Whether you have a desk job or a home office, you’re familiar with your chair. You’re probably aware of the impact sitting all day can have on your back.
Since the explosion of the internet and computers, more people are working desk jobs. However, this advance in technology has come with its set of consequences. Some would go as far as to say that sitting is a disease.
Think about your desk chair at home or in your office at work. Is it doing the job? Are you constantly in pain or comfortable?
It’s essential to select a comfortable, supportive office chair for those long workdays. Thankfully, there are plenty of thoughtfully designed desk chairs out there.
There are also plenty of ways to eliminate or reduce the strain on your back while sitting. Continue reading to learn about the best desk chairs for your back.
The Effects of Desk Chairs on the Body
According to the World Health Organization, 1.71 billion people have musculoskeletal conditions. Low back pain is among the most frequently experienced conditions, affecting approximately 568 million people.
Your back will suffer if you have poor posture while sitting and lack proper support. Sitting the wrong way on a bad chair can stress your muscles, joints, and ligaments.
When you sit, your spinal discs are compressed much more than when you’re standing.
Many people lack quality desk chairs or the knowledge of how to sit correctly.
This can result in significant damage to the spine and neck areas over time. Here are several common back conditions people can experience:
- Back strain
- Pinched nerves
- Bulging discs
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Chronic pain
- Spinal stenosis
Sitting improperly causes more than just back problems. The following are other health problems that can develop as a result:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Weight gain
- Anxiety disorder
- Varicose veins
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
If you’re suffering from back pain, you may be wondering what’s causing it.
Have you ever thought of your desk chair? It’s likely that this is the culprit, especially if you work at a desk all day.
Believe it or not, your workstation setup can significantly impact your health.
Everything from the height of the keyboard and your arm angle to your desk chair angle matters. Here are several signs that your desk chair may be causing you pain.
Do you start out with good posture and then gradually slouch as time goes on?
This could be the reason for your back pain, putting significant pressure on your muscles. It may seem comfortable at the time, but it ultimately ends in a backache.
No Back Support
Does it feel like you’re always leaning back too far in your desk chair?
This is an indicator of poor lumbar support. Our spines need adequate support to remain in the correct, pain-free position.
Sitting for Hours at a Time
This is one of the most obvious signals that your chair is to blame.
If you sit even a few hours at a time straight, you could be damaging your back. If you spend a lot of time in your chair, it makes sense that it could be causing your pain.
Ways to Reduce Back Pain Caused by Your Office Chair
There are plenty of things you can do to minimize your back pain while sitting.
Sometimes, it’s not enough just to have an ergonomic chair. Consider making the following changes and see if it relieves your discomfort:
Take Frequent Breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in your work, typing away on your computer.
Before you know it, three or four hours have passed. You may think your body is already resting by sitting. However, your body needs to take a break from sitting.
Taking short breaks to stand up and stretch is a great way to prevent back pain.
It’s recommended to break after every 30 minutes to an hour. Doing so will keep your blood circulating and your muscles flexible.
Adjust Your Chair Height
Your chair’s height impacts your back and neck more than you realize. Adjust your chair so your feet are flat on the ground, and your knees make a 90-degree angle.
Your knees should be close to level with your hips. The taller you are, the higher you’ll need to put the chair. The shorter you are, the lower your chair will be.
Adjust Your Armrests
The location of your arms also plays a role in back pain.
Make sure that your armrests are high enough so your arms can sit on them. Keep your arms and shoulders relaxed as you sit.
Invest in a Sit-Stand Desk
One of the best inventions for those with desk jobs is the standing desk. Some of these are adjustable desks you can put on top of your current desk.
Others are a contraption of their own. Either way, a sit-stand desk will encourage you to take breaks. Who knows, you might even be more productive standing up!
Dr. Edward Laskowski from Mayo Clinic states that “people who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have a risk of dying similar to the risk of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”
Physical activity is not only crucial after sitting but also in between sitting sessions. Exercise improves flexibility, burns fat, and can reduce your risk of developing health problems.
Without regular exercise, you could start to experience:
- Digestive problems
- Poor blood circulation
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Weight gain
- Reduced concentration
- Increased fatigue
Keep Essential Items Closeby
There may be a time when you have to reach for your telephone, stapler, or file folder.
Try to keep these things as close to you as possible. Reaching for them can strain the muscles in your back. This can put your body in an unnatural position, leading to pain.
Make sure that your keyboard, mouse, and monitors are in a good spot. Your monitor(s) should be about an arm’s length away from you. Your keyboard and mouse should be inches away from your hands.
