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“We got your back.”
Perhaps that was the tag line of the chair you think was the best chair for back pain. Of course, you can take this in the most literal way. After all, you are not looking for just another heavy duty computer chair. Considering buying the best drafting chair is beyond question. These are not the solutions to your recurring back pain. You know that what you need is a chair specifically for back pain.
So you bought one. On a whim.
That was a bad idea. You know that it is true. You should have done your research. But the chair is already in your possession. So what should you do?
Before you even decide to return it to the store, check out first if the chair is indeed the best one for your health issues. Don’t take the word of other people. It is not about trust. It is about personalization. You see, one brand may be suited for your brother and another may be better for you. Just because somebody told you that a certain chair is good for their back, it means it is the best for yours.
Certain guidelines must be followed. Of course, you don’t have time to know what these guidelines are. You are a busy person. We know that, the very reason why the guide questions below have been provided. It is easier this way, right? Without further ado, here the guidelines for the chairs for back pain.
- Does your chair have lumbar support?
Lumbar support should be part of chairs what aim to lessen back pain. If you take a look at office chairs for back pain, you would notice that most of them have some sort of curved back that hugs to the natural curves of your back.
Now, if you made a mistake of buying a tall office chair without this support, it is not time to return just yet. You can still put a cushion between your lower back curvature and the chair.
- Does it have an armrest?
If you think that arm rest is just created so you can rest your arms when not typing or doing anything while sitting, then, think again. The armrest is there to assist the weight of the upper body while you are sitting, not while you are just sitting and not working. Without the armrest, you risk injuring your neck, shoulders and arm muscles. This would just aggravate your condition by adding to your pains.
These two guide questions are the two most important parts of determining whether you have indeed bought the chair best for your condition. Choosing does not just require looking at a chair. You need to test it to see for yourself if the chair is indeed suitable for your needs, and that includes addressing your back pain issues, among others.
There are many brands of ergonomic chairs on the market today, including Allseating, BOSS, ErgoFast, Eurotech, and many others. With so many different choices of ergonomic chairs and stools, many of which you can probably find in an office near you, it’s clear that ergonomics have become a popular trend in office furniture design. But how many people actually know what makes a chair, or any other piece of office furniture, “ergonomic”? Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about this revolution in seating and furniture design, and making the most of your health and workplace experience.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ergonomics, which is also known as human engineering or biotechnology, is a type of applied science that is centered on the design and arrangement of “things people use” so that those people and things “interact most efficiently and safely.” The term may also be used to describe the characteristics and design of an object as a consequence of the use of ergonomic science. This may all sound complicated, but at the end of the day, ergonomic furniture is designed to keep people comfortable and safe as they work, and most importantly, to help workers avoid stress-related injuries on the job. The following factors affect the ergonomic design of an office chair, which is the most important piece of furniture for a comfortable workplace.
A regular office chair can easily leave a person with pain in the back, neck, and shoulders after extended use. It really doesn’t take long to feel these effects if you are sitting in a poorly designed office chair day in and day out. With one of the available ergonomically designed products, such as the popular ergoCentric chairs, this is no longer a problem. An ergonomic chair is designed to provide optimal back support, including lumbar support in addition to a classic backrest with just the right amount of padding, to keep the spine in a healthy straight position. This ultimately limits stress, absorbs shocks, and reduces the likelihood of injury.
The height of a chair may seem inconsequential, but it can make a big difference when it’s wrong. If the height of your chair and/or armrests isn’t right, you will quickly become uncomfortable on the job. Ergonomically designed chairs have adjustable armrests and seats, and sometimes even adjustable backrests, so you can get the perfect match for your height and body type.
The overall size of a chair matters in ergonomics as well. The design of an office chair should not only consider the height of various parts, but also the width of the backrest, and the depth and width of the seat. The backrest should be at least 12 inches wide and the seat should be at least 18 inches wide, if not more, to provide adequate support for the worker.
At the end of the day, all these ergonomic factors can help contribute to a happier and healthier workforce, which makes an organization much more productive in the long run.
Staying productive throughout the work day is often a struggle that people experience on a daily basis especially when one is expected to work a set number of hours. Sometimes a day where you worked 3 or 4 hours may be more productive than trying to work 8-10 hours. When we lose the ability to focus on our work, we are no longer a valuable asset to our company and risk becoming a dispensable employee.
