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In this modern and technology-centered world, the average worker is spending more and more time at work, crunching numbers, working at computers and perhaps most importantly, just trying to get ahead in a tough economy. This means that workers are also spending more and more time sitting in poorly designed chairs, which can have negative health effects if not given the proper attention.
Office chairs, despite the amount of hours we spend sitting in them, do not seem to get the attention they deserve. The experts at Sitbetter.com specialize in finding and selling chairs that are well designed and comfortable for extended hours spent at the office. The Verte chair is one example and is specially designed for those with chronic back pain. As an executive ergonomic chair, it allows the sitter to customize the amount of pressure at eleven different points of contact. Unsurprisingly, the chair itself is considered a medically approved necessity for back pain sufferers, sometimes even covered by insurance providers.
An office worker may think that by asking for a more comfortable chair, they are being difficult or not being a team player. On the contrary, working in the right kind of chair can make you more productive, thereby making you more of an asset to your company.
The following are some things to look for:
Is the chair a one-size-fits-all model, or can you adjust it to your comfort?
Does it recline and swivel so that you can be active at your desk throughout the day?
- Design and Aesthetic
This is important, as no one wants to sit in an unattractive chair. Elements such as color, size and overall shape can affect the look of your office as a whole.
- Level of Support
If you’re not a chronic back pain sufferer, and are just looking for a chair to prevent any deterioration of your health, a medically approved chair with a high level of support may too much for you. Make sure you choose a chair that doesn’t provide too much support to an already healthy back.
Overall, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of a quality chair to maintain a healthy back.
Neck pain is becoming a more prominent medical problem with recent studies claiming that up to two-thirds of the population will experience it at some point in their lives. The causes for neck pain vary, with the most common being attributed to muscular tightness in both the neck and upper back. The good news? In most cases, neck pain can be alleviated without surgery and can be treated conservatively. If you experience minimal neck pain, it may be recommended to apply heat or coldness to the affected areas. For more serious conditions, other treatments may include medication, ergonomic reform, spinal adjustments, physical therapy, or it may even be as simple as purchasing a high quality ergonomic office chair.
Specialty high back ergonomic office chairs have often proven to significantly help reduce the level of pain felt in the upper back and neck with their body forming design. Some even come with unique features not often found in other chair designs such as a removable neck roll, a built-in headrest, an adjustable headrest, or neck cushions. If a new ergonomic office chair does not fit into your budget, consider another cost-effective method utilized by millions across the world, a neck support pillow.
Neck support pillows are an inexpensive, unique way to cradle the neck and provide support when sitting or lying down. They restore the natural curve of the neck which can be affected by routine activities such as sleeping in an odd position, typing on a keyboard, staring at a computer screen, or not sitting with proper posture. They also provide the support needed to keep the spine in line. Neck support pillows are most commonly used when lying down at night, allowing the user to get a better night's rest and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. They are also often used in conjunction with an office chair, to provide the support necessary for sitting multiple hours a day. Another common place you will find people using a neck support pillow is when traveling, a great idea for those that will be spending hours on a plane and would like something comfortable to lean back on. They are also used to help treat people with sleep apnea, insomnia, and migraines.
One of the main benefits of owning a neck support pillow is their light-weight design. They are essentially weightless, making it convenient and easy for just about anyone to transport them wherever they are needed such as when going on a trip, going to work, or taking a trip in a car. They can be folded up and stored away in luggage when traveling, maintaining their same shape once you arrive at your destination.
Neck pillows come in a variety of different materials and some even have additional advantages.
- Inflatable Neck Pillows - Inflatable pillows allow the user to determine the amount of air and stiffness needed to support their neck. They are also the best for traveling as they can fit in tiny spaces when deflated and not needed.
- Neck Roll Pillows - Neck roll pillows can be easily positioned to fit the curve of your neck when seated or when lying down. They can also be used as a lower back support if you experience lumbar pain as well.
- Travel Pillows - Travel pillows help keep the neck supported during travel by plane, train, or car. They prevent your head from rolling to an unnatural position and keep your head upright.
- Sherpa Pillows - Sherpa pillows are machine washable, allowing you to keep your pillow clean and fresh, beneficial for those who travel. They are soft to touch and allow for air to flow to cool a bare neck.
Whether you experience neck pain while sitting, working, sleeping, or perhaps all three, a neck support pillow will help alleviate your pain at a low-cost!
To view SitBetter's selection of inexpensive neck support pillows, please click here!
Sitting down most of the day has become a staple across the world, with most of us spending up to ten to twelve hours a day in a seated position. There is our morning commute to work, a full day of sitting at work, our afternoon commute after work, and then more often than not, sitting down at home to relax after a long day. With the long periods of time spent sitting in an idle position, it eventually begins to take a toll on our bodies and leads to problems that are detrimental to our health. Even if you have taken the initiative to find an ergonomic office chair that is perfectly fitted to your body, it is near impossible to sit all day with perfect posture which inevitably leads to back, neck, and shoulder pain. So what exactly makes sitting for extended periods of time unhealthy? After all, sitting tends to be more comfortable than standing all day but just like anything else in life, too much of a good thing can actually become harmful.
