Sitting is a large part of everyone’s life these days. If your job doesn’t require you to spend hours on end sitting down, you might be in luck, but there are a lot of enthusiastic ‘recreational’ sitters out there who’ll spend most of their days laid back in a chair. Chronic back pain and injuries, however, are mostly reserved for those who have little choice on the number of hours they spend sitting down, and can’t choose their own chair or position, i.e. people working in an office.
Naturally, there are ways for them to prevent this kind of problem from arising in the first place, or at least do something to remedy the issue if it has already arisen, and we will try to outline those ways.
Back Pain Causes
While sitting, especially if you are doing so improperly, your spine has to bear the weight of your upper body. If the weight is not adequately distributed, due to chair’s poor design, lack of support on critical points, or your bad posture, this strain can build up and result in back pain. Luckily for you, posture is not difficult to correct, and every employer that cares about their employees’ comfort (and consequently, productivity) will try to provide them with adequate seating.
Regardless of how you usually sit, even the best sitting posture will eventually leave you strained, if you don’t change your position every once in a while. Back pain aside, too much sitting has been shown to be able to cause a myriad of other health problems, so you should by all means try to get up and stretch your legs whenever you get the chance. Even if you don’t, simply changing the way you are sitting (as long as you follow some simple rules) will help ease the strain on your back, and prevent serious problems.
There are quite straightforward rules that you have to keep in mind if you want to avoid back problems. However, if you want to be able to position yourself adequately, your chair will have to allow it. This includes having enough room on each side of your body – at least an inch, making sure that your feet can reach the floor while you are sitting, and that you can adjust the height; the back rest should provide adequate lumbar support and you should be able to recline it, and it has to be stable enough.
If these conditions are met, you only have to make sure that you do your part of the work. Among other things this includes:
- Adjusting the arms on the chair so that you don’t have to raise or lower your shoulders while resting your arms. These kinds of chairs are the best option for long-working hours and are recommended for everybody.
- Making sure that the chair is just high enough for you to be able to lay your feet flat on the ground while working.
- Ensuring that the seat pan is not pressing your thighs or the area behind the knees, as this can interfere with proper circulation and prevent you from properly relaxing in the chair.
- Reclining the back rest to an angle between 100 and 110 digress and adjusting the lumbar support to fit your particular back shape and your height. This helps with the weight distribution and allows the chair to do the work that your back would otherwise have to take care of.
- Adjusting the headrest so that it supports your head and take the strain off of your neck and back.
Just remember to shift your position occasionally and to try and keep you sitting right with all the critical areas of your back supported at all times, and you should be able to avoid back issues.
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