While sitting in an office chair for prolonged hours of time, most people have the tendency to slouch down or slouch over the chair. This may definitely result in overstretching the spinal ligaments, straining the spinal disk, or causing low back pain. If you are in an incorrect static posture throughout the day, your spinal structures may get damage enhancing pressure on the spinal discs and back muscles and also increases strain in arms, shoulders, back, and legs. However, the proper usage of ergonomic chairs reduces your worsening back pain to some extent.
Ergonomic Office Chairs for Back Pain
Nowadays, most of the people spend more and more time in offices or at various workplaces where they might feel uncomfortable due to prolonged sitting on a hard metal chair. This condition is not only affecting the working abilities but also leading to mild to severe neck or back pain, sometimes resulting in medical issues.
Ergonomic office chairs are designed to enhance the ease and comfort of people. It also provides good support to your back and thus relaxes your muscles to reduce back pain. All you require is to purchase an ergonomic office chair which is an ideal solution for all your problems and also engineered to offer the most comfort. Ergonomic chairs usually suits to a wide range of people. An office chair becomes ergonomic if it specifically suits a worker’s body dimensions, specifically for his/her workstation, or the tasks that are performed there without causing back and neck pain or discomfort.(1) Although it is not impossible to find the appropriate chair but it might not be easy always.
How to Select Ergonomic Office Chairs for Back Pain?
No office can exist without chairs, and the best one to choose is always the one that is ergonomically designed so as to prevent getting back or neck pain. Most of the office-going people probably sit in the office on their chairs for around 8 hours in a day. This is why it is so essential to invest more by selecting the best ergonomic office chairs for those office staffs. The following features are very much crucial to consider when you are searching for an ergonomic chair:
- Check for Seat Height of the Ergonomic Office Chair to Reduce Back Pain: Ergonomic chairs should have easily adjustable height hydraulic seat. Normally 16-20 inch height is the standard and suitable for most of the workers with their feet flat and thighs parallel to the floor.
- Check for Arm Rests in the Ergonomic Office Chair: Ergonomic chairs should have adjustable, soft arms rests that are at a proper height in comparison to their desk.
- Go for Swivel One to Relive Back Pain: All ergonomic chairs come with an easy rotating feature so that your back doesn’t get harm.
- Look for Stability in your Ergonomic Office Chair to Reduce Back Pain: A five-legged ergonomic chair is recommended in most of the working environments. Before buying check the stability and balance of these chairs.
- Check the Seat Material of Ergonomic Office Chair: The material on the seat and back of these ergonomic chairs should have adequate foam padding so that one can sit comfortably for extended periods of time. Cover your seat material with a cloth fabric so that it can breathe.
- Check for Width and Depth of the Seat of your Ergonomic Office Chair for Reducing Back Pain: When you are searching for an ergonomic office chair, check the width and depth of these chairs that is the chairs should have 15-20 inches width and 2-5 inches depth to support any person comfortably. The backward or forward movement of the seats should possess adjustability.
- Check the Backrest of your Ergonomic Office Chair to Get Rid of Back Pain: A good ergonomic chair should have 15-20 inches width curved backrest and this width should be adjustable according to need in both forward/backward and vertical directions.
- Check the Lumbar Support: Make sure that your ergonomic office chairs don’t force to slouch even though seated which may strain the lower back and spine. Lumbar support should be adjustable for both depth and height.
How Does Ergonomic Office Chairs Help Reduce Back Pain?
Most office goers spend their entire day sitting in an office chair whose level of comfort can drag on and on or make your day fly by. Back pain is one of the major forms of discomfort due to office chairs if you don’t have the proper type of chair.(2) Choosing an ergonomic office chair generally helps to provide comfort to your aching back. Go through the following points to learn how ergonomic office chairs reduce back pain.
- Adjustable Height: If your knees are at a higher or lower position than your hips, if your thigh is not horizontal or feet don’t touch the floor as you are sitting on office chair then probably you will experience more back pain. An adjustable ergonomic office chair, therefore, allows you to increase or decrease the height or you can even change the angle of the seat to your comfort.
- Lumbar Support: Since you are sitting throughout the day, your back will surely need support. An ergonomic office chair provides lumbar support that curves inward in order to contour your lower back and thus helping to provide support to the back muscles. This type of chairs also prevents slouching. The entire backrests of these chairs are completely adjustable so that you can adjust the lumbar support according to your requirement.
- Relaxing: Ergonomic office chairs have adjustable arm rests so that you can comfortably work without stretching your arm too far or too close to your body. In short, you should be relaxed as you sit in your office chair. You can also add cushions to these chairs if you want more padding.
- Revolving: Wheels also remain added to these ergonomic office chairs so that these chairs can revolve round to reach for any objects on your desk without twisting your back.
Tips to Reduce Back Pain Due to Prolonged Sitting in Office
A few simple changes in the lifestyle of your workplace are mentioned here that may help in getting rid of your back pain.
- Keep Head Up: Try to focus by aligning your neck and head just above your shoulders and thus avoid leaning forward with stress.
- Be Choosy with your Chair: Pick the best one that suitably makes your lower back to rest and also offer a lumbar support while prolonged sitting. Your chair should also be slightly reclined or can tilt the back at some extent.
- Do Exercises: During breathing exercise, each inhalation allows you to draw enough air from navel to spine which thereby engages the core muscles and thus provide support to the upper body. In general, regular stretching exercises will help to keep your ligaments, joints, tendons, and muscles loose and thus provide a feeling of relaxation, comfort, and ability to focus in the most productive way.
- Keep your Entire Requirement within your Reach: Ideally, your torso should be placed at a distance of an arm’s length from the monitor and 2-3 inches above eye level. Mouse should also be at the right next to the keyboard so that you don’t have to turn around or twist your wrist, arm, or shoulder while working.
- Place your Feet Correctly: Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and your shoulder should be a certain width apart from head to reduce tension in the ankles and knees.
- Take Small Breaks in Between: To avoid stressing your back in one position for a prolonged period, try getting up from the place and stand, walk, or stretch for at least 1-2 minutes in every half hour. Even some quick stretching, bending or walking to the corridor or bathroom and doing some shoulder rolling exercises can help to boost blood circulation and reduces pressure on your spinal cord.
- Choose the Proper Angle for your Knees: When you are sitting, try to position your knees at 90° just over your ankles in a straight line; this position surely helps to keep the spinal cord upright comfortably.
- Don’t Sit with Crossed Legs: Sitting cross-legged doesn’t allow keeping your spinal cord straight or your shoulders squared, and thus the risk of overstraining the muscles around the pelvis increases which may cause the further risk of varicose veins by disturbing continuous blood flow.
- Treat your Back Pain: If your back pain lasts for six weeks or more, you may need exercise classes, acupuncture or manual therapy. You can also take painkiller medicines after consulting a physician to get a symptomatic relief.
No matter how comfortable you are in an office chair, the longer you are immobile, the weaker back muscles will become, and the more it will hurt in long-term and contribute to muscle strains or back problems. Commonly, the best treatment is to stay fit and active and, if necessary, you can use mild painkillers. Your state of mind also plays a very vital. So try to stay positive and calm rather than being depressed and you will recover soon from the back problem due to prolonged sitting.