Four out of five people who work desk jobs suffer debilitating back pain off and on. They do hear advice about the right posture, about holding their heads up, and putting their keyboards at the right level. To take this advice can be difficult, though, without the right kind of office furniture.
Whether you are already in back pain management for twinges of discomfort or are interested in prevention, here are the tips you need to help make sure that your office furniture doesn’t force you into back pain, the number one workplace health hazard.
The office chair
Chairs have an important role to play in the area of spinal health. Poorly thought out designs can put pressure on the wrong parts of the neck, back and waist for extended periods of time, leading to back injuries.
You don’t need to buy a high-tech $900 chair to make sure that your back is well-protected. All you need to do is to personally go to a store that sells chairs, and try designs out yourself. The ideal chair allows the user to sit with his feet firmly on the floor. The thighs shouldn’t rest too heavily on the leading edge of the chair, and the armrests should be padded, and at the correct height to let you directly rest your hands on the table, rather than at an angle.
The chair should have lumbar support pressing into the lower back. This helps the user sit up straight, rather than slump or slouch.
In general, the greater the number of adjustable parts a chair has, the more likely it is to help you find the perfect fit. The back should be adjustable (both heightwise, and front to back), and the armrests should be customizable, too.
It may appear as if tables don’t leave much room for error — you can always use the height adjustment function on your chair to place yourself at the right height for the table, after all. This doesn’t always work, though. If you end up having to raise your chair too much, your feet won’t rest on the floor anymore. It’s important to first find the chair that you like, measure the height that lets you sit while resting your feet on the ground, and then find a table that seems to work for the height that you’ve arrived at.
Keep everything within reach
Ideally, you don’t want a table that’s too deep putting phones, computers, files or anything else that you need, too far out of reach. Putting storage under your table and within arm’s reach makes far more sense. This way, you won’t need to reach out to much twist your body around to reach things. It can be a great way to protect your back.