Chairs for Back Pain

A 2014 study found that 5 out of 10 Canadians suffer from lower back pain and that over three-quarters of working adults will likely experience lower back pain throughout their career. Contributing factors to this problematic trend include a rising number of adults with a higher-than-average Body Mass Index (BMI) and the fact that the majority of today’s workers sit for prolonged periods of time. This can have a negative impact on the body, leading to strained muscles and putting pressure on spinal discs that result in lower back pain.

Having the right chair and ergonomic accessories, like keyboards and footrests, can help combat low back pain (LBP), allowing you to be more productive and able to enjoy life outside the office when the workday is through. In fact, nearly 40% of people Staples polled would be as excited about getting a new office chair as they would a day off. With these telling statistics in mind, here are a few tips for choosing the best office chair for back pain sufferers.

Look for more than just adjustable back support.
Almost 71% of individuals do not have chairs with customizable back support, which may account for the epidemic of LBP among so many workers. Many chair manufacturers have become more savvy to ergonomic principles and offer seating options that provide an array of features designed to offset the effects of sitting for 40+ hours per week. When shopping for a new chair, ask if it has adjustable lumbar support, a sliding seat pan that gives at least two inches of space between the back of your knees and the seat itself, and the ability to adjust the chair’s height accordingly in relation to your desk.
Sit in the chair.
You wouldn’t buy a car off a lot without taking it for a test drive. Shopping for a new chair office chair is no different especially when you have a bad back. Look for a chair that comes with a generous return policy, to give you enough time it is making a positive impact on your spine’s health. Staples offers a 30-day return policy on chairs, giving you the option to exchange your chair or receive a full refund if you aren’t happy with it. And as you would certainly want to read consumer reviews for a particular model of car you were considering, you should do the same for a chair with reported benefits to those who suffer from LBP. It pays to do your homework, but having the option to return a chair that isn’t working as well as you’d hoped can give you peace of mind and help you find the best possible piece of office furniture to alleviate back pain.
Augment an existing chair.
A good ergonomic chair that offers orthopedic support to back pain sufferers is a priceless investment when you compare it to money lost due to chiropractor visits, pain medication, and time away from your favourite activities. However, if you don’t have it within your budget to purchase a new chair, you can invest in accessories to add greater back support to your current office chair. Look for cushioning and support for your lower back and pelvis, as well as ergonomic footrests to encourage proper posture and positioning of feet and knees.
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Poor posture can result in a bad back, yet sitting in a chair that doesn’t encourage good posture can make bad back pain even worse.