Written by Alana J. Tutwiler in Health
Viewed by 39 readers since 06-18-2009
Many people don’t realize that having a job where they sit down all day can be just as damaging to their back as a job that requires heavy lifting or a lot of bending. If you are sitting improperly or using a chair that is not designed well, then you can end up with chronic back pain.
As a result of this problem, ergonomics has become an important field in recent years. Ergonomics deals with designing work areas and tools that reduce and/or prevent injuries. There are several ergonomically designed chairs that can relieve back pain.
There are several factors that should be kept in mind when choosing one of these ergonomic chairs. First, the chair should be positioned correctly at your workstation. The armrests should lift your shoulders slightly and your elbows should rest at a 90 degree angle on your desk. The chair should also have good lower back support with a system to adjust the level of support. Finally, the chair should swivel so that you can easily move from one area of your desk to another.
Some manufacturers have designed specialty office chairs that look and function quite differently from traditional chairs. These chairs are specially designed to relieve back pain and come in several designs, such as:
- Saddle chairs – as the name implies, this chair puts the user in a position between kneeling and standing, similar to that of riding a horse. This type of chair is adjustable and helps to relieve circulation problems associated with sitting in one spot all day.
- Kneeling chairs – this type of chair has no back and makes the user sit in an almost kneeling position, which is more natural for the spine. The seat slants forward, helping to distribute the body’s weight and ease compression of the spine.
- Exercise ball chairs – these are large balls, just like the medicine balls at the gym that encourage bouncing and movement and prevent muscle fatigue. They come in different sizes for different heights, and some can even have backrests attached to them.
- Recliner chairs – this type of chair is designed for people with severe back problems such as degenerative disc disease. They have a table that attaches to it so that you can do paperwork or even use a laptop while in a reclining position.
The second part of using a chair to relieve back pain is to have good posture. When your parents kept telling you to “sit up straight”, they knew what they were talking about! Slouching places your spine in an unnatural position and this leads to back pain and problems. If you work at a desk all day, it’s also important to get up and stretch or move around at least every hour. Choose a good chair that relieves back pain and follow these steps and your back will thank you!