Nowadays most of us spend 8+ hours sitting in an office chair at our jobs. Sitting all day can lead to posture problems causing low back, shoulder, and even neck pain. Often times the issues created become chronic and can be difficult to correct. So, the best method of treatment is PREVENTION! That is right, you will hear us say it a lot, but preventing posture issues leading to low back, neck, and shoulder pain is the best form of physical therapy treatment.
Click to Learn More About Each Ergonomic Chair
In this quick video Dr. Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck from Famous PT explain the anatomy and science behind bad posture leading to low back, neck, and shoulder pain. They also discuss how you can prevent the posture issues and pain by selecting the appropriate office chair and some physical therapy tips for choosing the best chair. Old office chairs do not adjust to individual’s specific body types and so they tend to cause posture issues. It is important to invest in an ergonomic office chair that you can adjust to your specific body type to facilitate healthy posture.
Physical Therapy Tips for Choosing an Office Chair
Ergonomic Office Chair Adjustments
Ergonomic office chairs are designed with adjustment points to adjust to fit specific body types of individuals using the chair. They tend to be more expensive than any old office chair without the adjustment capabilities but you can consider the expense an investment in your health.
- Seat Height: The chairs height should be adjusted so that your feet lay flat on the floor, your thighs are level, and your arms are even with your desk height. Typically a lever on the bottom of the chair will allow you to make this adjustment.
- Width: The width of the chair should be comfortable, you shouldn’t feel squished or dwarfed in your chair.
- Lumbar Support: Adjusting the height and depth of your chair’s lumbar support to match the curve of your lower back will help prevent and reduce low back pain.
- Backrest: The chair’s backrest angle should be adjustable to accommodate your most comfortable position.
Adjusting your ergonomic office chair to properly support good posture throughout your day will not only make you more comfortable but will also prevent posture issues leading to pain in your lower back, neck, and shoulders. Here is some more good info on creating and adjusting your ergonomic work station to reduce back pain, in an article from Fit Stop Physical Therapy.
Shop Ergonomic Office Chairs
Below are 4 high quality and competitively priced ergonomic chairs that we would recommend. Read the specifications and user reviews to determine which one you think would fit you best. Also, if you can find one locally to sit in before ordering then you won’t have to deal with the hassle of returns. Although, Amazon does make returns pretty easy.
Do you use an ergonomic office chair? Does it help you with your posture and preventing low back, neck and/or shoulder pain? Tell us about your chair in the comments below! 🙂
Thanks for the excellent tips and great recommendations on chairs. I need to look into these considering that my lower back aches each day after leaving work. I assume that the chair I sit in has a lot to do with this.
Dee Francis says
Going over these ergonomic office chair adjustments will help make sitting at my desk easier on my back. I’ve been having back problems for years, and I think it’s because of how I would sit for hours every day. I’m considering getting physical therapy, so making the proper adjustments to my chair will help me keep my spine properly aligned when I’m working. I feel quite a bit of low back pain, so perhaps changing the lumbar support will make all of the difference. Hopefully, doing that will improve my back pain while I start seeing a physical therapist. Thanks for the tips!
If you’re experiencing low back pain, then experimenting with different ergonomic office chair adjustments is definitely worth trying. Good luck finding the perfect ergonomic chair and adjustment settings for your back!
Justin Knox says
Thank you for the help. I have been visiting a physical therapist for problems with my back and neck and he mentioned that getting a quality office chair could help a lot. I honestly did not realize that the height of the chair plays a major part. Is it important that all the factors that you mentioned are done properly or are there some that are more important than others?
Sorry for the late reply, your comment got buried and I just found it! Each factor will impact each individual differently depending on their work space, habits, injuries and sources of pain. Try making each adjustment individually to see how it impacts your body.
Good luck and let me know how it works out for you!
Silas Knight says
Having good posture at work is super important. I work in an office all day, and I have noticed that I don’t have very good posture. Getting an ergonomic office chair with all of the support you talk about here would be great!
Neal Davis says
Most of us sit for long hours at our place of work so having an ergonomic chair is not only beneficial for our posture but also has many health benefits. E.g., a good ergo chair will have proper cushioning and curves to prevent too much pressure on the hips and will not hinder circulation. The adjustability of the chair is very important and should be carefully considered while purchasing one. A built-in lumbar support is sustainable and will last longer. You might spend hundreds of dollars on a chair but if you do not know how to use it properly it’s not going to do any good. It’s just like sitting on a box.