Back pain — either temporary or chronic — is one of the most common work-related injuries, with at least 50% of Americans admitting to having back pain symptoms. It is often caused by ordinary work activities such as sitting in an office chair, or lifting heavy items. Because many Americans sit for an extended amount of time every day, one of the easiest solutions to solving back pain is to buy a chair that is specifically designed to reduce musculoskeletal stress.
The best type of chair to solve such issues is an ergonomic one. An ergonomic chair is designed to suit a range of people, but you should not simply purchase an ergonomic chair just because is it labeled as such. There is also no guarantee that every ergonomic chair is best for you.
Finding the right chair is important for a variety of reasons. The first reason is that we have started to lead a more sedentary lifestyle — we do just about everything sitting down; eating, working, leisure activities. Jobs no longer require us to do as much physical labor, and nor do we have to walk 10 miles when we can take a car. It is important that we reduce the stress on our lumbar area in order to avoid health problems.
“People tend to spend 6-9 hours a day in their chairs, the same amount of time spent on a mattress, which most people spend upwards of $1,000 on,” says Alec Lopez, CFO of SitBetter. “We encourage people not to underestimate the value of a chair in that sense – a good one can do wonders in the long run.”
When selecting an ergonomic chair, one size does not fit all. There are several basic concepts that need to be addressed when considering a chair. First, your body is different from the next person’s, so be sure to buy one that fits your hips, arm length, shoulder width, and leg length. Also, no one chair is suitable for every activity. A dentist will require one type of ergonomic chair, while an industrial factory worker might need another style.
However, what all good ergonomic chairs should have in common are a few key aspects:
- Seat height adjustability
- Adjustable and supportive backrest
- Five points of ground contact for stability
The most important thing to remember about an ergonomic chair is that you should be the one to pick it out — no one else will be able to because it is all about personal preference and feel. An ergonomic chair can greatly reduce the muscular stress of having a more sedentary lifestyle. Remember to keep in mind that this might not solve all back pain issues, though it is a good place to start.