Back pain affects up to 30 – 40 % of South Africans at some point in their lives. Lower back or neck pain is not a specific disease, but rather a symptom that may occur for a variety of different reasons, such as poor sitting posture caused by our work chair not adequately supporting our backs. What other health consequences could be caused by using the ‘wrong chair’ and why should I consider changing it?

Alleviate back pain with an Ergonomic chair

We spend many hours on chairs behind computers and rarely think about the consequences of sitting on the wrong office/home chair. Some statistics say that people spend an astounding 7709 days of their lives, or about 30%, sitting! If we consider that we spend eight hours a day at offices or at home hunched over a computer, then it’s clear that having a good chair is essential.

 

Sitting on the wrong chair can affect our health and quality of life. Here are 4 consequences you may experience because of your chair: 

  1. Poor blood circulation – your chair can affect the blood flow in your body.  If your chair is not adjusted properly it can cause poor blood flow to your shoulders, legs, back and neck. To compound the issue, most of us also sit a fair amount when we aren’t at work, for example driving and watching TV, and so the problem only gets worse. 
  2. Weight gain or increased body fat – sitting on the wrong type of chair for long hours leads to a lack of movement and inactivity. Digestive problems often occur as well.
  3. Less productivity – using an incorrect chair may result in less concentration simply because being uncomfortable will distract you. You end up spending more time trying to find a comfortable posture for your body, and adjusting and re-adjusting your position to get relaxed.
  4. Back, neck and shoulder pain – sitting on a bad chair, or one that is incorrectly adjusted, can result in common posture-related pain. A spine that doesn’t move becomes inflexible and pain may result, most commonly in the lower back, neck, shoulders and hips. A poor sitting position can cause compression of the discs in your spine and lead to premature degeneration and chronic pain.

 

The good news is that you can alleviate back pain and other symptoms caused by using the wrong chair by simply replacing your current chair with one that provides the support your body needs. 

What does ergonomic mean? 

ergonomic/ˌəːɡəˈnɒmɪk/  

Adjective: Ergonomic relating to, or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. “ergonomic chair design”

Ergonomically designed chairs are developed with the user in mind and are specifically made to support the lumbar spine. This is achieved through a curved and adjustable backrest that follows and supports the natural S-shape curvature of the spine, providing adequate support where needed. 

A good ergonomic chair provides the correct lumbar support to improve posture and can be adjusted to achieve the optimum position at your workstation, whether that be at the office or at home. 

Studies show that a personalised adjustable ergonomic chair reduces lower back pain in computer users by improving work-related sitting posture. Studies also show that patients with previous back problems see a significant decrease in their pain response over time after switching to an ergonomic chair. In addition, users reported improved productivity and overall well-being. 

 

For more information or to purchase an ergonomic chair contact, The Back Clinic at 0630975603 or via email at info@thebackclinic.co.za. Their therapists also specialise in treating patients with existing short- and long-term back, neck and shoulder pain, whether caused by poor posture, injury or illness.

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