When working at a desk at the office, one of the most frequent issues that could occur is back pain; given that these jobs usually require working 8 hours per day, five days per week sitting in the same location for long periods of time.
To address this issue you may want to think about purchasing an office chair that provides lumbar and back proper support, which can aid in relieving back pain during your job.
What exactly are you supposed to consider when choosing an ergonomic chair?
In Which Part Of Your Back Is Lumbar Region?
In this article:
- In Which Part Of Your Back Is Lumbar Region?
- How Lumbar Support Works?
- Lumbar Support Is Necessary For Who?
- Where Should Lumbar Support Be?
- What Other Changes Can You Do?
- Which Lumbar Support Do I Need To Select?
- Additional Suggestions To Increase Lumbar Support
- Lumbar Support Or Lumbar Support Pillows?
- What To Look For To Determine Whether Ergonomics Is To Blame For Back Pain
The first step is to look at the anatomy of the spine. The human spine is divided into three parts logically, in accordance with the three natural curves observed in the spinal column:
- Cervical spine
- Thoracic spine
- Lumbar spine
The lumbar region is the most important section, which is also known as it’s often referred to as the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is located in the lower part of the spine. It is a place which is exposed to intense pressure due to the weight of the entire spinal column.
To locate the lumbar area on your back, sit up straight and then use the palms of your hands to lift up on that backside part of your lower back starting from the sacrum (above the tailbone). You will feel the sensation of an inward curve as your hand gradually shifts upwards across the spine. This is the lumbar spine region.
How Lumbar Support Works?
It is crucial to ensure that your lumbar support in an office chair is in line with the lower portion that lies in the back (where the lumbar is located). This means that it must be placed in the lower portion of the back support on the chair. When properly installed and positioned correctly, the back support for the lumbar back support on an office chair can provide these advantages:
- The shoulder, the ears and the pelvis are all maintained in the proper posture.
- The natural curvature inward of the lower spine is maintained.
Lumbar Support Is Necessary For Who?
- Patients experiencing acute back pain or chronic back pain
- Patients with musculoskeletal concerns (joint and osteoporosis)
- Anyone who sits in a chair for long periods of time (desk workers, gamers, bloggers,)
- Office chairs users who don’t come with a built-in lumbar support
- People who spend the majority of their time in a standing position during the course of the day.
Where Should Lumbar Support Be?
What does lumbar support do and where should lumbar support be? It’s an easy task to say that lumbar support should support your lumbar spine, but most people don’t know the full extent of how to support their spine vertebrae.
A method to find out this is to lay down on the back of the chair and look back. It is best to locate it around just a few inches above your waist. This is where you’ll locate the lumbar area of your spine. It’s typically included with many ergonomic office chairs, but some chairs don’t have lumbar support that can be adjustable.
When your lumbar support is just below your shoulder blades, then it’s high. If it’s located between shoulders, then it’s too high. If it’s more than that and higher than your cervical spine is a cervical rest, not actual lumbar support. It could be that it’s sitting on your chair upside-down and are not sure what you did to get it that way.
If your lumbar support is too low which is lower than the waistline, typically it will cause your upper back to slouch forward. This can create all sorts of biomechanical issues as the stress from your upper body pulls on back muscles by stretching and tightening them to a degree that could cause back and neck pain later on.
If you discover the lumbar support is too high it may create pressure on the muscles, nerves and blood vessels situated within the lower back. It could result in pain in the pressure point and also cause a stoppage in circulation to certain muscles, leading to pain. It could be harmful to your lower back, as it may twist and not have support.
The proper lumbar support position is an important aspect of sitting in an office chair, particularly if you’re sitting for at least two or three hours throughout the day. With a constantly changing of sitting and standing throughout the day-long – which is what we recommend as a good idea for an office chair – an office chair that isn’t supported by lumbar support can lead to back pain and poor posture that can lead to more discomfort.
What Other Changes Can You Do?
In addition to being fitted with lumbar support on ergonomic chairs, what other adjustments do you have to make on your chair? More specifically, what adjustments do you need to think about when buying the chair?
