Did you know that sitting puts more stress on your spine than standing?
Office work typically involves a lot of sitting, usually in front of a computer. To avoid developing lower back problems, it’s critical to use an ergonomically designed office chair. Ergonomics is the science of workplace equipment design intended to maximise productivity by reducing fatigue and discomfort. An ergonomic chair supports your lower back and helps maintain good posture.
There are many types of office chairs and no single chair is the best, but a few simple tips can save your joints much discomfort. If you have any doubts, always speak with your physiotherapist to help you find the right chair for your specific needs.
Here are five key factors to consider while choosing an ergonomic chair:
Depending on your height, the seat should be between 40-55 cm from the floor. When sitting, your feet should be flat and your thighs parallel to the floor. Adjustable chairs can help you get the right height.
Seat width and depth
The depth (from the front to the back of the seat) needs to be enough so that you can sit with your back against the backrest with about 5-10 cm between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The seat tilt should be adjustable forwards or backwards as the right inclination can significantly reduce the strain on your lower back.
The ideal backrest should support the natural curve of the spine. The more we sit, the more we tend to slouch. Therefore, proper lumbar support is very important for your spine.
Armrests should be adjustable to allow your arms to rest comfortably and relax your shoulders. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly.
Swivel & castors
Swivelling allows you to easily rotate to reach different areas of your desk without straining your spine. Look for a five-castor base that allows easy movement along the floor.
Remember to take breaks when sitting for long periods at a time. Follow the 50-10 rule. For every 50 minutes of sitting at your desk, spend 10-minute involving standing or walking. Also, be sure to include some stretching exercises. Talk to your physiotherapist for best stretches for you.
If you experience any discomfort from your current chair, take precautions to prevent serious injury. The following warning signs often result from extensive computer use or prolonged sitting at your desk and should never be ignored:
- Numbness, tingling or weakness in the arm, hands or wrist
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Low back pain
- Numbness, tingling or weakness in your legs
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to your physiotherapist today to determine your options and protect your spine.
Picking the right office chair can help you avoid the agony of low back pain and neck pain associated with full-time desk jobs. Too much time at the computer or several hours a day on the phone can also put your spine at risk. To learn more about ergonomics and correct body mechanics, give us a call right away.
World Physiotherapy Day
8th of September was World Physiotherapy Day. We celebrated the positive impact that physiotherapists have within the community, helping you to keep moving, stay active and remain independent throughout your life.
Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life so that you can continue to enjoy a full, balanced and active lifestyle doing the things you enjoy.
We are passionate about keeping you active and healthy. If you’re feeling your best, speak with us to see how we can help.