There are several types of office chairs and different factors that can influence your decision on which to use. The rise of the ergonomic chair has made it easier to invest in a posture correcting office chair to eliminate chronic pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. Discover what makes this type of office chair beneficial and how to shop for them.
Choosing the Best Posture Correcting Office Chair
Seated posture is vital if you wish to avoid chronic pain while working all day. Bad posture results in chronic pain; it can also reduce your ability to concentrate and negatively affect your energy level. With the increased awareness of the impact of posture on your health, buying the right office chair is an excellent start to correcting this problem.
These are essential guidelines for maintaining correct posture while seated at work:
- Choose a chair that has built-in lumbar support.
- Adjust the height of the chair relative to the desk and the floor.
- Change your position every 30 minutes.
- Do not twist your body while seated. If you have to move your chair, move your entire body with the chair.
An ergonomic chair, or a posture correcting office chair, is an essential investment in your workspace. The bottom part of your spine is known as the lumbar region. Lumbar support is a crucial aspect of an ergonomically designed office chair. This type of chair must support the natural inward bend of your lumbar region by filling the gap between the back of the chair and your spine. With adequate support, it relieves the pressure from the lumbar region when you are seated and corrects your position, so you are not likely to hunch.
Without lumbar support, the muscles in your lower back will work harder to maintain proper posture. Over time, these muscles will deteriorate, making it more difficult to compensate for the weakened muscles to maintain the ideal posture.
Let’s look at the current chair options available for those looking for spine support.
- Saddle Chair
A saddle chair is an ergonomic option in the office or for those who sit for long hours at work. This type of chair is shown to reduce spinal pressure and aids in spinal injury prevention. Spinal injury is a considerable risk for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting at work.
Using a saddle chair is also shown to correct lumbar position. As a result, it can ease chronic pain in your neck, back, and upper body. This chair does not require adjustment and is suitable for most people. The major downside to using a saddle chair is that you might need a higher desk (unless you have a height adjustable desk).
- Exercise Ball/Chair
Exercise balls, also known as ball chair, have grown in popularity because of the claims that they can support spinal posture. The need to stabilize the ball while you are working engages the spinal muscles, which helps to strengthen them over time. There are many benefits to using an exercise ball as a chair as it is linked to exercising while you work.
The only downside to using an exercise ball as a chair is that it isn’t suitable for everyone. There is also an added disadvantage of being cumbersome to handle when inflated, which makes storing it difficult, especially with limited space.
- Ergonomic Office Chair
An ergonomic chair comes in a variety of configurations and types. Using this type of chair helps support the whole body and has a few adjustment options to suit the user's individual needs.
An ergonomically designed chair must have a seat pan that is wide enough to be comfortable and supportive. There should be at least an inch of space on each side; it should not be too narrow or wide. On the other hand, there should be an inch of space from the back of the knee when you are seated on the chair. This position promotes circulation and ensures comfort for your knees.
A common feature of an ergonomic chair is that it can be adjusted in terms of height. Adjustable height chairs are the norm nowadays, so there is no reason to settle with a chair with a fixed height. You must also consider the tilting degree of the seat pan. The ideal tilt to promote lumbar support is 30 degrees. If the seat pan cannot be adjusted, you can buy a seat cushion to adjust the fit and achieve the ideal posture.
If you can, look for office chairs with backs that can be adjusted to move forward or backward. This feature provides a simple adjustment but can be significant for people of different heights.
The level of support you get from an ergonomic chair is fundamental. It is the primary feature that separates it from an ordinary chair. Ensure that you get the optimal support you need and that it promotes the correct posture to ease the pain in your lumbar region.
Posture Correcting Options at Work
If you cannot find a posture correcting office chair or one suited for your unique needs, here are a few alternatives to promote good spinal posture while working.
Use a Standing/Adjustable Height Desk
A standing or adjustable height desk is one of the essential elements of creating an ergonomic workstation. It promotes standing at work to boost your spinal health. Keep your head, torso, neck, and legs in a vertical line when standing at your desk. The height of your desk must be positioned such that your wrists are straight. The monitor must be at eye level to keep your spinal alignment correct.
Use a Balance Board
Using a balance board is another alternative to posture correcting office chair. If you are already using a standing desk, the addition of a balance board will bring various benefits to your spinal health.
Balance boards improve overall balance and stability. This accessory engages several muscle groups, not just the spinal muscles. Specifically, it develops your deep muscles, so your entire body is stable and less prone to suffering from injuries. Strong muscles are also linked to reducing low back pain.