Ergonomically Correct Office Chairs
There are simple steps to take in order to reduce back and neck pain in the work station. According to UC San Francisco’s professor of occupational medicine, Dr. David Rempel, we just need to position our monitors at eye level, to keep keyboards and mouse pads in close proximity, to intermittently check our posture and, most importantly, to have an ergonomically sound office chair.
To start, an ergonomic chair is one that gives support to both arms and back. The back support of the chair should echo the natural contours of the spine, curving inward toward the body at the lower lumbar vertebrae and back away near the higher thoracic. The seat of the chair must arch as well, with the highest point at the front beneath the knees and decline in height toward the base of the spine. But are chairs the basis of pain versus comfort?
The Council for Research Excellence (CRE) and Ball State University’s Center for Media Design (CMD) state that the average American adult spends about eight and a half hours in front of a screen, about a quarter of which is in front of a computer monitor. Assuming that we are the average office employee who spends an additional five to eight hours at a screen, a new question arises: are chairs today as important as beds?
Let’s say we all get the doctor recommended seven or so hours of sleep every night and that we are the majority of office staff, we are probably sitting at a desk about as long as we are sleeping. This means that, while we are sleeping almost 2.5 thousand hours a year, we are also sitting for 2.5 thousand hours; and just as our spine must deal with our sleeping positions, our spine must also cope with our sitting postures.
Few of us have perfect posture to keep our spines aligned and many of us deal with back pain already. In light of this new perspective of sleep to sitting ratio, and in light of my newest chiropractic bill, perhaps it would be wise for me to follow Dr. Rempel’s advice and complement comfort with a pain-free, ergonomically sound chair, a chair so comfortable I could, perhaps, fall asleep in it.
San Diego Office Furniture & Modular Design has a wide range of ergonomically correct office chairs. Please visit their website: Ergonomic office chairs
Alvarez, M. (2009, March 31). The average American adult spends 8 1/2 hours a day staring into screens. Retrieved
February 6, 2013, from http://www.atelier.net/en/trends/articles/average-american-adult-spends-8-12-hours-day-
Hickman, M. (2012, June 11). 5 ergonomic desk chairs that are good for your body and the planet. Retrieved
February 6, 2013, from http://www.mnn.com/money/green-workplace/stories/5-ergonomic-desk-chairs-that-are-
Rempel, D. (2012, February 02). 7-minute solution: Avoid neck and back pain at the computer. Retrieved February
6, 2013, from http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/7-minute-solution-avoid-neck-and-back-pain-computer