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What You Should Know About Reducing Back Pain in the Office

28 May 2021

Nobody enjoys having a lasting uncomfortable feeling on their bodies, especially on their backs. What more when you are sitting for an extended time at work?

This might induce lower back discomfort or aggravate an existing back condition. Sitting is a stationary position that puts strain on your muscles and even stresses on your back, shoulders, arms, and legs. The tension on the spine increases when you sit in an office chair for long durations.

You have come to the correct place if you are looking for a guide to help you fight back pain or at the very least cut the frequency with which it occurs.

Pointing Out the Issue

One of the most primary triggers of office back problems is poor posture. Tired employees may have a relaxed posture while sitting or standing.

Workplace design might also contribute to poor posture and strained motions. When you are making a twist or reach movement, back discomfort is more likely to occur. A poorly designed office chair promotes back discomfort and poor posture.

When you include ergonomic factors into your office setup alongside proper posture practices, you can combat back pain at work. You can also check out FlexiSpot's list of products for ergonomic chairs or even standing desks. We recommend the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series and it is better paired with the Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair for the whole back and upper extremities support.

Things to Consider When Using an Ergonomic Office Chair to Prevent Back Pain

When utilized correctly, an ergonomic office chair can assist one maximize back support and maintain good posture while sitting. It is also required to adapt the office chair to the proportions of the individual's body to increase comfort and reduce back pain.

Establishing the proper height of the individual's desk or workstation is the first step in setting up an office chair. The height of the desk or workstation can vary significantly, necessitating alternative office chair configuration or a new style of ergonomic chair entirely. 

The worker can then adapt the office chair to his or her physical proportions once the workspace has been set up. Take a look at this summarized checklist to ensure that your office chair and workspace are as comfortable as possible and produce the least amount of spine stress:

Eye Level

Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable position with your head forward. Open your eyes slowly. The middle of your computer screen should be your focus. If your computer screen is higher or lower than your gaze, you should raise or lower it to relieve upper-back tension.

Support for the Lower Back

Your backside should be placed against the bottom of your chair. There should also be a cushion that forces your lower back to arch slightly so that you do not droop forward or slouch down when you get tired. The office chair's low back support is critical for reducing the strain on your back. 

Armrest Positioning

Modify the office chair's armrest so that it only lifts your arms minimally at the shoulders. It is vital to use an armrest on your office chair to relieve some of the pressure on your upper spine and shoulders, and it should also make you less likely to slump forward towards your chair. 

Elbow Proportion

To begin, sit comfortably as near to your desk as possible, with your upper arms parallel to your spine. Place your hands on your work surface for a moment and adjust the height of your office chair if your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle. 

Calf and Thigh Measurement

Make sure you can easily slide your fingertips beneath your leg at the office chair's tip. If the distance between your thigh and the chair is more than a finger width, you should increase the desk or work surface so that you can adjust the height of your office chair. Try to pass your clenched hand between the back of your leg and the front of your office chair with your bottom pressed on the chair back.

How Back Pain Affects Productivity According to Statistics and Research

Back pain is the second most prevalent reason for taking time off work, coming in second only to the common cold, accounting for 93 million lost workdays and $5 billion in healthcare expenses each year. 

Back pain affects eight out of ten people at some point in their life, and one out of every four Americans now suffers from it. Chronic back pain is defined as discomfort that lasts longer than three months and affects more than just your physical body, according to neuroscientists.

Staying Active Even While Working Can Help Reduce Back Pain in the Office

Long-term static posture, no matter how comfy an office chair is, is bad for the back and is a typical cause of back pain and muscular tension.

Strive to stand, stretch, and walk for at least a minute or two every half hour to avoid keeping your back in one position for too long. Even a simple stretch, some light activity, or even taking a short pause will assist to encourage healthy blood flow.

Moving around and stretching regularly during the day will assist maintain the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons fluid, promoting overall comfort, relaxation, and the capacity to focus successfully.

Final Thoughts

Back pain in the workplace can be avoided by using correct office ergonomics and improving your posture. Safe motions can also help to prevent back pain before it occurs. If you do experience back discomfort, raising your activity level and adopting a healthy lifestyle will help.

There is no one-size-fits-all office chair or other ergonomic equipment that is best for all patients. When choosing what works best for you, you should factor in your needs and preferences. Make sure you keep in mind the rules outlined in this article to promote proper posture and back support while sitting in an office chair.