Is there tingling in your hands and forearms? These are all symptoms that your posture is not right while you are at the sewing machine.

There should not be any pain or strain associated with sewing.

One of the key concepts of ergonomics is keeping your body in a neutral position as much as possible. Neutral position is the most relaxed state for your body. Your weight is centered and your limbs are relaxed.

Your sewing chair should be a secretary type with a rounded front edge without arms. With your hips all the way back in the seat your feet should be flat on the floor.

Add a comfortably Cloud Cushion, made with orthopedic memory foam to relieve pressure and discomfort while you sit.


This is how high the sewing surface of the of the machine should be.

Sit up straight with your back against the back rest, relax your shoulders, let your arms hang limp at your sides.

Now with out moving your shoulders, with your upper arms at your sides, bend your elbows up to a 90 degree angle.

Yes, the machine is almost sitting in your lap.

If you are raising your shoulders to sew. That is what is causing back and neck pain.

  • Adjust the table height down to the level of your elbows.
  • Raise your chair until your hands are resting on the sewing surface with your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
  • Build a platform under the sewing table until your feet are resting flat and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. The control pedal of the machine should be positioned under your foot with the knee bent at 90 degrees.
  • The cutting table should be about 3 to 4 inches lower than your elbow when you are standing. You will be able to cut for longer periods with more accuracy on a higher table. 
  • The ironing board should be a couple of inches lower than the cutting table. This allows you to get over the iron and apply pressure. Look for a heavier wide body ironing board with four legs. 
  • Twice as much light is needed for sewing. The more light you have the easier it will be to see what you are sewing. The magnetic LED lights available that stick under the neck of the machine they really light up that dark area. 

Having the right glasses will reduce strain. The focal distance for a sewing machine is longer than for reading. Get a pair of glasses that you will use while sewing.

If you're suffering from arthritis pain or have weak hands and wrists, you need Copper Compression Gloves - the technologically advanced compression gloves that are made with real copper.


This is all about you. The sewing station area should be set up to your requirements. It is your space, your hobby and your creative time.

Be good to yourself and you will get more done in less time.

Find the Compression glove HERE

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  • Thank you!!! Super helpful!

    Cecilia on
  • Love reading your blog. You have some great information.

    Cindy Taylor on
  • Great information on setting up your sewing area. I see mine needs a few adjustments. Agat, thank you for your great blog.

    Cindy on

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