Lower back pain is becoming exceedingly common as a health complain among Americans today. Almost 85 percent of the adult population will have to deal with back problems at some point during their life. Most of the back pain cases can be traced back to inadequate back support and poor posture, caused by prolonged sitting in badly-designed office chairs. Due to desk jobs, many people are obligated to live sedentary lives, sitting on their chairs for 8 straight hours every day.
Although most people can’t avoid sitting at work, back problems can be prevented through the use of chairs with good lumbar support. If you want to stop your back pain due to bad seating, you should invest in an officer chair with proper ergonomics. Read below to learn more about ergonomic back support and what type of chair you need to stop back pain in its tracks.
The Benefits of Using an Ergonomic Office Chair
There are multiple benefits from using an ergonomic over a conventional office chair. The deteriorating back pain when sit in an office chair is a familiar experience to many of us. The extended time spent crouching over paperwork or looking at a computer monitor take its toll on our spinal posture. In such a posture, the shoulder and neck muscles are overstretched, resulting in muscle fatigue throughout the affected body parts. Even the legs and arms cannot remain unaffected by bad posture caused by non-ergonomic office chairs. There is the misconception that putting up with this pain is a compromise to be made for a desk job. But an ergonomic office chair can correct your bad sitting stance and act as a shield to almost all back pain at work.
A universal design is usually employed to make a standard work chair. Though some people may be okay with such a solution, the majority will eventually find themselves experiencing back issues from spending too much time in badly-designed office chairs. Conventional office sitting lacks proper back support for most people. These chairs may have backs that are either too low or too high, too far back or too far forward. Additionally, minimal adjustment to the backrest is usually allowed, making back pain even worse.
On the other hand, desk chairs with ergonomic design are better to handle prolonged sitting periods. Many provide extensive adjustment options, to fit a person’s height, spinal shape, and seating habits.
Combined with a better desk and computer position, the following advantages can be drawn from ergonomic office chairs:
- Better lumbar and back support
- Height adjustments, allowing for better leg and foot comfort
- Ergonomic chair back, capable to accommodate the spine and shoulders natural curvature
- Better arm support
- Improved head position, resulting in less overall pain and eyestrain
- Improved neck positioning and support
- Improved daily posture and less muscle tension
- Better productivity for prolonged periods of time with little to no back pain
If you have lower back pain, how do you choose an Office Chair?
Here are the five main points to consider before purchasing an ergonomic office chair:
- An Adjustable Seat Height – Back pain for many people originates from a badly-fitted seat. Ideally, a chair has to be height-adjustable, and must employ a lever or similar mechanism to make height corrections. You should get a chair that can be adjusted according to the length of your calves, so that your feet can rest squarely and flatly on the ground. What’s more, see that the chair will let a comfortable space between the desk and your legs.
- A Well-Fitted Seat Depth – Probably the most important aspect of a good ergonomic chair is its ability to allow the users to rest their backs properly against the chair’s back. Many people have to sit in chairs that are simply too deep, which makes them slouch or lean too far back. The best solution would be to get a seat with a back that can be adjusted. The chair’s back should be positioned in a way that allows you to sit upright, with your spine against the back of the chair, while also having a space of about three inches between your knees’ back and the seat’s edge. This way you will achieve the best possible posture and comfort. Also, don’t forget to test the seat’s width. Although the standard size is what most chairs follow, for some people a wider seat may be necessary.
- An Adjustable Back with Proper Lumbar Support – The back of your new office chair should allow adjustments, enabling you to position the chair’s lower back support in a way that matches your lumbar height and curvature. Standard office chairs are usually bad fits to individual backs, resulting in back strain and slouching. Purchasing a chair that has natural support for your lumbar will help avert most back pain issues in the future.
- Proper Arm Support – For most people with back issues, chairs with proper armrests offer increased levels of support and comfort. Still, this is a matter of preference, as there are those who prefer chairs with no armrests. Choose a chair type that fits you best and it is the most appropriate for your height and size.
- Comfortable Material and Padding – There is no “one-type-fits-all” material when it comes to seats. Here too, it is a matter of preference and fit. Typically, a chair with proper ergonomics should offer enough support and cushioning without being bulky and excessively padded at the same time. For some people, cushioned backs are a must, and other prefer a backing made of semi-porous material. Think about how the chair will feel all-year-round, when the weather is both hot and cold, since some materials allow for better air circulation than others. The most important thing to consider is that the chair should be comfortable to be used on a daily basis.