What to look for in an ergonomic chair

Do you suffer with back pain and spend several hours a day attached to your desk? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone, in fact you make up part of the 49% of Britons who have complained of back pain in the past year. It’s a problem that’s now an epidemic in this country and is estimated to cost the NHS over £1 billion every year.

Sadly there’s no easy fix, however you can make life easier for your back by getting an ergonomic chair that will ensure you feel comfortable and supported whilst spending time at your desk. The many options available are staggering, which is hardly surprising given the high number of sufferers, so how do you decide which is the right ergonomic chair for you? The below tips should hopefully give you some idea of what to look for when choosing the perfect chair to relieve your discomfort.

Height

For maximum support you will want a chair with a high back but it is also important to consider the seat height. Most good quality office chairs will be height adjustable so you can adjust it to suit your needs. For the best position you should be able to place your fleet flat on the floor without stretching your legs at all, with your arms out in front of you comfortably at desk height.

Back support

One of the most important elements to any ” is the level of support it offers your lower back. This is called lumbar support in reference to your lumbar spine which curves inwards and needs support when sitting for long periods. Because every back is different the ideal chair will have a fully adjustable lumbar support with flexibility in both height and depth.

Seat

The actual size of the seat will play an important part in the effectiveness of your chair in terms of supporting your back and you should ensure that the depth from the front to the back is such that you can sit comfortably against the backrest whilst leaving a space between the back of your knees and the seat itself. About two to four inches is ideal to ensure total comfort.

Backrest

Obviously you will want to pay attention to the backrest of your chair when considering an ergonomic chair that’s right for you and again adjustability is key. You’ll want to be able to adjust the height and the angle to a comfortable position and should make sure that a locking mechanism will secure the backrest so it doesn’t tilt out of position.

Fabric

It might sound silly but the material of your office chair is another important consideration and you should look for a chair with a significant amount of padding to keep your back and posterior in the best condition.

Chris Alden has spent seven years studying the human spine and firmly believes we are the masters of our own destiny in terms of beating back pain.

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