As aforementioned, sitting in an ergonomically correct chair is essential and will help aid in keeping you comfortable throughout your work day, however sitting with bad posture at some point during the day is bound to happen. For most of us, the majority of our time is spent sitting behind a computer because of our job demands. As time progresses throughout the day, we slowly start to lose our good posture and let our bodies get lazy, letting gravity take over control. Our shoulders begin to roll forward towards the screen, our eyes become fatigued from staring at the computer, and in order to see better we move our head closer to the screen to re-focus. We may also find ourselves beginning to slouch as the day continues and consistently fidgeting to find a comfortable seated position. All of this leads to the shortening and tightening of some major muscles and the stretching and weakening others, which is why so many people begin to experience back pain while they work.
The human body requires a balanced diet and a balanced level of activity in order to function properly and fight off diseases. Unfortunately most jobs prevent us from getting the level of activity necessary to maintain a healthy life style, and if you couple this with sitting in a poor chair for hours on end staring at a computer screen only makes matters worse. You may find yourself not paying attention to being locked in the same position for long periods of time while focusing on completing an important task or project, making you also unaware of the tension that is being built up in your body. Eventually, your body will come to the rescue and give you a dose of pain to remind you that is necessary to get up and take a break. While work is always a top priority, your body and its needs should always be put first and if you begin to feel pain and fatigue it is important to take necessary stretch breaks in order to regain focus and ultimately, become more productive.
Sitting all day also reduces your calorie expenditure and is one of the leading causes of obesity today. When you move less throughout the day and do not reduce the amount of calories you consume, you naturally gain body fat. By lessening your physical activity, you are also slowing down your metabolism which is another assured way to gain weight.
Our bodies were never designed to remain static in one fixed position for long periods of time. From the beginning of man-kind, we were taught to be hunters and gatherers, always on the move to provide our families with food. Even as the decades have passed, humans have continued to move as they went about different tasks needing to be done in their lives until recently when automation has begun taking over. After sitting all day at work and then continuing to relax by sitting down all evening we are consequently putting strain on our muscles, causing them to tighten and lead to aches and pains.
And so the question is presented, how does one improve their health while working?
Get a new ergonomic office chair if yours is not ergonomically correct. Of course getting a new chair is only part of the solution, but a chair that is properly adjusted to your body and provides you with good support, you will slowly start to experience less work related pain that can be felt from sitting in a bad chair.
- Park farther away. Make a plan to arrive to work a few minutes earlier than you usually do and park in the farthest parking space or even a few minutes away from your building, forcing you to have to walk farther than normal.
- Take breaks once an hour if your job requires you to sit for long periods of time. Set a timer on your computer to remind yourself to take your much needed breaks to get up, stretch, or even just walk around. It is easy to forget to do this when you become preoccupied with what you are working on, which is why setting a timer can be helpful.
- Find ways throughout the day to get up and move. Is your printer located next to your desk? Try switching the location of your printer to a different floor to force yourself to get up out of your chair and walk around.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If your suite or office is located at the top of your building, get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way there. Stairs are a quick way to burn calories and tone your muscles.
- If it is an option at your workplace, choose to go with a sit stand desk rather than a desk where you will be forced to sit all day. With the ability to transfer from a seated to a standing position with little effort, you will find yourself experiencing less pain and increasing your productivity while remaining more active.
- Take a run on your lunch break. Most of us try to find things to fill up our time during our hour break anyways. Consider packing a lunch instead of eating out and bring some running clothes with you to take a quick jog.
Most of our jobs and lifestyles require sitting for multiple hours a day the majority of the work week. You could be sitting in your office chair tasking, sitting during a meeting, sitting waiting to be seen, or sitting in your car driving to and from work. For some of us we actually spend more time sitting down throughout the day than we do sleeping at night! Sitting for extended periods of time can take a toll on your body, especially if you are not sitting with proper posture. Bad posture can lead to unnecessary aches and pains or may eventually lead to ailments much more serious such as experiencing chronic back pain every time you sit. There are a few principles that everyone should take into consideration when fitting yourself to an office chair that can help you reduce and avoid pain, strain, and fatigue while sitting.
- Angles: Angles are a key factor that can help contribute to your overall comfort while sitting. Make sure that your chair allows for you to sit at a 90° angle in the following places: your knees, hips, and elbows. Angles at less than 90° have the detrimental effect of impeding circulation. In static seated situations, this can result in premature fatigue and discomfort. In general more "open" postures and chairs that support you in "open" postures, will allow you to sit more comfortably for longer periods of time. Before purchasing an office chair, make certain you know the exact seat height measurements to ensure the chair is going to work for you. If you are a shorter or taller individual you may need a specialized chair cylinder that allows the chair to be raised higher or shorter than an average cylinder would. Your armrests should also allow for height adjustability to make certain you are typing with your arms at a 90° angle.
