A buying guide to ergonomic office chairs for bad backs

May 22, 2014 3:58 pm Published by

Discomfort, distraction, despair!

If you suffer from a bad back in the office you probably experience all of these to varying degrees.

It’s a fact of professional life that many of us spend eight hours or longer each day sitting in front of a computer screen.  Humans were not designed to sit on chairs and it is often our backs that bear the brunt of this clash between our bodies and working practices.

The good news is that there are a number of actions you can take to manage and minimise back pain and perhaps get rid of it completely. These include choosing an orthopaedic chair, doing routines during the day to give your back some respite and seeing a specialist such as a chiropractor.

Today we are going to focus on how to choose the right ergonomic chair for your bad back.

What type of back pain do you suffer?

Back pain is rather an all-encompassing term. In fact there are a number of different areas of the back where you could experience pain. Identifying your type of pain is helpful for choosing the right orthopaedic chair for you. So is it lower back pain, upper back pain, across the shoulders or right up in the neck? Once you know this it will help you identify the features in a chair that will be most important to you.

Ergonomic chair functions to look out for

Ergonomic chairs can perform a range of functions to help reduce the strain on your back.

  • Swivel – a rotating base will allow the chair (and you) to effortlessly point in any direction which should reduce the need to stretch out in order to reach things.
  • Height Adjuster – This allows you to adjust the height of your chair to suit your own height so that you are not straining up or down to view your screen.
  • Lumbar support – This is a support in the lower part of the back rest that helps maintain the natural curve in the lower part of the spine. On some chairs this can be adjusted.
  • Recline – This lets you adjust the angle of the back rest for your comfort.
  • Armrests – By offering support for your arms these can help to keep your shoulders relaxed. Some chairs will offer adjustable arm rests to ensure maximum comfort for you.

Other things to consider when buying an ergonomic chair

We’ve covered the main functions that an ergonomic chair should have. But there are a few further things to consider:

  • The padding and casing material – How much padding do you want in your chair? This will be a personal preference. The outer material may be important to you. Leather is a premium option but tends to come with a bigger price tag. Some people prefer cloth which is more breathable. Mesh back chair is another option which allows the back to breathe.
  • The dimensions of the base and back – You want your base to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your body shape. In terms of the depth of the base, you need your back to be supported by the back of the chair while three or four inches are maintained between your knees and the front of the base unit.
  • Most ergonomic chairs have full synchronisation in the movement of the back and seat. This means when you move, the seat and the back move with your body. There is the ability to move the seat in an angle of 5% from the horizontal position which is another useful feature to have to give you all round support when seated at your desk.

Orthopaedic chair advice

If you need an orthopaedic chair then speak to Randalls. Everyone is different so our specialists can help you choose a chair that is just right for you. We will even let you try before you buy so that you can be confident that you are getting your perfect chair. Call 0117 3600 123 or send us a message here.

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by Tony Randall

Comments are closed here.