Offices Chairs that give you the support you need
Office chairs come in all shapes, and colours, and for some, that’s where it stops. Unfortunately, our bodies need more from a chair if we are going to stay seated all day. If back support is a priority on your chair shopping list, keep reading. In this article we will detail the key features you need for complete back support and care throughout your workday.
Why is back support important?
We spend at least 6 hours a day behind our desks. That’s 30 hours a week. It may seem a small number at first glance but considering that your lower spine is under 3 times more pressure when sitting than when standing, that number can cause alarm.
The lower section of our spine naturally curves inwards and, when standing, our muscles are generally strong enough to hold it in place. As mentioned, when sitting, the lower discs of our spine have up to 3 times more pressure applied to them. Therefore, our muscles need to work 3 times harder. When this position is to be held of hours on end, our muscles become weak and give in. Resulting in us slouching forward, tensing our necks, and raising our shoulders to support ourselves. As you can imagine, this is where most of our back pain, leg pain and headaches come from. A lack of back support also leads to bad posture which contributes to concentration and productivity problems.
How to support your back at work?
Taking care of and supporting our back before the pain sets in is first prize. To do so we need to look at the types of office chairs we use daily and how long we use them for. At the very least a chair that supports your back should be height adjustable and should have a backrest that is shaped to the natural curve of your spine. This is curve in the backrest called lumbar support. Traditional office chairs will have a slight curve but may not be deep enough or high enough to fit your back.
If you spend between 2-4 hours at your desk a day and don’t have back pain yet, a Mid to High Back Chair should work for you. Mid to High back chairs have a backrest that reaches the top of your shoulders or higher. They have reasonable lumbar support and seat padding to keep you comfortable.
If you spend up to 8 hours a day in a chair or suffer from back pain already, then you may want to consider an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs are specifically designed with back support in mind. They have adjustable levers on most parts, which customise the seat to your body.
The features to look out for in a good quality ergonomic hair are:
- Adjustable Height: This ensures you are at the right height in relation to your desk.
- Lumbar Support: Ergonomic chairs have ample lumbar support, and some may include an adjustment lever to set the height and depth of the support as well.
- Tilt Adjustment: Ergonomic chairs have a backrest that tilts back to help take pressure off your spine. These chairs have a tension setting to set how far back your chair should go without causing strain.
- Adjustable Armrests: Depending on your physique, you may need your armrests closer or further away. This is to support your arms and ensure your shoulders are relaxed.
- Adjustable Seat Width & Depth: Allows you to set your seat wide enough to fit comfortably and deep enough so that your knees are not kept straight or left unsupported.
- Medically Endorsed: Ergonomic chairs are endorsed by Chiropractors, Orthopaedics and Physiotherapist.
With your arms, shoulders, lower back, and legs correctly supported, you should be able to sit comfortably and relaxed throughout your workday.