Lack of concentration is one of the greatest sources of decreased productivity. This is often experienced when unexpected distractions arise such as phone calls, mandatory meetings, additional tasks being delegated by a superior, among other potential nuances. These distractions lead to extra energy being exerted which then leads to fatigue and difficulty focusing on the important projects that need to be completed. It also makes it difficult to pick up where you had originally left off and may interrupt a great train of thought. If you find yourself experiencing the inability to concentrate or have a difficult time staying energized throughout the work day, perhaps it is time to consider our 8 tips for keeping your energy and be more productive throughout the work day.
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
The food we put into our bodies has a great impact on our work ethic and can help keep our energy levels up throughout the day. With the lack of time in our hectic work schedules, sometimes it can be difficult to remember the simple fact that we need to eat! Eating a balanced breakfast is recommended before each work day, so it is important to make the extra effort to wake up a little bit earlier to be certain we have breakfast before we leave for work. It is also essential that if you are feeling hungry throughout the work day to indulge that craving, with healthy snacks such as almonds, bananas, greek yogurt, etc. Feeling hungry leads to loss of concentration and causes you to focus on your need to feel full rather than the task at hand.
2. Get a Good Nights Rest
Most of us require a good 8 hours of sleep each night in order to function properly the next day. If you work a normal eight-hour work day, be certain to carve out time to sleep at least 8 hours each night. Schedule your after work activities accordingly to accommodate for your sleep schedule. Not only does lack of sleep negatively affect your overall health, it can also affects your clarity in thinking and clouds your judgement.
3. Sit in a Good Office Chair
This may seem like common sense, however most individuals sit in a chair that does not properly fit them which can lead to unnecessary aches and pains. If you begin to experience back pain or other health issues that occur from sitting in a cheap office chair, you will find yourself concentrating more of the pain than your actual work. Luckily, this can be easily solved by purchasing an ergonomic office chair. A good ergonomic office chair is at the tips of your fingers, literally, by simply searching for an online office chair retailer, you can order your new chair online and have it conveniently shipped to the front door of your home or business.
4. Take Short Breaks
Taking breaks during work is not only essential but actually encouraged by physicians. It is recommended to get up from your work station to stretch and walk around at least once every hour to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Breaks can also be utilized when working on a large time-consuming project to give your mind a quick break and give yourself a few minutes to recharge your batteries. You will find that breaks greatly aid in the ability to immerse yourself in even the most mundane tasks.
5. Create a Clutter-Free Work Station
The last distraction you need from work is your work station. With the amount of work and paperwork that gets thrown on us on a daily basis, our desks can easily become cluttered which can cause havoc when trying to search for a particular document for a meeting or phone call with a customer. By keeping your work station organized you will eliminate the unnecessary stress that can come from working in a messy environment. If necessary, purchase the office accessories needed to organize your desk such as a monitor arm, cable management, keyboard tray, file cabinet, and/or storage tubs.
6. Disconnect From Your Personal Life
Perhaps the greatest distraction of all that can keep us from remaining productive throughout the work day is our personal life. With the technology available to us, it is easy to keep in constant communication with our friends and family through our cell phones, e-mail, social network sites, and tablet devices. When you arrive at work, make a conscience effort to disconnect from your personal life. Turn your cell phone off, stay off your social networking sites, and only have your work e-mail accessible. If you are worried you are going to miss something significant, wait until lunch to catch up on anything that may have occurred earlier in the morning.
7. Create a To Do List
It is easy to forget what you need to accomplish for the day when you walk into the office, especially after having a night off to relax and forget about the troubles of your previous day. Taking a few minutes in the morning when you first get in to prioritize and look over the day's tasks, review what you accomplished yesterday, and plan accordingly can help eliminate the feeling of stress and chaos. Once a task has been completed, be certain to check it off. This will not only help you remember it has been completed but provide positive reinforcement which drives us to work harder.
8. Exercise Daily
Exercising daily helps keep your stress level down and helps you unwind after a long day of work. Simply walking for 30 minutes three to four times a week can improve your brainpower. Exercise also promotes the growth of new cells in the learning center of your brain. New cell growth allows you to have the ability to learn faster and retain more information. If you can not find time with your busy work schedule to exercise, consider utilizing your lunch break as an opportunity to get a quick run or walk in. When you come back to work you will feel more refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the challenges that the day will bring.
To view SitBetter's full line of ergonomic office chairs designed to help increase productivity, click here!
With so many different ergonomic chairs on the market today, from Office Star and Jobri to BOSS and ergoCentric chairs, finding the right seating choice for your specific needs can be difficult. Ergonomics are certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach. An ergonomically designed work chair should be able to conform to your height, weight, and body type, and also be appropriate for your line of work and professional environment. A tall and heavyset man will probably need a different ergonomic design than a short and petite woman, just as an IT professional will probably need a different office chair than a laboratory technician. With so many different factors to consider, how does one find the right work chair? The following information should help.
