You may not quite understand the impact the wrong office chair can have on your overall health. Statistics indicate that we spend 7709 days of our entire lives sitting. You may spend more than eight hours in the office working on your computer or documents in a day. A hunched position can result in a myriad of problems such as poor blood circulation, increased body fat, digestive issues, as well as back, shoulder, and neck pain.
Choosing the best ergonomic office chair for back pain is, therefore, critical to avoid these issues. In the article below, we will explore some of the key questions many people ask about ergonomic seats.
Which Is the Best Selling Ergonomic Office Chair for Back Pain?
Are Office Chairs Bad For Your Back?
Sitting for an extended period can result in back pain or exacerbate an existing problem. Sitting in a static position will increase the stress on shoulders, legs, neck, or back. This is due to the fact that most people tend to slouch or hunch down in the chair. It places a strain on the spinal ligaments and discs surrounding the spine. It is, therefore, critical that you choose an ergonomic office chair so that you get maximum support and maintain a good posture.
How Can I Stop My Office Chair From Hurting My Back?
Having an ergonomic office chair can help alleviate your back pain. It is, however, critical that you avoid sitting in one position for too long. Take occasional breaks so that you can stretch and ease any tension on your muscles. Use the right height and sit close to your desk so that your arms are parallel to your spine. Maintain the angle of your elbows at 90-degrees and use an adjustable armrest, so that it lifts your shoulders slightly. You should also consider investing in a lumbar support cushion or pillow if you do not have an ergonomic chair.
Things to Consider In Picking the Best Ergonomic Office Chair for Back Pain
Consider the following when shopping for an ergonomic office chair.
1. The Height of the Seat
The ergonomic office chair you buy allows you to adjust the height as per your preference. The typical individual will be comfortable with a seat within the range of 16 to 21 inches. It allows you to place your feet flat on the floor and keep your arms at the right height on the workstation.
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2. Width and Depth
The seat you purchase should give you sufficient depth and width. The typical seat ranges from 17 to 20 inches wide. The depth should allow you to comfortably reach the backrest while leaving 2-4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat.
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3. Lumbar Support
You need to provide sufficient support for the S-Curve on your spine. Without this, you may find yourself slouching or hunching, which will lead to back pain. Ensure you can adjust the lumbar support depth and height to customize it to what is comfortable for you.
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4. The Backrest
The backrest should be within the range of 12 to 19 inches and support your spine’s natural curve. Look for those with adjustable options so that you can customize it accordingly.
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An adjustable armrest allows you to position it in a way that keeps your arms and shoulders relaxed at all times. If not, you will realize significant tension to your shoulders, neck, and back.
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An ergonomic chair with a headrest will help prevent shoulder and neck issues.
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7. Swivel Functionality
If your work involves a lot of movement, consider buying a swivel office chair. It allows for easy movement without you needing to stretch or strain when reaching for items.
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8. User Condition
The type of pain you experience will impact on the chair you buy. A herniated disc, for example, requires lumbar support. Upper limb tendonitis will benefit from sufficient armrest support.
Check the wheelbase or casters because they determine how stable the ergonomic chair will be. You should also be able to glide easily over surfaces without rolling or tipping over.
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10. Seat Material
Look for a material that is comfortable and breathable because you spend a lot of time sitting on the office chair. The leather is easy to clean while the cloth is more comfortable in terms of breathability.
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Choosing Ergonomic Office Chair for Different Pain
If you want the best ergonomic office chair for pain relief, then you can look for those designed for specific pains. Below are some hints.
1. For Lower Back Pain
To help alleviate lower back pain:
- Ensure that the chair you buy gives you excellent support.
- You should also have adjustable armrests and backrests. Look for those with armrests that have a slight downward angle for maximum comfort.
- It should have sufficient padding and should not be too soft.
- The backrest should have an S-shape to accommodate the shape of a natural spine. It helps with proper weight distribution, thus relieving the pressure from the lower back.
- Look for those that you can recline for greater comfort and to reduce putting pressure on your spine.
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2. For Upper Back Pain
To help alleviate upper back pain:
- Get a chair with sufficient lumbar support and adjustable backrest to maintain the curve of the spine.
- Chose those with height adjustment to ensure that your feet stay on the ground.
- Even weight distribution to relieve strain on the hips.
- Sufficient padding to allow for prolonged sitting.
- An adjustable armrest to reduce the stress on your shoulders.
- A reclining position that allows you to relax the back.
3. For Neck and Shoulder Pain
To help alleviate neck and shoulder pain:
- Pay attention to the armrest. Your wrist should comfortably lay on the table, and your elbow should maintain a 90-degree angle.
- The backrest should give sufficient lumbar support and maintain the natural curve. A slight decline will ease pressure on the spine.
- Height adjustment ensures that your feet rest comfortably on the ground.
- It should have sufficient depth and padding to ensure maximum comfort.
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Are Ergonomic Chairs Good For Back Pain?
There are several advantages of using the best ergonomic office chair for back pain. The basic features include adjustable seat height, adjustable backrest and armrest, lumbar support, adequate seat depth, and width, as well as easy swiveling. The ergonomic design aims at relieving back pain and soreness. You get proper spine alignment when you are in the sitting position. Some of the main advantages of using one include:
- Proper posture, which you get from features such as head and backrest that make you more comfortable when sitting.
- You can also adjust the height so that your feet rest flat on the floor and maintain a 90-degree angle at the knees.
- You get to avoid neck problems due to the neck support, and ability to adjust the height.
- Helps reduce back pain by supporting the natural curve of the spine. They are high and will, therefore, give support to the entire back.
- Others have a reclining that allows you to explore angles higher than 90° for more comfort.
