For eight hours a day, five days a week, you can be found in the same exact place: your office chair. For the amount of time you spend in it, you might as well consider it a second home. But how is that affecting your back? Whether it's the way you're sitting or the chair itself, here are a few ways it can affect back pain and what you can do it to avoid it:
1. Sitting for a long period of time
If you remain seated for the entire duration of your work day, you aren't doing your back any favors. When people sit for extended periods of time, the tendency is to slouch. This posture contorts your spine into unnatural positions, overextends spinal ligaments and strains discs. If you frequently find yourself in this position, you could be doing a lot of harm to your back. Instead, make sure you take breaks throughout the day so you can realign yourself in your chair and avoid slouching.
2. The wrong chair
If you're going to be spending a lot of time at your desk during the workday, you should invest in an ergonomic chair that will provide ample back support and encourage proper posture. The right chair should have lumbar support for your lower back that be slightly reclined. Simply sitting in this kind of chair isn't enough, though. You'll also need to adjust it to your body so you're comfortable and not putting additional strain on your spine.
3. Poor posture
Maintaining the right posture in your office chair means more than avoiding a slouch. You need to be mindful of many different parts of your body. Here are some ways to position yourselves for optimal posture:
- Align your arms and elbows: Spine-Health.com instructs office workers to sit as close to the desk as possible to keep upper arms parallel to the spine. Your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle. If they aren't, this means you'll need to adjust your chair height.
- Watch your legs: You should be able to slide a finger under your thigh at the edge of the chair. If you can't, you should use a footrest to slightly lift your feet off the ground to better align your legs.
- Adjust your computer screen: Your gaze should fall squarely in the middle of your screen. If you need to move up or down to look at your computer, you'll need to change the height of your screen. This way, you won't need to strain your upper spine to work.
If you're experiencing chronic back pain from your office chair, you should schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.