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Do I Need an Ergonomic Chair?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Chronic Pain
Sadly, many people each day find themselves in a position of constant sitting or slouching while in their office chairs, at home on the computer, etc. Constant sitting like this can wreak havoc on your back and be the genesis of health problems in the future. These include a cramped neck, cramped or sore back, and overall discomfort throughout the body. The body was never engineered for long term sitting in this way, and without the proper seat support, you could be damaging your back and possibly your spinal cord.

One of the best solutions for long term sitting is purchasing an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs are not that expensive and will put your body into a more natural and comfortable position. Ergonomic chairs not only have the ability to align your spine, but also work to align internal organs as well. Many people do not value the importance of maintaining an overall balance in the body. Having your internal system out of alignment can compromise your overall health, lead to depression, and affect proper bodily functioning.

Most chairs do not take the natural curvature of the lower back into proper consideration, and some can even be damaging. Without proper lumbar support, the natural curve of your back is flattened over time, leading to poor posture and constant slouching. Having proper lumbar support allows you to sit at a workstation for significantly longer periods of time, feeling less discomfort. Most chairs today are not even designed with the correct adjustments to make the chair in any way optimal for your health. A one size fits all standard does not apply in this case, and can lead to injury or chronic back problems.

Another thing to look at when purchasing an ergonomic chair is the chair’s armrests. Where are the armrests located and does this fit my body type? Armrests reduce arm strain and allow the shoulders to relax, which is vital for the repetitive nature of typing and deskwork. The armrests should be positioned so that the elbows are in a comfortable and relaxed position. Chairs that lack armrests are some of the leading contributors to problems such as wrist strain and carpel tunnel syndrome.

If you have not looked in to getting an ergonomic chair yet, you should look into it. Ergonomic chairs can save you countless dollars in the long run, in terms of costs related to health and back problems. They can also align your spine, balance your internal organs, and optimize your work potential. If you are planning on working safe, while working smart, than you should start considering purchasing an ergonomic chair for yourself. Being more comfortable enables you to be more efficient, therefore being more effective and healthier at the same time.

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to post it to your site or blog and forward this link to to your friends. Have a great day!

Don’t forget to visit our blog.

Barry Lawrence
Post edited to remove references to web site. Solicitation is not permitted on Spine-Health
Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 08/28/09


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    Back in the 1980's, I was involved with a task force putting together designs for Ergonomic chairs to be used at people's workstations.

    We came up with several different designs, we had several doctors working with us. The chair that finally came out was helpful for lumbar patients.
    But it became difficult to make a chair for all spinal patients.

    Over the years, I firmly believe that there is no one chair that is going to be good for at a workstation.
    What is More Important is to get up at least every 45 minutes, do some stretching, walking, etc..
    Stay 10 minutes away from the workstation.
    That has been proven to be the most effective way for people who have desk jobs.

    I have also found that those large exercise balls are perfect for working at a workstation. At first it may take some time for balancing, but sitting on those balls, you will be forced into the proper posture position.

    Still nothing helps more than getting up and moving away from the workstation for a bit
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I just started an office job ( at home ) and was shocked to find how much pain I was in from setting at the desk most of the day.

    I will be using these tips you have posted. Thank You, Beth ♥
  • wish I'd picked another career path in life. I sit on a tush cush and it's helped me so much with lower back pain and stiffness. The best money I've ever spent and I use it for long car rides too.
  • I cannot sit for more than five or ten minutes. I wasted $2000 on a "zero-gravity" reclining chair that was supposed to facilitate working on a laptop while reclining. It seemed to be comfortable in the showroom, but when I had it installed at home, sitting in it more than 45 minutes was real torture. I returned the chair, but the store would not return my money. If anyone wants to buy a fancy ergonomic desk chair, I would be happy to sell them one at a discount using my store credit. However, I would not guarantee the results.

    Beth, I now use a Bed Desk to hold my laptop above my abdomen and work in the supine position. If you can work from home this is a viable solution.
  • Hi - Due to the years of de-generation in my back, I don't have a curve to my spine. Yes - it causes issues. The Ergo chairs - ones with multiple moving pieces do allow you to set it to be comfy for you, but ultimately - I have found 2 things that help.

    1] walking away from the desk for a coffee or water at about 20 to 30 minutes, or just standing up and working for a bit.

    2] moving the parts of the chair to change where and how I sit - this movement allows me to have a "NEW" position and that in itself can make it easier to sit for awhile.

    I think we have to relealize that all of us have really personal problems and so a "generic" solution like any one chair - is not ness going to make us feel fantastic.

    When I am in group meeting and a Physio-therapist is doing it [Health & Safety] they only have to look at me for a second and relize that I am not going to be involved in the exercises that they are going to show the class. My back is not "normal" and the rest of the people are usually "healthy". During thier meeting, I have already been pacing around the back of the room several times - during thier hour long meeting. I'll move when I need to and I guess the cane gives it away too - LOL

    Rambling - have a great day all

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