Should You Ditch Your Office Chair for Your Back Health?
- Posted on: Feb 15 2018
If you’re constantly dealing with lower back pain, the culprit may be where you spend eight hours every day — your office chair. If you’re a desk jockey, you may love or hate your chair, but your back likely falls into the second category. Part of the problem with many office chairs is that they don’t encourage proper posture. When sitting at your desk for a prolonged period, it’s natural to slouch over or slouch down in the chair. This overstretches the spinal ligaments and strains the discs and surrounding spinal structures. As you would imagine, this leads to back pain.
So, should you ditch your traditional chair altogether and get the boss to buy an ergonomic alternative? That’s not a bad idea. These chairs are designed to create good support, comfort, and promote good posture. They will take a little getting used to, but they may be a great way to help your aching back.
Since we’re all about preventing back issues (as well as treating them after problems occur) at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, here’s some information on ergonomic alternatives to the traditional office chair.
Kneeling ergonomic chairs
This was the first style of ergonomic chair. It has no back and places you in a modified kneeling position. The design of these kneeling chairs encourages good posture by sliding the hips forward and aligning the back, shoulders, and neck. Primary support comes from the seat of the chair, along with your shins. This distributes the weight between your pelvis and the knees, which reduces compression of your spine, lowering stress on your lower back and leg muscles. These chairs have forward-slanting seats that create a more natural spine position. Sitting in a position your spine likes is natural and effortless.
Saddle ergonomic chairs
These chairs look like a saddle on coasters. It puts the user in a position sort of in between sitting and standing. Your legs drop naturally to each side in a wider position than a normal chair. This creates a stable, healthy position. Like kneeling chairs, there is no back, so using it strengthens your back muscles over time. The setup eliminates slouching and helps with circulation problems in the legs.
Exercise ball ergonomic chairs
Want to think completely different? How about sitting on an exercise ball all day? At first, you may think this would be akin to those bouncy balls you used to ride around the gym during rainy day recess in elementary school, but they’re meant to replace your office chair. These are exercise balls set into a base with coasters; some have a small back rest. These chairs encourage movement and active sitting, which is better for your back. The exercise balls make for slight bouncing that keeps the legs moving, stimulates better circulation, keeps your muscles active, and reduces stress and fatigue. Slouching is very difficult, so your posture improves.
If your office chair is a pain in the back, maybe an ergonomic alternative is a good idea for you. Of course, if your pain continues, then it’s time to see the team at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders. Call us at (817) 916-4685 to make an appointment.
Posted in: Back Pain