- Reduces pressure on the hips while giving sufficient support to the buttocks
How Do Ergonomic Office Chair Relieve Back Pain
Ergonomic chairs relieve back pain by improving your posture and giving you greater comfort when sitting. They focus on:
- Improving your posture that’s better alignment leading to less discomfort and pain.
- Relieving pressure on your neck and shoulders
- Providing sufficient support to the entire back
- Providing sufficient seat depth so that your hips and buttocks are comfortable at all times
How You Sit In Your Chair While You Task
Follow the following tips when sitting on your chair while working.
- Purchase an ergonomic office chair for maximum support
- Adjust the chair to suit your body type thereby reducing spine aggravation
- Adjust the office chair to the right height depending on the worktop surface and your height
- Ensure that you can comfortably rest your hands on the work surface. Maintain a 90-degree angle between your elbows and the table
- Keep a figure width between the distance between your thigh and the edge of the table.
- Ensure that the office chair is not too deep and that the backrest is at a forward angle
- Getting appropriate lumbar support through the use of cushions, pillows or rolled-up towels
- Ensure that your bottom pressed against the back of the chair; maintain a slight arch of your lower back so that you avoid slouching
- Ensure that your gaze is at the center of your computer screen. For higher or lower positions, you will strain the upper spine as you work on your computer.
- Your armrest should lift your arms slightly at the shoulder level. It reduces the strain on the upper spine and shoulders and ensures that you do not slouch.
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Does the Chair Offer Good Support While Reclined?
New studies are suggesting that a reclined sitting position may work wonders for your overall health. Fortunately, many office seats allow you to adjust the chair into a position you feel is comfortable for you. Contrary to popular belief, a 90° sitting angle may not be optimal when working on your desk, especially for long periods of time. When you recline your seat, you mimic a standing position, which reduces the load you put on your supportive musculature and spine.
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Research shows that when you lean forward when in a sitting position, you put almost double the amount of strain on your spine disc. In a reclining position, you experience less fatigue and tiredness because of less muscle activity. Therefore, adjust your setting to the range of 110 to 130 degrees, but ensure that you have sufficient lumbar support.
Prolonged sitting can lead to disc herniation and back pain, especially if you do not have sufficient back support. Reclining your seat to even 100 degrees will significantly decrease the strain on your back.
Is The Lumbar Support Height And Depth Adjustable?
Yes, they are. With adjustable lumbar support, you can adjust the height and depth to fit your spinal curvature.
- Height adjustable gives you the ability to target specific parts of the back better.
- Depth adjustable gives you control over how much outward protrusion you have with the lumbar support.
- Firmness adjustable gives you control over the firmness or softness of the lumbar support.
Does The Backrest and/or Lumbar Move With You In The Chair?
The lumbar support and backrest are an inbuilt feature and allow you to conform to your spine’s natural curve. Once you set it in the right position, it should not move with your body. You can adjust it to your preference to ensure maximum comfort.
What Material Is the Lumbar System Made From?
The lumbar or spine begins at the last thoracic vertebrae to the top of the sacrum or sacral spine. Most people have five levels, while a few have 6. The main purpose of the lumbar system is to carry the weight of the body. It has an S shape curve known as lordosis. Maintaining the correct shape is critical for proper alignment and alleviation of back, neck and shoulder pain.
Does A Lumbar Support In A Chair Actually Help?
Lumbar support does help alleviate back pain by promoting good posture. It conforms to your back’s natural inward curve and fills the gap between the seat and the spine.
Remedies to Alleviate and Prevent Back Pain
You can alleviate or prevent back pain by:-
- Take occasional breaks while sitting for long periods of time.
- Take occasional breaks so that you can stretch.
- Ensure proper posture when sitting
- Exercise and incorporate stretching exercises such as yoga
- Epsom salts in your bath water will help relax sore muscles.
- Adjust your sleeping position; if you sleep on your side, having a pillow between your knees can help your muscles relax. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. If you must, use a pillow under your lower abdomen to prevent straining your back.
- Treat yourself to occasional massages to ease tense or sore muscles.
High Back or Low Back Chairs To Alleviate Back Pain
Do you struggle with knowing whether to buy a high or low back chair? If yes, consider the following:-
Low back chairs provide mid and lower back lumbar support. They are practical if you move a lot. They, however, do not support your neck, upper back or shoulders. They may not be the best if you already have existing issues with your back or neck.
High back chairs give support to the entire back shoulders and neck. They also offer better adjustability when you compare them to the low back ones. They are excellent for prolonged usage and give better support; it makes them ideal for you if you have an existing issue with these parts of your body. Look for those with sufficient lumbar support, as well as height, depth, and angle adjustment options.
Proper Seat Edge Design to Ease Back Pain
Check for the following designs:
- Ergonomic design for proper posture
- Casters to ease movement
- Sufficient sit pan to support your weight; it should ideally be an inch wider than your hips or thighs
- Adequate lumbar support and the backrest
- Adjustable width and height on the armrest
- Seat height adjustment
- Tilt or recline capabilities
- Footrest for additional comfort
- Breathable, easy to clean fabric
Foods and Supplements for Back Pain
Incorporate the following foods into your diet to help alleviate back pain.
- Foods rich in antioxidants such as leafy vegetables, berries, and greens to help with inflammation
- Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oils and flaxseed
- Chondroitin and glucosamine
- Bromelain and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to reduce inflammation and relieve pain respectively
- Turmeric for pain and inflammation
- Devil’s claw for pain
- Capsaicin for inflammation and pain
- Vitamin D for back pain
We have gone into an in-depth discussion of the best ergonomic office chairs for back pain. We have looked at why they may be the best way to alleviate back neck and shoulder pain. Look for a chair that gives you sufficient lumbar support and allows for height adjustment so that you maintain good posture even when you have to work for extended periods.
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