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Are All Comfortable Chairs Ergonomic Chairs?
If you spend a lot of time every day sitting, it is worthwhile to invest in a quality chair. Sitting for extended periods of time can cause serious issues in the spine, especially if you aren’t using a chair that specifically fits your body.
For this reason, it is ideal to obtain an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs are adjustable chairs that allow for maximum efficiency and comfort in the working environment. Many chairs claim to be ergonomic, but few offer features that truly promote your health.
It is imperative not to be lured by flashy designs and colors when shopping for an ergonomic chair. It is also wise not to be fooled by the promise of comfort. It is more important to focus on buying a chair that strongly supports your body. Ergonomic chairs allow you to adjust certain features like seat height and arm height to encourage good posture.
These customizable features allow users of all shapes and sizes to find their perfect sitting position.
Ergonomics and Back Pain
Sitting with discomfort can severely impact your working performance. It’s not easy to focus on being productive when your pain is constantly nagging you. And if ignored, this pain will only continue to get worse.
It’s reported that 80% of adults in America will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is responsible for more than 264 million lost workdays a year, and 50% of all working adults have experienced back pain in the last year. It is the single leading cause of disability in the world.
Furthermore, back pain can lead to emotional issues like anxiety, stress, lack of concentration, and lack of appetite.
Fortunately, back pain can be reduced significantly with some lifestyle changes like stretching, exercising, and practicing proper posture. However, if you’re sitting for hours at a time every day, you’ll need an ergonomic chair to really achieve great spine health.
All ergonomic chairs must have certain features to be considered ergonomic. For one, an ergonomic chair should always have lumbar support incorporated into its design. Lumbar support alleviates pressure on the spine and helps to promote good posture.
Ergonomic chairs should also have adjustable seats, headrests, backrests, and arms. A top-notch ergonomic chair will also fit the natural curvature of the spine and allow for movement of the pelvis.
Not all comfortable chairs are ergonomic. Learn more below about ergonomic chairs with all33!
here are multiple different types of lumbar back support available in ergonomic chairs. Many ergonomic chairs have lumbar support curvature implemented into their designs.
To test if your chair has lumbar support, sit up straight in the chair with your head, spine, and bottom positioned forward. Then, lean back against the backrest. The backrest should naturally follow the curve of your spine. If you don’t feel your chair adjusting to your spine as you lean, it most likely does not have any lumbar protection.
Some chairs have additional features related to lumbar support as well. You may find some ergonomic chairs that have a small, curved cushion or lumbar roll built into the backrest. This cushion or roll is usually moveable to fit your back.
Some chairs may even allow you to inflate or deflate the cushion or roll. You can also purchase a portable lumbar back support cushion or roll separately and fit it into any chair.
If you don’t have access to a lumbar support cushion or roll, you can alternatively use a towel or small pillow. Roll the towel or pillow until you’ve reached your desired thickness. Then, place the towel or pillow behind your lower back in the position it feels most comfortable.
One of the most crucial aspects of ergonomic chairs is the ability to change the height. A solid ergonomic chair should have a seat, backrest, and headrest that is height-adjustable.
To sit properly, you should be sitting with your knees level with your hips. If your knees are lower than your hips, your chair seat is too high. If your knees are higher than your hips, your chair seat is too low. Keeping your pelvis neutral while seated will prevent strain on your hips.
Additionally, your seat should be low enough for your feet to lay flat on the floor. Your feet should be able to easily reach the floor without leaning. If you’re too short for your feet to reach, place a footrest underneath you while sitting.
Since most office desks are fixed at a single height, it is very beneficial to own an ergonomic chair. For most people, a seat that is 16 to 21 inches tall from the floor should be suitable.
Your backrest should also be height-adjustable. Without this feature, it is impossible to fit the contours of your back comfortably to your backrest.
Height-Adjustable Headrest and Arms
The next feature that your ergonomic chair should have is an adjustable headrest and arms.
A headrest is essential for your neck to be supported while sitting. That’s why it is beneficial to have one that you can adjust. If your headrest is too high, you’ll be straining your neck trying to reach it. If your headrest is too low, you’ll be slouching.
Similarly, armrests help lower stress in the upper body by letting the shoulders relax comfortably while seated. Using your armrests should be avoided when typing, but they can be very useful for when you’re just reading or watching a video.
If your armrests are too high, your shoulders will be strained. If your armrests are too low, you’ll be forced to lean down to reach them, creating tension in your back.
A great ergonomic chair should also have arms that are width-adjustable, so your arms aren’t sitting too close or far from your body. Before you begin working, you should set your headrest and arms to the correct position.
Tiltable Back and Seat
Your ergonomic chair should also have a tiltable back and seat. Though many chairs have lumbar support built-in, you still need to be able to angle your body correctly.
A tiltable back will allow you to find the right degree of curve in your spine when sitting. There is a common misconception that sitting up with your back completely straight is the healthiest way to sit. However, you actually need a slight amount of curve in your posture.
Sitting perfectly straight can be taxing on your shoulders, back, and neck. A tiltable back is also beneficial because it allows you to move around as you sit. It is recommended to change positions from time to time as you work, to prevent the muscles in your spine from getting stiff.
Some ergonomic chairs even have a tension knob to adjust the amount of pressure placed onto your back while sitting.
In the same vein, a tiltable seat allows for proper angling of your pelvis. Controlling the height of your seat is vital to achieving a good posture, but you also need to be able to move your seat forward and backward.
To angle your seat the right way, make sure to leave about two to four inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your legs. If your seat is pushed forward too far, the back of your knees will be strained while sitting. Sitting with your seat pushed back too far can cause discomfort to the pelvis.
Investing in an Ergonomic Chair Is a Game-Changer for Spine Health
An ergonomic chair can make a huge difference in how you feel while you work. With all of these health-promoting features, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the workday and be productive.
Sitting with proper posture can improve blood flow and oxygen flow in the body, which contributes to energy levels. It also prevents deep vein thrombosis.
The use of conventional chairs is one of the leading reasons why people struggle to sit with good posture. An ergonomic chair makes it easy for you to sit correctly.
In addition to a height-adjustable seat, backrest, and headrest, ergonomic chairs also provide lumbar support. They also should have a tiltable backrest and seat. Without these features, it is very difficult to sit without straining your spine.
Ergonomic chairs help lower the risk of issues in the neck, back, shoulders, and hips. It is extremely valuable to treat these issues before they become serious and to prevent them from even occurring at all.
Keep in mind that ergonomic chairs are not the end-all-be-all to spinal issues. You should also be mindful of how you treat your back when you’re not sitting down. Make sure to abide by the same principles of sitting as when you’re standing, sleeping, and exercising.
Also, make sure that you’re stretching as much as possible. Keeping the muscles loose in your body will contribute greatly to preventing pain.
If you’re interested in a premium, all-encompassing ergonomic chair, check out our BackStrong chair. Our chairs are the only ones in the world that allow for the natural movement of the pelvis and back while sitting, and they’re ergonomically designed and adjustable so that you have the best sit of your life.