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When the threat of back pain looms, it's important to do all you can to prevent it before you are stricken. Back pain is the number one complaint doctors get, with an estimated 80% of people experiencing it throughout their lifetimes. 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain annually, and the primary cause of this is spending long hours seated in a cheap office chair. But there are steps to take both at work and at home to offset the harm sitting can do to the body.
- Get the Right Chair - The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These quality office chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting at work. They are designed with a lumbar pillow insert to support your lower back, and ergonomically-adjustable components for preventing back pain. These chairs will keep you sitting up straight, and alleviate the pressure on your lower back.
- Pay Attention to Ergonomics - A quality ergonomic office chair is not going to do any good unless the chair is appropriately adjusted. Make sure the chair's individual components are adjusted to suit the user's body, as most everyone's body dimensions are different. It's also important to make sure the entire workstation is ergonomically sound, meaning the computer monitor is just below eye level, the computer mouse is close enough to the user, and any regularly-used tools or utensils are within arm's reach.
- Take Breaks - Taking regular breaks from your cheap office chair will have a very healthy effect on your lower back and your circulation. If you can take a break every hour, even to walk across the office and back, you will find yourself feeling better and focusing more.
- Stretch - The muscles of your back spend long hours in a strained, uncomfortable position when you are seated all day at work. When you have the opportunity at home, it's important to stretch out these muscles, to offset the time they spend cramped in a cheap office chair. It may seem more natural to stretch your lower back muscles by bending over and touching your toes, but it's actually arching your back and sticking out your bottom that stretches your lower back muscles.
- Get Enough Sleep - While chronic back pain is the top cause of insomnia, lack of sleep paradoxically works to make lower back pain even worse. It's important to get enough restorative sleep to allow your body to work to heal itself, and to allow the muscles in your lower back to relax.
- Exercise -Keeping your muscles in action as much as possible is very important to your back health. It is particularly important to concentrate on strengthening your core, as a strong core will help support your spine when you are seated, thus avoiding lower back pain.
Back pain is the most common complaint among office workers, and in fact, at least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms every year. 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time, and they may not know what to do about it.
Well, the most important step to take is to make sure you have the best office chairs for lower back pain, and that they are adjusted correctly. There are other steps to take to prevent or alleviate back pain, such as taking breaks from your desk, stretching, and taking walks, but for the time you do have to be seated at your desk, finding the best office chair for lower back pain will do you a lot of good.
The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These quality office chairs are not only comfortable, but are equipped with the cushioning and adjustments that will help to keep your body supported and healthy. Cheap office chairs are often not particularly comfortable, and you get what you pay for.
The most important feature of the best office chairs for lower back pain is the lumbar support. Most quality office chairs come equipped with a lumbar support pillow, which cushions the lower back area. This helps to lift and stretch the muscles in the lower back, and to alleviate some of the stress on the lower vertebrae. This area of the spine supports much of your body's weight when in the seated position, so it is very helpful to alleviate some of that strain.
It's also important to make sure that your chair is properly adjusted. You may not have previously thought that these adjustable components of your chair were very important, and maybe even kept them the same as the person who used the chair before you. Even the best office chairs for lower back pain will be of no use to you if they are not appropriately adjusted. Using in improperly-adjusted chair can lead to neck pain, muscle tension, and leg pain, in addition to back problems. There is no universal office chair, because there is no universal body size. Make sure you adjust your chair accordingly, and you will likely experience a good deal of relief.
Back pain is one of the most common complaints from office workers, as a result of having to sit at their desks all day, day after day. There are comfortable chairs for back pain, but oftentimes, workers are stuck with cheap office chairs, or the office chairs they do have are not adjusted correctly. There are specific settings and comfortable positions to keep in mind, that might help alleviate any back pain resulting from sitting for long hours.
The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These chairs are designed to provide the optimum comfort and support, for people exactly in your position: stuck in a chair for long hours. Ergonomic computer chairs are also incredibly comfortably, and will allow you a more enjoyable working experience, in general.
One very important thing that ergonomic computer chairs provide is lower back support. These chairs contain a lumbar pillow insert that cushions the lower back, stretching and elevating the lumbar muscles, and taking some pressure off of the spine.
The best computer chairs have many adjustable components, so you can adjust them to suit your particular body. Make sure the height of your chair, your armrests, seat depth, and back incline are all adjusted to suit you. It doesn't matter the quality of the chair you're sitting in, if it's not adjusted for your body, you may actually be harming yourself even more.
Americans spend billions of dollars treating back pain every year, but what's most important is to nip the back pain in the bud before it starts. If you take the proper precautions, by sitting correctly in the right chair that is adjusted for you, you will go a long way to prevent back problems in the long run. Simply being conscious of the way you are sitting will help you improve.
Ergonomics – it’s become an immensely important consideration for both individuals and employers. Even UCLA has started offering ergonomics guides and information for students, teachers and others. Whether you’re an office worker or an employer, it’s important that you understand the key concepts in workplace ergonomics in order to prevent injury, maximize productivity and reduce ergonomic injury-related lost time from the job.
Reducing Strain and Stress on Key Body Parts
The entire point of ergonomics is to position office equipment and to support the body in such a way that it reduces strain on key body parts. These include the following:
- Upper and lower back
- Thighs and legs
Key Ergonomic-Related Injuries
33% of all workplace injuries involve musculoskeletal injuries generally caused by poor workplace ergonomics. These injuries cause a significant amount of lost time at work, which impacts both the employer and the employee. Some of the conditions caused by not implementing the correct ergonomic plan can include carpal tunnel, eye strain/headaches, tendinopathy, bursitis and many others.
Key Concepts to Understand
There are several different concepts at play in workplace ergonomics, including posture, correct workstation setup and more. These include the following:
- Neutral Neck Position – Your workstation, desk and office chair should allow you to maintain a neutral neck position. A computer monitor should be at least 20 inches away from your body, and it should be directly in front of and slightly below your eye level.
- Spine Support – Sitting for long hours puts serious stress on your spine and back/shoulder muscles. To correctly support your spine, you need to sit with your feet flat on the floor, and you should have an office chair that provides good lumbar support (either adjustable or with extra padding in the lumbar region). Armrests should be included with the office chair, and they should be adjustable to eliminate shoulder strain.
- Arm and Hand Positioning – The position you’re forced to hold your arms and hands in when seated at your computer can put additional strain on your body. When seated and using the keyboard, your elbows should be at 100 to 110 degrees (open). The keyboard should have a negative tilt so you can keep a neutral position in your hands and wrists. Keyboard trays should be wide enough for both the keyboard and the mouse, so you can use them without raising your arm to another position.
Breaks, Stretching and Exercising
It might sound counterintuitive, but office workers should engage in regular stretching and exercising while on the job. This helps to eliminate stress and strain, and enhances blood flow, which can increase comfort as well as productivity. Regular breaks are also important to help prevent workplace injuries.
- For every 20 minutes of typing, you should take a 20-second break
- For every 20 minutes of typing, you should look away and focus on the middle distance for 20 seconds
- Every hour, you should get up and walk around the office or take a stroll to the break room
- Every hour, stretch your legs, arms, shoulders and wrists to enhance blood flow
These tips and key concepts will help enhance workplace productivity, but also reduce the chance of injury for office workers
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.