- The angle of sitting. Studies have shown that the two angles that work best to use for sitting in the chair to sit for long periods are 90 degrees which are essentially, completely upright. 135 degrees is reclined which is about half the distance between flat and upright. A straight posture provides your spine with the most optimal angle to ensure your stability without putting excessive pressure on one particular part of the spine or your back. Reclining your posture allows the majority of the back muscles to relax and reduces the burden on your vertebra. This could help avoid issues that could arise from herniated discs, compression, and torsion.
- Adjustment for lumbar. In addition to having lumbar support, you should be able to adjust the support. Primarily, you’re looking to find two kinds of adjustment. The first is upwards and down. The adjustment of the lumbar support vertically allows you to place it properly within the lower part area of your back. The majority of chairs are constructed using the “average” individual in mind. This means that they could not be adjusted correctly for you especially in the case that you’re smaller or taller than the average.
Another option for adjustment is the in and out, either forward or backward, however, it’s a little less well-known. If you notice the spine is curving in a different direction than normal, it might need different degrees of support to make you feel comfortable.
You might be able to consult an expert doctor to determine whether the spine curvature is normal or could cause discomfort and if there are stretching techniques or forms of physical therapy can be used to prevent issues in the near future.
- Neck rest providing neck support on the top of your chair is a method to offer lumbar support to the bottom of your chair. Neck support gives your neck the chance to rest which helps in stabilizing your posture and prevents your neck from falling. The best neck support isn’t too far forward or far in the back. In addition, it’s an ideal place to relax when working.
- The height of your arms while working isn’t so important for your spinal health, but an absence of arm support can strain your shoulders, creating pressure on the neck and bending your back. Armrests support your arms to ensure that your wrists are at a more favorable angle for working from when typing or working on the computer. This prevents repetitive strain injuries as well as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- The height of the chair. It is a fact that nearly all chair today has an adjustable height. However certain chairs can be more flexible than other chairs. It is crucial to make sure that the chair’s height is the same height as your knees, so you can sit with your feet flat on the floor. This helps reduce the risk of spinal deformity. It also prevents circulation from becoming blocked to your legs and feet.
- Your tilt chair. The overall angle of the seat pan should either be even or slightly tilted, as if it is like the chair wants to move the contents. Also, this can prevent the front edge of the seat by blocking circulation to your back legs.
There are a variety of different chairs accessible with some better than others. It is recommended to locate one that has a variety of adjustments which allow you to modify the chair to suit your specific body shape.
Be aware that each person is unique and, although there are certain commonalities, each one has personal peculiarities. There are individuals with larger legs, and a torso that is shorter, bigger hips, and increased curvature of the spine or many other minor biological variations.
These variations should be taken into consideration to ensure the most ideal posture for sitting especially if you are trying to avoid health problems in the long-term effects of poor posture.
Which Lumbar Support Do I Need To Select?
On the market, there are several options for lumbar support, and while there are some that are superior to others, ultimately it is based on your body’s anatomy and the way you prefer sitting. A few general guidelines to select which good lumbar support are:
- A lumbar depth of between 0.6″ to 2″ is enough for the majority of people
- The people who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) prefer an increased lumbar support targeting higher up in their back.
- Females may benefit from higher levels of lumbar support due to the more curvature of their lower back (lordosis).
If it boils to choosing which one is proper lumbar support, below are the choices:
Adjustable Lumbar Support (Gaming/Office chairs)
Adjustable lumbar support refers to those that can be adjusted by at least one inch of the office chair. It is typically an adjustable or height-adjustable lumbar support. Today, it is not hard to find one that can be adjustable in depth.
Many office chairs with decent adjustable lumbar support include SIhoo’s M57 and NeueChair in addition to Secretlab Titan Evo.
Dynamic Lumbar Support (Gaming/Office chairs)
In the case of a dynamic lumbar configuration, the backrest of your office chair automatically adjusts to your body’s shape as well as your sitting posture to give you continuous lumbar support. Although it is a good idea in theory, the effectiveness of dynamic lumbar is largely dependent on the particular office chair in question.
The Embody by Herman Miller is a premium office chair with probably the most elegantly designed dynamic lumbar support on the market today.
Instead of only one piece of solid backrest, the Embody is composed of hundreds of pieces which can stretch and move towards the back of yours. The structure is pixelated and cushioned and can support the whole spine and not just located in that lumbar region.
External Lumbar Pillow
External lumbar pillows are found on a majority of gaming chairs or as a third-party accessory. They can provide excellent to mediocre lower back support depending on the shape, size and depth.
