If you work in an office setting, you’re doing more harm than good when you sit in an office chair that doesn’t offer lumbar support. The base of your spine is made up of a segment called the lumbosacral joint. It combines to create a strong, stable base for the spine, and it allows for us to twist and bend at the torso in all directions.
Sitting in a chair – especially one that doesn’t offer lumbar support – causes us to lunch over or slouch. It increases stress on the soft tissue, joints, and disks in this area. This often leads to lower back pain.
Why Lumbar Support is Important
The lower portion of our spine, just a above the buttocks, has a natural curve upward toward the belly. It’s known as the lordotic curve. An office chair with lumbar back support helps promote good posture by filling in the gap between your lumbar spine and the seat. It supports the natural inward curve of your lower back.
Without this supportive help, it’s difficult to main correct posture. Your lumbar spine and large muscles in the lower back must work harder to maintain the proper alignment and curvature. We may have good intentions and try to sit up straight, but over time as the body tires, those muscles holding the spine in the correct position weaken. Your head and upper back tend to lean forward to compensate for the weakening of your lumbar muscles. You don’t even notice it, but you’re leaning forward in your office chair.
More than Back Support
Office chairs that specifically offer lumbar support are important for your health – but the optimal office chair doesn’t stop there. It should also help you provide the correct support for your neck and other areas of your back.
A proper office chair should have elbow supports. This helps you avoid neck strain. Your elbows should rest comfortably on chair arms that keep your elbows at a right angle. The height of your chair is important, too. When seated, your eyes should be able to look straight ahead at your computer, and your knees should be at right angles, matching your elbows. Get a foot rest to elevate your feet while you’re sitting.
When you sit in your office chair, your lumbar support should rest flush against the small of the back. It might be necessary to get a portable lumbar back support, so you can position it correctly.
Set up an appointment to visit us if you’re not sure about lumbar support. A good ergonomic chair can be an expensive investment. We can show you what to look for.