Office Chairs For Back Pain
- 1 How do I choose an office chair for lower back pain?
- 2 Is it better to sit high or low in a office chair?
- 3 How should I sit at my desk for long hours?
How do I choose an office chair for lower back pain?
What Features Should a Good Ergonomic Office Chair Possess? – In first considering the “conventional” style of office chair, there are a number of things an ergonomic chair should have, including:
Seat height, Office chair seat height should be easily adjustable. A pneumatic adjustment lever is the easiest way to do this. A seat height that ranges from about 16 to 21 inches off the floor should work for most people. This allows the user to have his or her feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk. See Good Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain Seat width and depth, The seat should have enough width and depth to support any user comfortably. Usually 17-20 inches wide is the standard. The depth (from front to back of the seat) needs to be enough so that the user can sit with his or her back against the backrest of the ergonomic office chair while leaving approximately 2 to 4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The forward or backward tilt of the seat should be adjustable.
Lumbar support, Lower back support in an ergonomic chair is very important. The lumbar spine has an inward curve, and sitting for long periods without support for this curve tends to lead to slouching (which flattens the natural curve) and strains the structures in the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) so each user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back. For further reading: Lumbar Spine Anatomy and Pain Backrest, The backrest of an ergonomic office chair should be 12 to 19 inches wide. If the backrest is separate from the seat, it should be adjustable in height and angle. It should be able to support the natural curve of the spine, again with special attention paid to proper support of the lumbar region. If the office chair has the seat and backrest together as one piece, the backrest should be adjustable in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to secure it from going too far backward once the user has determined the appropriate angle. Read more: Office Chair Back Support Seat material, The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable to a harder surface.
Armrests, Office chair armrests should be adjustable. They should allow the user’s arms to rest comfortably and shoulders to be relaxed. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly, and the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing. Swivel, Any conventional style or ergonomic chair should easily rotate so the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining.
For more information see Ergonomics of the Office and Workplace: An Overview
Do ergonomic chairs help back pain?
5 Reasons Ergonomic Chairs Will Improve Your Back Pain Back pain is one of the most common reasons why desk workers feel inclined to replace their generic office chairs with, These products are specifically designed to provide premium back support and comfort, which promotes long-term pain relief. This is achieved in a variety of ways including the materials selected to build ergonomic desk chairs, the way these products are constructed, adjustable features, and other critical factors.
- Unfortunately, many desk workers experience back pain due to poorly designed office furniture.
- For this reason, healthcare professionals often recommend implementing ergonomic chairs,, and to alleviate pain and avoid exacerbating health issues.
- This is especially important in an office setting, as most workers spend a large portion of their days behind a desk.
Have you been experiencing back pain at work or in your home office? The simple addition of an ergonomic chair may be all you need to get your physical health on the right track. At EffyDesk, we offer Canada’s best ergonomic chairs with top-quality materials and designs backed by extensive research.
Is it better to sit high or low in a office chair?
Benefits of Sitting Low in an Office Chair – Sitting low in an office chair optimizes posture, ergonomics, and productivity. Here are some key benefits of sitting more down in a chair: Better Spinal Alignment: Leaning back slightly while maintaining a slight arch in the back helps keep your spine aligned adequately with gravity rather than straining against it. Better circulation helps us remain alert during long work hours, so we can stay focused without feeling tired or lethargic from poor blood flow circulation patterns caused by incorrect seating positions like hunched over or slumped forward postures often seen with desk jobs these days! Reduced Neck Strain: When sitting lower down in a chair, you don’t have to crane your neck upwards constantly like you would with a higher seating position so this keeps neck muscles relaxed and less prone to injury-like muscle strains that can occur after spending all day looking upwards at a computer screen.
Is it better to have your office chair lower or higher?
2. Raise your chair to support your sit-to-stand movement – If your seat is positioned too low, you will end up bending your upper body more while attempting to get up, which in turn causes increased stress on your hips, knees, and ankle joints.1 Nakamura K, Nagasawa Y, Sawaki S, Yokokawa Y, Ohira M.
Effect of Different Seat Heights during an Incremental Sit-To-Stand Exercise Test on Peak Oxygen Uptake in Young, Healthy Women. J Sports Sci Med.2016;15(3):410–416. Published 2016 Aug 5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974853/ With prolonged use, a lower-level seat will cause recurrent stresses and possible pain in these joints.
See Office Chair, Posture, and Driving Ergonomics Adequate seat height is a level at which you can easily place both feet on the ground and bend your knees and hips at a 90° angle.
Why does my lower back hurt when I sit on my office chair?
Whether you experience it as a sharp, searing pain or a dull ache, lower back pain can be serious business. Four out of five adults experience it at one point or another. Lower back pain is defined as pain in the vertebrae designated L1 through L5 — these comprise the part of the spine that curves inward at the base.
- A common reason your back may hurt is from bad posture while seated.
- Sitting in a slouched or hunched over position can put strain on the discs — the fluid-filled cushions that protect the vertebrae from rubbing together.
- This may be worsened by an underlying medical condition.
- Let’s explore the possible causes of back pain you feel while you’re sitting and what you can do about it.
Not all back pain is the same, and there are many possible causes,
How should I sit at my desk for long hours?
1. PROPER DESK CHAIR POSTURE. – Poor posture (e.g., slumped shoulders, protruding neck and curved spine) is the culprit of physical pain that many office workers experience. It’s crucial to be mindful of the importance of good posture throughout the workday.
