With thousands of various office chair designs and even more alternatives for external lumbar support devices on the market, it's no surprise that most individuals have no idea how they should sit.
They understand that good posture is important, and that lumbar support is a component of it, but where should it be placed? Let's delve a little deeper.
What Is Lumbar?
The lumbar is a section of the spine. The lumbar spine is a portion of the spinal column located in the lower abdomen of humans. It is made up of five vertebrae, numbered L1 to L5.
It's located right above your tailbone, making it the lowest section of your spine. The thoracic spine, which supports your ribs, is above it, and the cervical spine, which is largely your neck, is above that.
When viewed from the side, the spine naturally curves in an S shape. Your lumbar spine bulges back outward, your thoracic spine pushes inward, and your neck tilts forward. It's a slight curvature, yet it may be seen in schematics and human anatomy.
Whenever you sit, the curvature of your spine changes. Your upper and middle backs press back against the back of your chair.
This keeps your neck upright, allowing you to sit in a more comfortable position. It also means that your lower lumbar spine is forced forward, leaving a gap between it and the back of your chair.
The lumbar support should be placed here. Because it creates tension on your back, you don't want all of that room. Adding some support to your back muscles allows you to relax and move more freely.
Where Should You Put Your Lumbar Support?
It's one thing to suggest that your lumbar support should support your lumbar spine, but most people don't know their vertebrae that well. In terms of practicality, where should it be placed?
Sitting in a chair and feeling behind you is a simple approach to find it out. Is there a void there? It would be just above and around your waist.
The lumbar region of your spine is located here. It's also where your lumbar support should be placed. Many office chairs have this built-in, although some don't have lumbar support that can be adjusted.
Proper lumbar support is essential when sitting in an office chair for more than two or three hours every day.
Even if you make a consistent transition between sitting and standing throughout the day, as we recommend, a chair with poor lumbar support can cause back pain and bad posture, which can exacerbate the problem.
What Other Changes Can You Make?
What other adjustments to your chair can you make in addition to lumbar support? What modifications should you look for in a decent chair, to be more specific?
The two optimal angles for sitting in a chair for lengthy periods of time are 90 degrees – that is, totally erect – and 135 degrees reclined, which is halfway between upright and flat, according to studies.
Upright posture allows your spine to perform at its best angles to keep you stable, without putting undue strain on any one region of your spine or back.
More of your back muscles can relax in a reclining position, which relieves pressure on your vertebrae. This can help prevent future compression, herniated disc, and torsion problems.
You should be able to alter your lumbar support in addition to having it. You are mostly searching for two types of adjustments. The first is an up-and-down movement.
You can appropriately position your lumbar support in the small of your back by vertically adjusting it. Most chairs are designed for the “average” person, so they may not be properly adjusted for you, especially if you're taller or shorter than normal.
Adding neck support to the top of your chair accomplishes the same goal as adding lumbar support to the bottom. Neck support provides a resting spot for your neck, which helps to stabilize the remainder of your posture and prevents slouching.
Your neck support should be comfortable to rest your head against while working, and it should not be too far forward or back.
These days, almost every chair has an adjustable height, however, some go higher or lower than others. Ensure that the seat height is nearly equal to your knees, allowing you to sit with your feet flat on the floor.
This protects you from cutting off circulation to your lower legs and feet and helps to prevent spinal torsion.
Remember that everyone is unique, and while there are certain commonalities, everyone has their eccentricities.
Longer legs, a shorter torso, wider hips, a deeper bend in your spine, or any number of other subtle biological abnormalities could be present.
These variances must be taken into account for the optimal seating position, especially if you wish to avoid the long-term health consequences of poor posture.
Lower Back Support Suggestions
The most critical change you can make to a chair to reduce pain is lower back support. The agony and harm cascade if you do not have the right assistance. More back muscles are strained, resulting in tension and pain in the upper back and neck.
All of this stress leads to neck pain, which causes headaches, shoulder pain, which produces aching arms, and bad posture, which leads to a wrist injury.
Because the human body is so intricate and interrelated, one element out of balance for long enough can harm virtually the entire system. So, what can you do to help avoid these problems? You may also want to take a few extra steps in addition to using lumbar support.
A diet and workout routine that isn't too strenuous. Studies have shown that even a ten-pound weight decrease can considerably alleviate lower back discomfort. You'll want to shed weight if you're overweight to avoid these spine problems.
Work on your core. Working out to strengthen your back, sides, and abdominal muscles will go a long way toward reducing back discomfort. When your muscles are stronger, your posture is better and easier to maintain, and your skeleton and tendons are less reliant on them to hold you in place.
Overall, the best thing you can do is begin sitting with a perfect posture whenever you are seated during the day. If at all possible, alternate sitting and standing regularly, and ensure your lumbar support is appropriately positioned while sitting.
Review your chair and modifications regularly to ensure that you're still keeping appropriate posture throughout the day. If everything else fails, it might be time to upgrade to an ergonomic chair. Check out FlexiSpot's Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair today!