What to Look for in Your Next Desk Chair
It can be overwhelming trying to find the best office chair for you.
The options seem to be endless. However, there are a few must-have qualities you’ll want to look for while searching. These include:
You must have an adjustable desk chair for optimal comfort.
If you can’t modify the height, back, or armrests, you’ll be stuck in one position. The more adjustability you have, the more you can customize the chair to your body.
Your chair should be a high-quality product from a reputable brand.
It needs to stand the test of time and handle constant use. You’re going to be sitting in it every day, so make sure it’s worth your investment.
You don’t want to be restricted by your chair.
Chances are, you’ll need to reach for something or roll closer at some point. With a free-moving chair, you’ll be able to roll wherever you need to without restraint.
Look for a desk chair that will contour to your spine.
A chair with good lumbar support will allow your lower back to arch a bit. This natural position will lower stress on the spine, resulting in less pain.
You don’t want to sit in a chair with scratchy or hard material.
Try to find a chair with breathable, soft fabric and padding. However, it’s important to look for something in between hard and soft for the best support.
The 5 Top Rated Desk Chairs for Lumbar Support
Are you one of the countless people who’ve been forced to work from home? Or maybe you’ve opted to do so. Either way, you probably miss your desk chair in your office.
That is if it was comfortable for you. Now, you may not have access to the best chair and have to settle for what you’ve got.
Thankfully, you can browse through a variety of reliable office chair brands online or in-store. Nowadays, most companies design their chairs with a focus on back support. You won’t be hard-pressed to find one that best suits you.
Take a look at some of the most popular ergonomic desk chairs on the market today. These chairs can fit a variety of budgets and preferences.
This chair is a wonderful, budget-friendly option if you want a quality chair for less.
For a little less than $200, you can get a solid, mesh, high-back chair. It offers lumbar support, tilt lock, center-tilt, and complete adjustability.
It also features an aesthetically pleasing design that can fit in with any room style. The waterfall-style seat is designed to decrease the pressure on your legs for increased comfort.
You can swivel or recline however you please, thanks to the tilt tension adjustment knobs. The padded, adjustable arms offer your shoulder and neck some relief. It also comes with a five-year protection plan for your convenience.
They’ve already excelled at creating mattresses designed for people’s backs. So, it’s no wonder why Tempur-Pedic would make desk chairs too!
This chair features black mesh upholstery with a sleek, high-back design for neck and back comfort. The mesh allows for airflow that keeps you cool when that conference call is running overtime.
The signature Tempur-Pedic memory foam material follows your body’s natural curves for additional support. You can also easily change the seat height, arm height, and tilt tension.
The rolling base offers easy maneuverability in any space. This chair can also hold up to 250 pounds, making it a viable option for a wide variety of users.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further. This chair has everything you could ever want, especially if you want fancy.
However, keep in mind that it’s meant for those with heftier budgets. You truly get what you pay for with this one.
It offers adjustable arms and support to cradle the lower back.
The breathable Pellicle material is made of 91% recyclable materials. The harmonic tilt features contours to your body, allowing for optimal comfort. It even comes with a 12-year warranty.
Herman miller is a long-standing brand. They have remained ahead of the competition for over 20 years with this chair design. If you have the money, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
If you enjoy high backs and headrests, you’ll love this chair.
With single-pad adjustment and contoured cushions, you’ll be in a world of comfort and convenience. The ErgoHuman LE9ERG is all-leather and features a three-position back angle adjustment. You can also adjust the headrest and seat cushion as you see fit.
This particular chair is meant for daily use and offers incredible value for the price.
The synchro-tilt mechanism allows for comfortable, posture-perfect sitting or reclining. It’s definitely on the higher end but could be a fantastic addition to your home or company office.
You may have heard of standing desks, but have you heard of kneeling chairs? It’s growing in popularity by the day.
If you’re looking to switch up your sitting routine, this is the chair for you! The Dragonn Ergonomic Kneeling Chair allows you to maintain correct posture while you’re working throughout the day.
You can enjoy the relaxation aspects of sitting while also benefiting from the better posture.
The chair’s unique kneeling design distributes your weight evenly throughout your bottom and legs. It’s durable, modern, and completely height-adjustable, making it an excellent choice for your home or business office space.
This chair comes at an affordable price and has received countless raving reviews. However, it’s important to note that you will use different muscles when sitting in this chair. So, it’s wise to gradually increase the time you sit in it to avoid soreness or discomfort.
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