When you start looking for a new chair for your office, you are faced with a number of choices to make. From the style of the chair to the way it compliments your office décor to the ergonomic and comfort factors that you require, there are many t
hings to consider as you find the right one for your body type.
One of the biggest factors that people look for in an office chair is the amount of support it gives your back. Back pain is a common ailment of desk job workers because of the lack of cushioning and flexibility that their spine receives throughout the day in conjunction with sitting for long periods of time. If you have pain in your back, hips and lower body, you need lumbar support for your chair. This comes in two different forms: active and passive.
There is one basic difference between active and passive reinforcement when it comes to your sitting posture. With active, you have a standalone approach that can be added or is built separately onto your backrest, for example an air lumbar support is considered to be active. Passive, on the other hand, has this extra reinforcement already built into the frame. While both ultimately have a goal to provide the same benefit, there are a few questions you must answer before determining which option is right for you.
Can you adjust your sitting patterns throughout the day?
Being able to adjust your body throughout the day is one of the most important parts of being ergonomically correct. Your body needs the flexibility to move around and avoid putting long periods of stress in one particular area. Where you sit must adjust to your body type and put you in a position that encourages good posture. This way, your body can be supported throughout the day, and you can maintain a healthier sitting position.
How much time are you sitting each day?
If you sit for long periods at a time, the support you get from your office furniture is crucial. While you sit, you are putting more pressure on your spine. This is especially true when you do not have any cushioning for your lumbar curve. This will catch up with your body quickly and may lead to back problems over time.
Do you have any previous back problems?
If you have pre-existing back conditions from before your desk job, you will need extra assistance to sit comfortably throughout the day. Your spine is already damaged and more sensitive, so this type of care is important to your overall health. This may require a combination of both active and passive care.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to determine whether you need active or passive care.
For the vast majority of people, active care will be the best. This will not only allow you to adjust your body position more throughout the day, but it will also give you extra reinforcement along your lower spine so that when you sit for long periods you will get an added boost that will keep you sitting up straighter and with far better posture.
Passive reinforcement already built-in can also be beneficial for some people. If you have not had any previous back conditions and do not sit for long periods of time, using a chair with passive care can still deliver the ergonomic benefits that your body needs. If you do choose a passive style, make sure that you also find one that is easily adjustable so that you can position it correctly.
The way you sit can have a profound impact on your overall health. Choosing ergonomically friendly office furniture with lumbar support will help you to feel better and work more efficiently.
To view Sitbetter’s large variety of affordable back support cushions please click here!
You have come to the realization that it is time to purchase a new office chair, but with the large variety of options available it can become overwhelming to determine which chair will wor
k best for you. Although it may seem like a simple purchase to make, there are many components on an office chair that should be considered prior to purchasing. The four main parts of an office chair are the seat, the armrests, the mechanism, and the backrest. All of these parts combined can lead to a healthy and comfortable sitting experience, but if one is overlooked or ignored it can also lead to pain and discomfort. Perhaps the one part of an office chair that is most often overlooked is the backrest.
A good backrest will provide the support needed to keep you sitting comfortably for extended periods of time. When determining which backrest is best suited for you it is important to keep a few things in mind. The first aspect to consider is if you have any prior medical conditions that affect how you sit throughout the work day. Many workers in the United States have sat in a cheap office chair that does not properly fit them for most of their careers which inadvertently leads to experiencing back pain and aches throughout the work day. Others have suffered from injuries or accidents that also affect their sitting experience. Luckily, with the vast assortment of ergonomic chairs available there are may different models and designs specifically tailored for all different types of injuries and back pains.
For those that suffer from lower back pain, it is best to find a backrest that is going to provide lumbar support. The most common type of lumbar support found on many different office chair models is a contoured backrest. The back forms an “S” shape which molds to the natural shape of the spine. It is crucial to find a backrest that can be adjusted in height in order to properly position the lumbar support to meet your body’s specific needs. Another unique option that is available for lower back pain sufferers is an inflatable lumbar support, which is a small air pump inserted into the lower part of the backrest that can be inflated or deflated depending on the level of support that is needed. This option is available in high-end ergonomic chairs.
For those that suffer from upper back pain and shoulder pain it is advisable to find a backrest that is going to provide full back support. An office chair that is considered to have a high back will support both the upper back and shoulders. Chairs that are deemed to have a mid back or low back are a good option for those that do not suffer from upper back pain but should be avoided by those that do. Another option for those that need extra neck support and like to lean back in their chairs is a headrest.
Whether you suffer from upper back pain, lower back pain, or no back pain at all, the backrest is one of the most important aspects of any office chair and should be taken into consideration when searching for your next new office chair.
To view SitBetter’s wide selection of ergonomic office chairs please click here!
For those who spend their days in the office behind a desk, there is an unfortunate trade off that comes with the work—pain. The chances are great that you have probably been the victim of pain as a result of your desk job, and you probably never even thought about the fact that you might be inadvertently contributing to your own discomfort and aches. Your posture or even the angle at which you look at the computer screen all add up to poor body mechanics and contribute to pain.
Most people experience pain in the following four major areas:
- Lower back
Some experience pain elsewhere as well, but generally, the wrists and the back are the primary and precursors for other pains.
