Ergonomic Chairs

If you have an office job, odds are high that you sit in front of a computer for a good part of every day – even if you don’t have an office job; people of all ages spend at least an hour or two a day in front of a computer. Spending that time sitting in a comfortable and ergonomically correct chair is key in preventing minor back pain (that could eventually lead to more serious problems). There are some general rules to follow when it comes to proper body posture in a chair and aspects to the chair that can help you follow the rules.

Be aware of what your body is doing while you sit; don’t slump or slouch. A good chair can help you sit up so that your vertebrae are aligned with proper curvature of the spine. The chair should provide proper seat depth and width as well as a backrest that has lumbar support built in. Supportive padding in the seat and backrest is extremely important and if the seat is not deep enough or too deep, then the knees, hips and back will be strained. A good chair will have many different knobs and dials to adjust the lumbar support, the tilt of the seat and backrest, and the height of the chair. All of this adjustability insures the best fit possible, which also insures the most ergonomically correct chair.

Try to have right angles at the ankles, knees, hips and elbows. Bring your elbows close in to your side. Be sure that there are no angles at the wrists; the natural (neutral) way that your wrists line up with your forearms should be the way that you type and mouse. The chair should raise and lower to achieve the proper height for the individual. Your feet should be flat on the floor straight down from your knees. Adjustable armrests are optional, but it is important to do whichever helps you keep your elbows at a right angle and your wrists neutral.

Choosing a chair mobile chair is imperative. A swiveling motion will allow the whole body to turn so that the back is not twisting. Rollers on the base of the chair are also necessary to allow you to get closer to an object, such as a phone, desk drawer or stapler, so that you don’t have to reach for it. Reaching, bending and twisting movements can lead to overuse strains. Chairs that allow you to follow these rules could mean the difference between back health and many costly doctors’ visits.

Office supply stores carry lines of ergonomic chairs and many different brands and styles can be purchased online.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Devon 12.21.11 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for the tips! I find it funny….well, actually sad, that I work for a physical medicine practice, yet can’t follow the tips I’ve learned. How do you get people to actually follow the tips? I like to sit with my legs crossed, but I know that’s not good.

Austin Chiropractor 05.15.12 at 2:02 pm

Ergonomic chairs are a big recommendation of mine for my patients at my Chiropractic office. The sciatic nerves as well as the dendrites in the spine are deeply affected by poor office furniture. I’m going to also recommend this post to my patients as well.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>