More and more, our lives get sedentary. On a day-to-day basis, we have to sit for a substantial amount of time for diverse reasons but mostly for work purposes. According to a recent study, one out of every four Americans remain seated for at least 8 hours a day. This posture brought about by the precedence of office jobs is not a natural one.
This puts a lot of pressure on certain parts of the body culminating in a wide range of problems including weight gain, shortened hip flexor muscles, as well as compressed and stressed vertebrae among many others. Neck, shoulder, and back pain are also some of the common problems associated with long hours sitting.
From this list of body pain, back pain is one of the most prominent. Not less than 80 percent of adults suffer a varying degree of back pain at some point in their lives, according to several studies. While there are several things that can be done to arrest the situation, the journey has to start with the choice of the right chair. There are several key factors to consider when acquiring a chair for long hours sitting in order to prevent, correct, or minimize back problems. The tips include the following:
· Adjustability: when it comes to chairs for work purposes, there’s no one-fits-all hence the very first feature – alongside comfortability – to consider is adjustability. This allows users the freedom to adjust the chair to suit their peculiar needs thereby bringing about the necessary support required for daily tasks. This includes the flexibility to enjoy a range of postures, for instance being able to recline as well as taking upright sitting positions. Also, the arms should be adjustable to avoid pain in other body parts.
· Good lumbar support: back pain resulting from long sitting hours is often down to inadequate or lack of lumbar support. This lack of support for the lumbar vertebrae will cause muscle soreness. Chairs built to offer excellent lumbar support are designed with a little bit of curve in the backrest.
· Moveable seat pan: another important feature to check when getting a chair with the aim of avoiding or solving back pain is the mobility of the seat pan. The rotation of the pelvis is made possible by seat pan which is very important for good spine alignment.
Having discussed the above key features in chairs for the purpose of minimizing, preventing, or solving back pain, it is imperative to highlight key factors that can help support your lower back in seated positions because without mastering this, the perfection of the chair will mean little or nothing.
· Avoid sitting for too long: a comfortable and adjustable chair is insufficient when it comes to solving back pain. Regardless of the features of the chair, sitting for too long heightens the stress on the spine and spinal discs ultimately resulting in back pain. Therefore, it is vital to take frequent breaks from sitting. A common rule of thumb is to stand up every 45 minutes or at most 1 hour.
· Feet flat on the ground and knees kept at 90 degrees: the best sitting position is for the hips to be at the same height or a little higher than the knees. In this position, the stress on the lumbar spine is lesser. Therefore, adjust the chair to create this balance. To achieve this, shorter people may have to reduce the height of their work table.
· Avoid poor posture: poor posture can significantly increase the level of stress the back is placed under. Slouching forward or/and slumping back is a poor sitting posture, instead, be close to your desk as much as possible while sitting and ensure your head is upright as well as your upper arms in a parallel position to your spine. Your ears should be above the shoulders and the angle of inclination between your hand and your desk should be 90 degrees.
Note: ergonomic chairs are best suited for preventing, minimizing, or solving back pain.
Back pain is one of the body problems associated with sitting for a substantial amount of time consistently. It puts a lot of pressure on the back muscles hence causing aching which can be very excruciating. Solving this problem must start with getting the best chair for long hours sitting. This should then be accompanied with good sitting posture as well as frequent changing of position such as standing up every 30 minutes to one hour.