A Solution to Your Aches and Pains
Websites, such as Sitbetter.com, have developed simple ecommerce solutions for those who seek pain relief at the office. In fact, one of the most popular pain management solutions is an office chair for lower back pain. These ergonomically designed chairs are specifically made to promote proper posture and body mechanics while sitting behind an office desk to do work. The specially designed chairs provide lumbar support and many times are completely adjustable to meet the needs of any individual. Comfort is key with these chairs, as is proper body alignment, and as a result, these chairs represent the first solution toward ridding oneself of pain.
An online store, such as Sitbetter.com, has some great chairs for lower back pain. In fact, unlike many other ergonomic chair providers that carry only a handful of seating at premium prices, the ecommerce marketplace has proven to be a great source for seats at an affordable range of prices.
Whatever your pain level is, it is great to know that your budget doesn’t determine how much relief you can experience. There are a number of great chairs for lower back pain at reasonable prices. Of course, the higher-end chairs do offer certain luxuries like massage and heat, but for the fundamental ergonomic chair, having the right tools to rid back pain doesn’t mean breaking the bank.
So you are on a quest to find the ultimate ergonomic office chair, one that is going to keep you sitting comfortably throughout the day while keeping those unnecessary aches and pains away. Does such a chair even exist? Your first thought might be to get in your car and drive to the nearest Staples to find your new ergonomic chair, but then you remember that they only carry cheap office chairs that are not designed for all day sitting. Your next thought then may be to visit an online office chair retailer, but you are not sure where to even begin looking with the wide selection of chairs to choose from. If you are looking for the one universal ergonomic office chair that works for everyone, think again, because such a chair does not exist. To find the ultimate ergonomic office chair for yourself, you need to first figure out what is going to work best for your body and your needs rather than purchasing a chair just because everyone else has it or you have heard it is popular.
The first step towards finding your ultimate ergonomic office chair is to figure out the dimensions needed to accommodate your body size. First, determine the seat depth(length of the seat) that will be required for your new chair. This is a crucial step because a chair that is too long will put pressure on the back of your knees and a chair that is too short may not fully support your legs. A good way to determine your ideal seat depth is to turn towards your current office chair; if your current seat depth already works for you then make sure your new chair will have the same seat measurements. If it is too long, look for a chair with a smaller seat depth and vice versa if your chair’s seat is too short. If you prefer a softer sit while working look for a chair that offers seat foam upgrades such as a gel seat or triple density foam otherwise some chairs come standard with an extra thick seat.
Next you will need to figure out the seat height range necessary for you to be able to keep your feet flat on the floor while working(or on a foot rest) and work with your height. You will also need to take into consideration the height of your desk to ensure your chair will fit underneath your desk if needed, especially if you would like a chair with armrests. Most standard desks are 29″ measured from the floor to the top of the desk, however some have higher workstations or adjustable desks that can be lowered and raised if needed. If you are a shorter individual a standard cylinder that comes with most office chairs may be too tall for you causing your legs to be bent at an awkward angle. The same can be said for taller individuals who need a longer cylinder and higher seat height adjustment range. Certain specialty ergonomic office chairs offer different cylinder size options to accommodate individuals of any height from children 4′ tall to adults that are 6’8″.
Having the right back height for your office chair can be of particular importance for those who suffer from back pain and even for those who want to avoid back pain. A good way to determine the back height that will be needed for your chair is to look at your current office chair. If you currently suffer from upper back you will want to look for a chair that’s back will come up high enough to support your shoulder blades. Have a friend measure your back in its entirety from the top of the seat on your current office chair up to your shoulder blades to calculate how tall you will need your back rest to be. If you experience neck pain look for a chair that comes with an adjustable headrest. Again you will need to measure your back to ensure you do not pick a chair that has a back that is too high or too low, otherwise your headrest may end up turning out to be detrimental rather than helpful. Many people suffer from lower back pain from having a chair that does not have proper lumbar support which is why it is crucial to find a chair that offers built-in lumbar support, adjustable lumbar support, or air lumbar support to prevent lower back pain.
The last factor to consider is how adjustable you will need your ultimate ergonomic chair to be. If you work for more 8 or more hours a day, you will likely need a highly adjustable chair that allows you to recline throughout the day with tilt lock and tilt tension control(allows the user to choose the amount of tension needed to recline back in their chair and to lock their chair in the upright position when typing then unlock when recline is desired). If you are a taller or shorter individual, it may be beneficial to have a seat slider adjustment that allows you to determine make your chair’s seat depth either longer or shorter. If most of your day is spent hunched over typing it would be beneficial to have a chair with back and seat angle adjustment to allow you to lean your back rest and seat forward while doing extensive typing. A chair with an adjustable back rest can benefit just about anyone if the chair comes with built-in back support, then the individual using the chair can adjust the back to reach their lumbar region rather than having a chair that pre-determines it for you and risking having it not fit your back properly. The level of adjustability need will vary amongst individuals and will require some thinking to decide which adjustments are absolutely necessary and which you may be able to live without.
A new ergonomic chair does not come at a cheap price, which is why you need to do your research and make sure that you know exactly what you need to keep you sitting comfortably. Make sure to look at the chair’s warranty, if the chair is warranted for only a few years this is a good indication of how long the chair will last you. Contrarily, if a chair has a ten year or lifetime guarantee this is a good indication that the chair is built to last and withstand tough working conditions. You may need to put a little extra money than you hoped to get your ultimate ergonomic chair but in the long run it will save you from visits to the chiropractor, money spent on having to replace a bad chair, and aches and pains caused by sitting in a poorly designed chairs.
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!