The Surprising Tool To Help Back Pain – Your Desk Chair
According to findings from The Work & Health Research Centre, Loughborough University, during a typical working week, staff spend on average 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk. That’s over 27 hours per week and more than 1,350 hours per year (or a staggering 7 weeks per year) sitting down in your office chair!
This problematic trend is having a huge negative impact on human health. Sitting down too long at your desk without good posture not only can cause back pain and potential injury, but can also have a harmful impact on your mental wellbeing.
One way to minimise or prevent these problems begins with better chair design. At Buro Seating, we provide certified seating that meets international ergonomic, durability and safety criteria to protect your back from pain and injury. However, not all office chairs are created equal, so to ensure you have good sitting posture you will also need to know the best way of sitting on your chair.
Below you’ll learn all about better posture, how to sit correctly (it’s actually easy), how to prevent back pain and the everyday benefits of sitting straighter.
So Why Is Good Is Posture Important To Prevent Back Pain?
While seated, it’s important to maintain good posture with adequate back support; without it, you can add strain to your muscles and put stress on your spine. Over time, the stress to your back that results from poor posture can also change the anatomical characteristics of the spine, leading to the possibility of constricted blood vessels and nerves.
When you maintain good posture by sitting up straight, your body distributes your weight evenly on your joints, ligaments and muscles so no part of your body is overstressed. You’ll feel lighter and less tired, be more comfortable and appear more confident almost immediately!
Employer Benefits of Good Posture
Bad posture is costly to everyone. British researchers identified that up to 8.3 million working days were lost annually due to muscular skeletal issues in 2015/16, and that desk-based jobs were second only to manual labour for rates of work-related illness. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 34% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.
As an employer, manager or even a staff member, that’s a costly and painful problem to consider.
The Easy Guide To Better Posture & No More Back Pain
With an ergonomic computer or desk chair (like the Buro range), you can minimise these problems – but you’ll still need to know the correct way of sitting for long term health and well-being. Follow these simple steps at home or in the office to immediately experience the benefits of better posture and relief from back pain.
1. Ensure that both feet are flat on the floor when sitting on your chair. This helps distribute your weight and balance the body. If you are short or your desk is set up so you can’t reach the ground, consider using a footrest.
2. Ensure that your knee and hip joints are at right angles. If your knees are at a level higher than your hips, this will result in your back rounding up. Always have your knees a little lower or at the same level as your hips to prevent slouching or sliding.
3. Ensure the upper and lower back is supported with your chair’s backrest.
4. To elongate your spine, sit tall and upright. Also, to help maintain the natural curves of the spine, ensure your back and neck are comfortably straight and your shoulders are down, back and relaxed.
5. Does your chair support lumbar curve or the curve at the lower back? The Buro range does, but if your current chair doesn’t, place a small pillow (or rolled towel) between your back and the chair’s back at your beltline level to keep the curve in its natural position.
6. Are all three normal back curves present while you’re sitting? Not sure? Check by slipping your hand in the space between your lower back and the chair.
7. Evenly distribute your body weight and tilt your pelvis forward.
8. Keep your legs uncrossed to assist your circulation and balance your body.
9. Does your chair have arm rests? Keep your elbows and forearms by the side of the body, parallel to the ground on the chair. Ensure that if you must lift your shoulders it’s only slightly.
10. Ensure your head is in line with your body (not slumped). Keep your chin in and your ears directly over the shoulders, to prevent neck strain.
11. Relax! When your posture is correct, you don’t need to use as many muscles, so enjoy this more relaxed state as a better way to start your day.
While better posture and ergonomic office furniture are a great starting point to help prevent back problems, contact your doctor or health professional if pain persists or is ongoing.
To learn more about the Buro range of office chairs, our ergonomic accreditation and how Buro chairs are manufactured to conform to stringent international standards (including our commitment to the environment with the GreenTagCert TM) click here.