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Can Ergonomic Desk Chairs Relieve Back Pain?
Can Ergonomic Desk Chairs Relieve Back Pain?

Many people spend hours each day sitting in uncomfortable desk chairs.  An awkward or ill-fitting chair could be placing added stress on the spine and causing back pain.  Posture is certainly affected by sitting in uncomfortable chairs.  Desk chairs with little lumbar support can lead to slouching.  Other chairs cause the user to lean forward too much to work or view a monitor.  If the desk chair is too high or too low for the user, this can negatively affect the position of the hips, pelvis, and low back.  Pain can often be alleviated with a chair that can be adjusted to fit the body of the user.

What are ergonomic chairs?                                                                               

Ergonomic chairs are designed to support the body in ways that promote better posture, comfort, and can accommodate different activities that may be performed at a desk.  The chair should be adjustable in a variety of ways including seat height, seat width and depth, tilt, lumbar support, armrests, and headrest.  The chair should swivel to allow it to be maneuvered to different areas of the workspace.  Adjustability is key to enabling different people to customize their settings for their comfort level.

Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs

Young businesswoman relaxing leaning on comfortable ergonomic chair in modern office room, calm happy employee feels no stress free relief taking break to rest from computer work breathing fresh air
  • Supports posture – Correct sitting posture reduces the risk of back pain by keeping the spine in alignment.  This reduces stress on muscles, ligaments, joints, and spinal discs.  Slouching puts stress on the low back.  Hunching forward stresses the upper back and neck.  Proper posture keeps the body balanced and supported.
  • Reduces pressure on the hips – Sitting naturally puts pressure on the hips.  Comfortable seat padding and appropriate seat depth (2-4 inches from the backs of knees) supports the hips and buttocks.  Proper seat depth provides stability to the pelvis and prevents cutting off blood circulation at the knees.
  • Lumbar support – The lumbar spine carries the heaviest load and is susceptible to injury.  A chair that is designed to follow the natural curvature of the spine reduces strain on the low back muscles and gives needed support.
  • Improved comfort – Ergonomic chairs are generally made with higher quality materials.  Cushions may have thicker padding and are contoured for a better fit.  Additional lumbar support may be integrated into the design.  More adjustment options give the user the ability to customize the chair to fit their specific needs.

Other Considerations

Girl sit at desk work on computer in correct position. Young woman keep right distance between eyes and posture at PC table. Ergonomic office job concept.

An ergonomic desk chair may help alleviate back pain.  However, to work best, it must be adjusted to fit the individual user’s body and comfort level.  Remember that sitting in one position for extended periods of time in any type of chair is not good for the back.  People should try to stand, stretch, and walk around periodically to keep muscles and joints loose and to increase blood flow.

If your back pain interferes with normal daily activities and has not improved with at-home treatments, it may be time to see a physician.  Pain that spreads down one or both legs or causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs is another reason to schedule an appointment with a specialist.

The physicians at Atlanta Brain and Spine Care are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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