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Admit it or not, you spend most of your days awake- and during those times, you spend more than half sitting. You sit while working on your laptop. You sit while eating. You sit while listening to your boss in a conference. With all those sitting, you are bound to develop health issues, particularly in the back area. To prevent injuries from sitting for a long time, you need to choose the right kind of chair. For many, this means buying ergonomic chairs. What’s all the fuss about ergonomic chairs? Injuries are a no-no. If you sit all day, you tend to develop them over time. Ergonomic chairs try to prevent these injuries from happening. This, in turn, increases your productivity since you are not bothered about aches and pains while working. Your focus is only in your work. Ergonomic chairs are often adjustable. That said, these still allow support for various sitting positions during work. Most tasks where sitting is involved require repetition. Add awkward postures in the mix and you have a recipe for back pain.
What makes the ergonomic chair differs from the rest? The idea of sitting on an ergonomic chair is something like this: It is not about you just sitting on a chair; it is about the chair doing its job of sitting you comfortably on it. By using this kind of chair gives a positive impact on you in general, your productivity and health. That said, the chair should fit your body dimensions as well as the nature of tasks done while sitting on the said chair. Ergonomic chairs are not just about preventing risks; it is also about comfort. The more comfortable you are seated in a particular chair, the better your work performance. It is as simple as that.
What to look for in an ergonomic chair
The chair is predominantly the first thing that comes to mind when you feel discomfort during work time. For OSHA, you need to focus on these four chair parts to ensure that you are seated in a safer and better position:
- Seat pan
Don’t Forget the Armrest
You need proper support for the arms since these carry 10% of your body weight. Incorrect armrest position leads to muscle fatigue particularly in the back, shoulders and neck areas. This means the armrests should not be too high, too low or too close to the neck. This should also allow you to move naturally.
What to look for
- Adjustable armrests – This means the arm caps are movable.
- You can move them closer to your body or farther from it when necessary.
- The armrests can also be moved vertically to suit how high or low you want your elbows and arms to rest on it.
- Padded armrests – These reduce contact stress.
- Soft edges – These reduce the chances of you being injured because of the sharp edges.
What to avoid
- Chairs that you don’t feel relaxed sitting on – This means the chair should not be too wide, too narrow or too high.
- Chairs that have a hard material that can irritate the skin.
The Quest for the Right Backrest
The back is normally has an S-curved shape. The backrest should mold that curve to ensure that the sitter is comfortable. A slightly reclined chair is recommended. Incorrect support can lead to slouching and lower back pain. What to look for
- Wide backrest - The backrest should be about 12-19 inches across.
- Adjustable – This means that you can adjust it backward, forward, upward and downward. Note: There should be a locking device that secures the appropriate angle preferred.
- Reclining options – You should be able to recline to your preferred position. Note: There should be a locking device that secures the appropriate angle preferred.
What to avoid
- Fixed support - Ergonomic chairs come in different sizes and styles. You should avoid this for it might not support your back the way it should be.
Don’t Be a Deadman with Your Seat Pan
Ergonomic chairs allow even weight distribution that results to better sitting comfort. The requirements given by HFES 100, one of the leading ergonomic organizations, state that:
- The seat base should be at least 17.7 inches
- The seat depth should be less than or equal to 16.9 inches
- The seat can be tilted at least at 4 degrees and it should include 3 degrees tilted backwards
What to look for
- Width – Look for the ones that provide at least one inch space on each side.
- Waterfall design – This a front feature reduces the pressure on the back of the knees that can lead to poor circulation. Also consider the depth of the seat pan.
- Adjustability – You would be able to adjust how tilted you want the seat pan for comfort.
What to avoid
- Fixed seat height – Incorrect height of the seat pan can lead to more pressure on the buttocks or poor circulation.
Don’t Forget to Embrace Your Base
Many overlook this part of the chair, the reason why this is included in this list. The base supports the whole chair. There should be emphasis on the material and strength of the chair for that matter.
What to look for
- The number of legs – Five is the most appropriate because it evenly distributes the weight of the sitter and the chair on the floor.
- Casters – There are various types of casters. You can choose from plastic down to metals. Each material is suitable for a specific flooring.
What to avoid
- Chairs that tilt – this means that you might have difficulty in the balance while sitting on this type of chair.
If you want to go all the way in an ergonomic sense, you should follow this ergonomic seating guide to make your choice much easier. Ergonomic chairs can come in different styles and designs. Choosing one can be hard but you have this guide to help you narrow down your choices.
There's nothing better than taking a load off at the end of the the day, and settling into our favorite armchair to watch some TV. But what you may not realize, is that your favorite TV characters were often sitting in some pretty memorable chairs as well. It can be exhausting entertaining audiences around the country, so they surely needed some rest and relaxation of their own. Here are some of the most famous chairs to have graced our TV sets over the years.
- Archie Bunker's Chair - Archie Bunker's chair from All in the Family is probably the most famous chair in television history. Archie ruled the roost from that sloppy old wingback chair, whether he was hollering at Edith to get him a beer, or making fun of his "Meathead" son-in-law. The chair is such an indelible symbol in American history, it now resides in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
- Martin Crane's Recliner -When Frasier's titular character invited his retired ex-cop father Martin to move in, he didn't expect the elder Crane to bring his beat-up old recliner with him. It didn't exactly fit in with Frasier's designer aesthetic, but when he tried to get rid of the chair, Martin revealed its emotional significance, and Frasier let the chair stay.
- Chairy - This is probably the only instance of a chair that was actually a character on a TV show, but Chairy from PeeWee's Playhouse was one of the many objects in Pee-Wee's Playhouse that came to life before our eyes. Granted, as an adult, the idea of having a chair hug you when you sit down on it is a little bit creepy, but as a kid, it was the coolest.