Lumbar Curves and Support: Stand flat against a wall with your heels and shoulder blades touching the wall. Now place your hand behind your lower back, does it fit? If you cannot fit your hand behind you and have very little space between the wall and your lower back, you have a flat back and probably need a chair with very little lumbar support. If you can fit a flat hand behind you, you have a medium curve and need a medium level of lumbar support; at the very least you will need a chair with an "S" shaped back to give you some level of support. If you can fit a balled up fist behind your back, you have a deep curve, and need a higher level of lumbar support. This will require a chair with an "S" shaped back as well as some additional lumbar support such as a chair that can offer air lumbar support or self-adjusting lumbar support.
- Seat Height and Depth: Measure the depth of your seat. Be sure you have two to three inches between the edge of the chair and the back of your calf. Adequate seat depth distributes your weight evenly over the longest possible surface area. Inadequate surface area can impede circulation, cause numbness and result in difficulty when sitting for longer periods. If your seat depth is too long for your body you may find yourself having to lean forward to type, not allowing you utilize your back rest and receive proper back support. A seat slider can help remedy this problem which is a seat depth adjustment that permits the user to pull the chair out making it longer if they are taller or push the seat in if they are smaller. Proper seat height encourages you to sit back in your chair, resulting in correct body position with respect to the rest of your workstation.
- Motion: Critical to pain-free sitting is a chair that allows you to stay in motion. The more you move, the more you encourage blood flow, and the less stiff you become. Properly adjust the chair's tension control to achieve your desired level of motion. Rule of thumb: static positions in and of themselves are a source of pain and fatigue. If your job requires you to sit often and for extended periods of time be certain to have a chair with tilt tension and tilt lock control which will allow you to lean back in your chair when a stretch break is needed.
Remember these simple fitting principles and you will find yourself sitting more comfortably and working more productively. If your current work office chair or home office chair does not allow for this, consider purchasing a new chair. It may seem like quite an investment, but in the long run it will save you from experiencing uncomfortable pain while sitting and keep you sitting better.
To view our wide selection of fully adjustable ergonomic chairs for back pain click here!
The Back Sac molded back support system is the first of its kind, with an original design unlike any o
ther lumbar support product on the market. A highly affordable back pain solution that is adaptable for both home or office usage.
The Back Sac is designed to fill the gap between your low back and a chair, or surface you are sitting on. It also fills the curve in your neck while lying down or reclining. The design is absolutely unique compared to other back support cushions. Most support cushions are made to fill the spinal curves by molding to the average person's neck or low back curve. The Back Sac is one of the first products to acknowledge that your spinal curves are probably not average.
The Back Sac uses an air bladder that intentionally contains a larger potential volume than the area it needs to support. A small amount of air, relative to the potential volume is blown into the air bladder. The air can then travel into whatever space needs to be filled or supported.
What we thought:
Easy to use and effective. When I received my Back Sac in the mail I was anxious to test it out as I am with most back support products because I suffer from upper back pain from sitting for multiple hours on a daily basis. I have come to find that a lot of back support products do not provide me with the amount of support I need, or they simply do not fit in the curvature of my neck. After using the Back Sac for just one day I could already feel the difference it made on my body and I was already experiencing minimal upper back pain. I now have to have my Back Sac with me whenever I am sitting down and working because if I do not have it the same pain returns. I'm happy to report it has been two weeks since I first started using the Back Sac at work and I have not experienced any back pain since.
Usually for most of my reviews I can find a way to conjure up a few negative qualities of the product, however with the Back Sac I can only think of one minor setback that keeps me from saying its design is flawless. The only problem I can find with the Back Sac is that it does not allow for much movement; if you get up to move around, lean forward to type, or take a quick break to stretch you will need to reposition it again.
The Back Sac is very affordable and conveniently priced at $19.95 to fit into everyone's budget. The Back Sac is also very reasonably priced compared to other back support products sold elsewhere which can cost up to $100 for full back support. Not only is the price point favorable, but the amount of back support you will receive is unbeatable. Its unique design will have your back feeling healthier and happier from the moment you begin using the Back Sac support. At its ultra light weight of less than a pound, the Back Sac is also easily transportable and can be taken wherever it is needed including for use at work, home, or while traveling. It can also be easily deflated(the Back Sac only takes 3 breaths to inflate!) making it even more compact than it already is.
Overall, the Back Sac is a great investment, with the number of ways and the different capacities this support can be used in; it would be beneficial for anyone to own one or even multiples! The Back Sac is also great for people of any age from kids using it as a pillow for reading, to teens using it as a support while lying on the couch, to young adults using it as an exercise ball, and of course for adults as a back support for their office chair.
To purchase your own Back Sac molded back support click here!