Why are Ergonomics so Important?
Ergonomic design is a multidisciplinary field of science that considers various human factors with the goal of designing furniture, equipment, and tools that complement the human body and mind, ideally resulting in more productive workplaces and happier, healthier workers. The way people sit is a very important part of this. Sitting is not as sedentary of a position as one may assume. When a worker in any given field sits in a chair all day (or for a large chunk of their workday), they are also engaging in activities in that chair, which are all influenced by the way that worker engages with their surroundings – especially their chair. The following video is by Allseating a chair manufacturer that describes the cores needs in building your ergonomic workstation.
What Makes a Suitable Work Chair?
If you’re shopping for ergonomic chairs, the most important human factors to consider are the body dimensions of the individual who will be sitting in each chair. And this means all the body dimensions. An ill-fitting chair might be ideal for someone’s height, but not appropriate for their weight and body type, for example. This can lead to stress and strain, and ultimately injury, which could in turn leave a worker unable to work and an employer in hot water. There are other factors to consider, such as the costs of repairs and maintenance, in addition to the initial costs of purchasing the chairs. Avoiding repetitive stress injuries is worth the investment, but not if the company goes into the red from the costs of owning the chairs. Luckily, many manufacturers make some very affordable models that are also high in quality. The following video is for the ergoCentric Geocentric petite ready chair.
It All Comes Down to Body Type
Make sure to gather information about the heights of employees before purchasing new ergonomic chairs for the whole office. An ideal work chair will be roughly a quarter of the user’s height. While most employees doing similar jobs will probably be comfortable in similar or identical chairs as long as the seat and armrests are adjustable, there will also probably be a few outliers who will have special ergonomic needs and require somewhat different chairs. No one should be punished for being uncommonly short or tall, having a long torso or unusually sized limbs, or being otherwise out of the norm. To avoid repetitive stress injuries and find the ergonomic chairs with the best value, consider body type first.
Home office and workplace ergonomics are incredibly important considerations. While it might not seem like improper posture or sitting the wrong way in front of your computer could damage your health, the fact is that you can suffer some serious injuries over time, as noted by the University of Connecticut. What conditions might you suffer if you don’t practice good posture and ergonomics? Here’s a closer look.
Ergonomic and Posture-Related Health Disorders
All ergonomic and posture-related health disorders are technically musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs fall into a broad range of categories and conditions. Depending on the length of time you spend sitting, and just how poor your posture or position is, you might find yourself afflicted by any of the following:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – A condition in which the tendons running through the arms, wrists and hands are inflamed, making most common hand and wrist movements painful
- Tendinitis – A condition in which tendons become inflamed; it generally afflicts the arms and elbows, but can be present in other parts of the body as well
- Bursitis – Swelling and inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between joints, tendons and muscles. It can afflict virtually any area of the body
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – This condition includes a weakened grip, pain in the neck, and often tingling or numbness in the fingers
- Chronic pain in the neck, upper back, lower back, shoulders and arms
Each of these conditions can cause serious discomfort and pain, and they can lead to significant time lost from work as well as medical expenses. In severe cases, some may require surgery to correct. For instance, severe carpal tunnel syndrome cannot be alleviated by using wrist braces alone, but may require surgical intervention to eliminate the problem.
How Do You Avoid These Conditions?
Obviously, avoiding and minimizing the conditions listed above is in the best interests of both the employee and the employer. Thankfully, it’s not that difficult to get around those problems. All it really requires is following the right ergonomic practices within the workplace.
Good workplace ergonomics can vary from one position to another, most of the time workers will need the right office chair, the right desk and the right computer setup to provide good posture and eliminate strain on muscles, joints and tendons. An ergonomic office chair should offer:
- Good neck support, either through a built-in headrest or a high back, which is particularly important for those who spend multiple hours each day seated in the chair
- Good lumbar support to ease the strain and discomfort on the lower back – lumbar support can come in the form or an adjustable position via a lever or through additional lumbar padding
- Armrests should be adjustable and padded to ensure that the worker is comfortable and can position the armrests so there is no strain placed on the shoulders
- Adjustable height so that the employee can adjust the seat’s height to allow them to sit with their feet flat on the floor, rather than angled or above the floor
Proper ergonomics in the workplace can improve the health of workers, save money on medical bills, and reduce lost time and productivity for the employer.