Throughout the workday, there are plenty of things that can be distracting. Unfortunately, for many people, back pain is often at the top of the list. For those that do all or most of their work on a computer, that means hours and hours of sitting. Being in a seated position actually puts a great deal of stress on the spine and can quickly lead to issues like back pain. One of the best ways to combat back pain in the office is to get a chair with that is ergonomically designed. So, what should you look for in the best office chair for back pain?
Proper Posture When Sitting
Having the best office chair for back pain is going to be most optimal if you are sitting in it with proper posture. Many people sit with poor posture and this will cause distracting aches and pains no matter how great their chair is. It also creates risk for neck pain, muscle stiffness, poor balance, decreased mobility, and other potential impairments. Some tips for sitting with proper posture include:
- Maintain a neutral pelvic position with your buttocks against the back of your chair.
- Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips stacked.
- Maintain the normal curve of your lower back.
- Sit with hips and knees both at a 90-degree angle.
- Avoid leaning to one side and keep weight evenly distributed over both hips.
- Keep both feet flat on the floor.
- Keep forearms parallel to the floor, resting on either the armrests of your chair or on the desk.
- Set your computer monitor between 18 and 24 inches from your eyes and high enough that you naturally are looking straight ahead and the top ⅓ of the monitor.
- Take breaks to stand up and stretch about every hour and reset your posture.
Features To Seek in the Best Office Chair for Back Pain
There are a handful of features that you will want to be sure your chair has if you want to get the best support and prevent back pain.
Adjustable Seat Height
One of the most basic, yet necessary, features of an office chair is that you can adjust the overall height. The seat height of an office chair should be freely adjustable. The most common mechanism on adjustable chairs is a pneumatic adjustment lever. Most people should be able to comfortably work with a seat height of 16 to 21 inches from the floor. This allows the user to sit with his or her feet flat on the floor, thighs horizontal, and arms at the same height as the desk.
Adjustable Seat Width and Depth
The seat should be wide and deep enough to comfortably support your bottom and legs. The typical seat width of a chair is 17-20 inches. The seat depth (from front to back) should be sufficient for the user to sit with his or her back against the backrest while allowing roughly 2 to 4 inches between the seat of the chair and the back of the knees. The seat’s forward or backward tilt should be adjustable as well for optimal comfort.
Sufficient Lumbar Support
Lower back support is a critical component when looking for the best office chair for back pain. The lumbar spine has an inward curvature, and sitting for long periods without support for this curve causes slouching, or flattening of the natural curve and stresses the lumbar spine. An office chair should include lumbar adjustment, both height and depth, so that each user may acquire the right fit to accommodate the lower back’s natural curvature.
The typical width of an office chair is 12 to 19 inches. If the backrest is separate from the seat, it should be height and angle adjustable. It should be able to accommodate the natural curve of the spine. If the seat and backrest of the office chair are one piece, the backrest should be adjustable in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to prevent it from moving too far backward after selecting the proper angle.
Armrests on office chairs should be adjustable or you can opt for a chair without armrests. If your office chair does have armrests, they should allow your arms and shoulders to rest comfortably at a 90-degree angle when typing or writing. Armrests that are too high can creat tension in the shoulders and upper back.
Easy Swivel Motion
Having an office chair that swivels can make a big impact on back pain. If you chair does not swivel, you may end up reaching too far to grab the phone, a pen, or other items on your desk. A swivel chair lets you easily rotate to reach various areas of your desk or to fully turn around if necessary.
Find Your Perfect Office Chair Through Marathon Building Environments
Marathon Building Environments offers ergonomic chairs with a variety of adjustment options to meet the needs of every spine. Each one is totally customizable, with hundreds of fabric choices and options. We provide desk chairs for people of all sizes as well as office chairs for any corporate scenario. Visit our website to learn more about our office seating solutions, or contact us today!