- The Iron Throne -The throne from the hugely popular Game of Thrones is unarguably the scariest chair on this list. The Iron Throne may not be the best chair for back pain, but it's forged from over 1,000 swords of Aegon the Conquerer's enemies, so it sends quite a message. The seat of kings in the Seven Kingdoms has proven almost as deadly as the men who have sat on it, but it is probably the coolest looking chair on this list.
- The Simpsons' Couch - Okay, so choosing a couch is kind of cheating, but there's no denying the indelible image of that drab brown couch, packed full of America's favorite yellow family. The Simpsons has been on the air for 26 seasons now, and the coach has appeared in the opening credits of every episode, as the family piles onto the couch at the very end. Plus, the running couch gag is one of the best things to look forward to in each episode.
The most comfortable chairs for lounging in front of the TV may be squishy old couches, but at the office, it's important to make sure you have the best office chairs for lower back pain. The best office chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These chairs have the adjustable features to prevent neck pain, muscle tension, and leg pain, and the lumbar pillow insert to support the lumbar spine, lower back muscles, and pelvic area.
About 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time, including 50% of all working Americans. It's important to pay attention to the way you're sitting, and how much time you're spending sitting. If you're going to spend your free time lounging on the couch, you better make sure you're spending your work day in the best office chairs for lower back pain.
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 a common complaint, and 50% of working Americans claim to experience back pain symptoms each year. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) estimates that 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time.
Dr. Mark Stouffer, spine surgeon with Intermountain Southern Utah Neurosciences Institute, explains in an interview with The Spectrum that, "The more stress you put on your back, the more at risk you are for developing degenerative disk problems."
People who do manual labor are at particular risk for disc problems, but even working a simple desk job can lead to lower back pain.
The human body is designed for standing and walking. When we spend extended period of time (like, say, eight hours) sitting behind a desk in a cheap office chair, it puts excess strain on the lower back. It may seem a stretch to blame desk chairs for back pain, but extended sitting, and especially sitting with bad posture, can cause a great deal of discomfort over time.
Many people assume that surgery is the only option for treating lower back pain, and will therefore avoid consulting a doctor about treatment until the pain becomes unbearable. However, doctors always try to treat the pain with non-surgical options first. Unless there is severe spinal trauma, or serious symptoms of a larger problem, your doctor will not consider surgery a necessary treatment.
The majority of back pain is treated without surgery, and in fact, Stouffer says 85 to 90% of patients improve without surgical intervention. Nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include:
"Modify your activities until you get back the acute pain," suggests Dr. Stouffer. However, it's best to continue to engage in some sort of aerobic activity, like walking. Once the acute pain has faded, maintaining a regular exercise routine can build stronger back and abdominal muscles, which will help support and take pressure off the spine.
- Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatories.
"Ibuprofen or Aleve can help reduce swelling and treat the pain," says Dr. Stouffer. A lot of times, lower back muscles have stretched and tightened due to injury or strain, and that is what is causing the discomfort. An OTC anti-inflammatory can help relax the tightened muscles, and reduce any swelling that may be causing discomfort in the spine.
- Steroid Injection.
Steroid injections are a more serious option to consider if other options have failed. "If pain doesn't subside, steroid injections can help," adds Stouffer.
But the best treatment for lower back pain is naturally to stop it before it starts. Finding the best desk chairs for back pain will help. The best office chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. these chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting, and they have the proper support and adjustments to ensure that your body is in a healthy, comfortable position, and much of the strain on your lower back is alleviated.
If you're starting to experience lower back pain in the office, you might consider looking into some new desk chairs for back pain relief.
p>Work is a very important part of most of our lives. It takes up most of our time (Usually 40+ hours a week), and whether or not it is what you want to be doing with your life, it is a very large focus of it. The bad part is, even your dream job can be hurting you, if you're working a desk job.
There are many different ailments that can result from long hours spent sitting in a cheap office chair, and the repeated motions of everyday office life. These ailments manifest themselves in different ways, but many of those ways can often be painful and unhealthy. Take a look at some common ailments below, and what you can do to prevent them.
- Back Pain
Back pain, especially lower back pain is the most common complaint among office workers. At least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms annually, and about 31 million Americans are experiencing back pain at any given time. The human body is designed more for standing and walking, so sitting for long hours puts excess pressure on the muscles and spine in the lower back.
But what can be done to prevent lower back injury? Believe it or not, the best office chairs for lower back pain can make all the difference. The best office chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting, and have all the right support and adjustments for optimum comfort. The most important feature of the best office chairs for lower back pain is the lumbar pillow insert -- this lifts and stretches the muscles in the lower back, and helps take some of the weight off of the lower vertebrae.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a cumulative trauma disorder stemming from prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward movements. The result is damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, and hand, which can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or impairment of motor control. The most common form of RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Office ergonomics are also helpful to prevent RSI. Make sure your office chair is adjusted to the appropriate height, and that you are not bending your wrists at awkward angles (in, out, or upwards) to type. Also, if you use a computer mouse, make sure that the mouse is moved close enough to you. A gel wrist pad will also help to keep your wrist in a neutral position while mousing.
Headaches may seem like an unavoidable problem at work, especially if you're under a lot of stress. But there may be other things causing your work headaches, keeping you from focusing fully on your work, and being less productive.
Your headaches could be caused by a number of different triggers: dim lighting, screen glare, smells, hunger, caffeine, dehydration, etc. Make sure your work station is adjusted appropriately so that your computer screen is at the right height, distance, and angle. Put an anti-glare screen protector on your screen, and ask to move to a different cubicle if yours is near direct fluorescent lights or unpleasant smells (like too much perfume).
>Have you found your own ways to avoid these common office ailments? Let us know in the comments!
- Back Pain