In the majority of gaming chairs, the external lumbar pillow is just average. Its advantage is that it is adjustable to precisely the part of its lower back that needs support. Be sure that it’s not “free moving” and that it is designed to remain fixed when it’s in the new place.
For GTRacing gaming chair as an example, includes a lumbar pillow that is secured to straps that hold it in place when it is moved upwards or downwards.
Most comfortable exterior pillows to provide lumbar support are the ones that are available in the form of an add-on. They typically contain high-quality foam and are more comfortable in style.
For those suffering from lower back pain, an external pillow made to fit around the pelvic muscle of the posterior has been found to be the most comforting and useful. Cushion Lab provides lumbar support which is built to be a perfect fit for this design.
Rolled Up Towel
If you are struggling with budgetary problems, experts suggest that using a towel to wrap around your back could help keep the natural curvature of your lower back. Make sure you choose smaller towels that aren’t pressurizing your back completely.
Additional Suggestions To Increase Lumbar Support
- Don’t cross your legs for long periods, as this can lead to shoulder arthroplasty. The forward position of your head and pelvic tilt. Also, make sure that your feet are flat on a surface. Bend your legs to 90 degrees.
- Be sure to keep the back straight as well as your shoulders in a straight line to maintain good posture.
- Avoid sitting in one place during prolonged periods, and ensure that you walk up and move around every one hour. If you’re sitting for the longest time, more likely to feel uncomfortable.
- Explore ways that you could enhance your workplace environment to make it better suited to your needs. If you do not have enough money to purchase a brand modern chair or table, you can use an old cushion or towel to offer lumbar support. If you spend long periods on a computer it’s also suggested to consider the possibility of a desk that is higher. Many people get relief from back pain by using a standing desk for part of the time or sitting on their yoga balls for short bouts.
- Be cautious that you don’t slouch forward. Make sure to maintain a straight and upright posture by sitting up straight with your ears directly above the shoulders. If you’re working at your computer, you can alter the height of your monitor to ensure that your eyes naturally see the top third of the screen. This ensures you are taking a look straight ahead.
Lumbar Support Or Lumbar Support Pillows?
A common question we get is whether to opt for a chair that comes with lumbar support built into it or make use of a lumbar pillow. There are pros and cons to every option.
An ergonomic office chair with included lumbar support is good for setting a certain configuration and knowing that it is suitable for your shape. This is the method that is the most effective. It’s generally more solid and resistant to breakage over the duration.
Another problem is that the integrated lumbar support may not be adjustable or might not be capable of being adjusted enough to satisfy your needs. It could be very difficult to replace in comparison to a normal lumbar cushion in the event that it is damaged over time or because of damage or wears that comes with it.
An independent lumbar support pillow has many advantages. It’s lightweight and portable, so you can carry it around to the airport or even sit in the comfort of your chair at home, or any place you’d like to sit and enjoy lumbar support for more than the span of a few minutes simultaneously. Pillows come in a variety of shapes and the degree of firmness as in colors and styles.
This means that they are susceptible to being lost as well as damaged. They are more difficult to place properly and could not function on certain types of chairs. Pillows can be a hindrance to certain adjustments that are made to a regular chair like chair angle and tilt adjustments that the pillow could get stuck in.
They can also slide off or move whenever you rise or change so you are needing to adjust them frequently during the course of your day. This can result in many small distractions and the consequent reduction in productivity.
What To Look For To Determine Whether Ergonomics Is To Blame For Back Pain
- If you feel that you experience back pain that feels worse at certain times of the week, it could be due to improper ergonomics that affect your back. For example, you may feel uncomfortable following a long day at work, but not at weekends.
- The type of pain that is caused by poor ergonomics typically starts at the neck and gradually moves downwards to the upper back and lower back and may vary in severity.
- Sometimes the pain may be relieved or completely disappear when you move.
- If you’re experiencing unanticipated back pain when starting a new job or transferring to a new office chair or car, it could be because of an unnaturally poor posture.
The best way to relieve back pain and other discomforts is by doing certain exercises and the correct sitting position. To stop any signs of lower back pain, it’s recommended to employ lumbar support. If it’s equipped with the capability to warm and is carried, you’ll find it’s more beneficial. You will not have back pain, are you not looking forward to this?