Can an Ergonomic Chair Cure Your Back Pain? – Buying Tips; a guest post
The world today is very different from what our parents lived in. It has changed in its entirety to become an absolutely new experience. Most of it is like a digital village. Everyone and everything are just a click away. We spend more time in front of our computer screens. A big chunk of our new age population would probably not agree to this fully but the ones who grew up in the 1990’s would relate to this statement just fine. That was a time when technology was behind and trying hard to catch up with the human race. What does the scene look like now?
Need for Ergonomic Chairs
The comfort and the ease of use has become the main mantra for any product. The technology has left the human race far behind. More and more products and services are aimed at the fact that a user should not have to move an inch more than the effort required to press that mouse button CLICK. As a result, we see a massive change in our lifestyles. Our bodies are being made to sit for ever growing durations rather than moving around and doing the jobs. A major portion of our awake time is spent sitting than in any other posture of the body. The human body is a complex machine that needs movement to keep everything in the working order. It needs movements of its various joints to keep them WELL OILED.
Any movement in the body constitutes the spinal cord making it a very important part of the body. The spinal cord naturally has an S-shaped curve. The spine’s curves work like a spring to absorb shock, maintain balance to facilitate the full range of motion throughout the body.Prolonged sitting in a chair may lead to lower back pain. This happens because the inactivity and the static posture increases the stress in the back, shoulders and arms, specifically building up the pressure to the back muscles. Prolonged sitting also leads to the body getting used to the inactivity which leads to weakening of muscles which leads to a slouching posture. The combined effect is what one experiences as PAIN. More and more office goers are spending 75% of their time sitting making the spinal cord very vulnerable.
The big question: What does one do about it?
Well, there are quite a few things. Apart from the posture and movement that the body should be subjected to, a major aspect of sitting is the furniture used. We see more and more office chairs in the market today being marketed as Orthopaedic office chair. What does that actually mean? ERGONOMICS or the study of human factors aims at reducing human error and increasing the productivity while enhancing the safety and comfort of use. A growing number of products these days are being designed and engineered applying the principles of ergonomics so as to design and develop things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment.
There are many types of ergonomic chairs available for use in the office. There is no one specific type of office chair which, one could call, necessarily the best. A lot of our chairs in use are pretty much traditional chairs with some added adjustment features. These features, mentioned below, must be adjusted to ones’ proportions in order to have a trouble-free continued use.
- Seat height
- Seat width and depth
- Lumbar support
- Seat material
While these adjustments could make a traditional office chair work well for you, there are new styles of ergonomic chairs coming up which have been designed to try to create good support, comfort, and posture. These chairs take a little getting used to, but become very comfortable with use over time. Some quirky but thoughtful designs which have come up in recent times catering to this are mentioned below.
Kneeling Ergonomic Chair
The kneeling chair has no back, and places the user in a kneeling position, not literally. The design encourages good posture by sliding the hips forward and aligning the back, shoulders, and neck leading to a more natural position for the spine. The seat and shins cater to the overall sitting support required to make the chair useful. This type of ergonomic chair distributes the weight between the pelvis and the knees, which reduces spinal compression, leading to reduced stress and tension in the lower back and leg muscles.
Saddle Ergonomic Chair
The saddle chair is in the shape of a horse’s saddle and puts the user in a position somewhere between sitting and standing, similar to the position used when riding a horse. This allows the legs to drop naturally, and widen, creating a healthy and stable position. The design is intended to eliminate some of the typical problems one experiences with a traditional office chair such as slouching forward.
Exercise Ball Ergonomic Chair
As the name suggests, it is a ball, large enough to support the user in any long-term sitting usage, and works well as a desk chair or computer chair. While the other chairs focus on sitting posture, this particular product focuses on active sitting. The slight bouncing involved keeps the legs moving, stimulating circulation and keeping muscles busy. Hence, reducing stress and fatigue. The ball comes in different sizes to find the appropriate height for individual users.
While these chairs ease up on the posture related issues, the fact still stays that short breaks should always be taken throughout the day to keep the body active.
Claire Penny: Backchairs Direct offers workplace ergonomic solutions, including Orthopedic Office Chair, furniture and other posture improving accessories. Claire supports Backchairs Direct with their marketing and sales. She enjoys the study of ergonomics and understands the benefits a correct seating solution can bring to the user.