Adjust the chair height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are in line (or slightly lower) with your hips.Sit up straight and keep your hips far back in the chair.The back of the chair should be somewhat reclined at a 100- to 110-degree angle.Ensure the keyboard is close and directly in front of you.To help your neck stay relaxed and in a neutral position, the monitor should be directly in front of you, a few inches above eye level.Sit at least 20 inches (or an arm’s length) away from the computer screen.Relax the shoulders and be aware of them rising toward your ears or rounding forward throughout the workday.
How should I sit at my desk with back pain?
What can I do if I have acute low back pain? – The following advice will benefit a majority of people with back pain. If any of the following guidelines causes an increase of pain or spreading of pain to the legs, do not continue the activity and seek the advice of a physician or physical therapist.
Sit as little as possible, and only for short periods of time (10 to 15 minutes). Sit with a back support (such as a rolled-up towel) at the curve of your back. Keep your hips and knees at a right angle. (Use a foot rest or stool if necessary.) Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Here’s how to find a good sitting position when you’re not using a back support or lumbar roll: Correct sitting position without lumbar support. Correct sitting position with lumbar support.
Sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely. Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds. Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees). This is a good sitting posture. Sit in a high-back, firm chair with arm rests. Sitting in a soft couch or chair will tend to make you round your back and won’t support the curve of your back. At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed. When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don’t twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body. When standing up from a sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair. Stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist. Immediately stretch your back by doing 10 standing backbends.
Use a back support (lumbar roll) at the curve of your back. Your knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips. Move the seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.
Stand with your head up, shoulders straight, chest forward, weight balanced evenly on both feet, and your hips tucked in. Avoid standing in the same position for a long time. If possible, adjust the height of the work table to a comfortable level. When standing, try to elevate one foot by resting it on a stool or box. After several minutes, switch your foot position. While working in the kitchen, open the cabinet under the sink and rest one foot on the inside of the cabinet. Change feet every five to 15 minutes.
Stooping, squatting, and kneeling Decide which position to use. Kneel when you have to go down as far as a squat but need to stay that way for awhile. For each of these positions, face the object, keep your feet apart, tighten your stomach muscles, and lower yourself using your legs. Lifting objects
Try to avoid lifting objects if at all possible. If you must lift objects, do not try to lift objects that are awkward or are heavier than 30 pounds. Before you lift a heavy object, make sure you have firm footing. To pick up an object that is lower than the level of your waist, keep your back straight and bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend forward at the waist with your knees straight.
Stand with a wide stance close to the object you are trying to pick up and keep your feet firmly on the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift the object using your leg muscles. Straighten your knees in a steady motion. Don’t jerk the object up to your body. Stand completely upright without twisting. Always move your feet forward when lifting an object. If you are lifting an object from a table, slide it to the edge to the table so that you can hold it close to your body. Bend your knees so that you are close to the object. Use your legs to lift the object and come to a standing position. Avoid lifting heavy objects above waist level. Hold packages close to your body with your arms bent. Keep your stomach muscles tight. Take small steps and go slowly. To lower the object, place your feet as you did to lift, tighten stomach muscles, and bend your hips and knees.
Use a foot stool or chair to bring yourself up to the level of what you are reaching. Get your body as close as possible to the object you need. Make sure you have a good idea of how heavy the object is you are going to lift. Use two hands to lift.
Sleeping and lying down
Select a firm mattress and box spring set that does not sag. If necessary, place a board under your mattress. You can also place the mattress on the floor temporarily if necessary. If you’ve always slept on a soft surface, it might be more painful to change to a hard surface. Try to do what’s most comfortable for you. Use a back support (lumbar support) at night to make you more comfortable. A rolled sheet or towel tied around your waist might be helpful. Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your back (such as on your back with a lumbar roll or on your side with your knees slightly bent). Do not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. When standing up from a lying position, turn on your side, draw up both knees, and swing your legs on the side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands. Avoid bending forward at your waist.
Other helpful tips
Avoid activities that require bending forward at the waist or stooping. When coughing or sneezing, try to stand up and bend slightly backward to increase the curve in your spine. Sleep on your side with your knees bent. You can also put a pillow between your knees. Try not to sleep on your stomach.
If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees and a small pillow under the small of your back. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information
What seating is good for your back?
The use of saddle chairs (shown) promotes better spinal postures, including those in the upper body, head and neck. Scientific literature supports the fact that these chairs reduce the risk of injury even compared to other ergonomic chairs.
What is the difference between orthopedic and ergonomic chair?
Why is this important? – The dual-density seat foam on an orthopedic chair has a firm inner core surrounded by a softer outer foam layer. The combination of these two layers improves your posture and reduces backache and muscle fatigue. Ergonomic chairs have a synchronous (synchro) mechanism that allows you to change the angle of the backrest and seat. With a synchro mechanism, the movement of the backrest is always greater than the movement of the seat, typically in a 2:1 ratio i.e. the backrest moves 2 degrees for every 1 degree of movement in the seat. Orthopedic chairs have a Free-Float mechanism that allows you to change the angles of the seat and backrest independently from each other. The free-float mechanism will also allow the seat to be set in a forward-tilt (negative-tilt) position. This is not possible on a chair fitted with a synchro mechanism.