Posture and Ergonomic Advise
So why has back pain become such an issue? The critical reason is the revolution in working lifestyle: sitting in front of a computer is common place. Hence why a correctly designed office chair is so important. Our chair manufacturers worked closely with leading industry specialists in posture evaluation related to chair design. As more and more time is spent sitting at a desk, working at computers, it's critical for an office chair to fit the employee’s body. Chairs from posture collections enable a chair to be selected to best fit individual body requirements.
The Costs of Back Pain
- The estimated health care costs for back pain total £1.6 billion per year (NHS & Private).
- In addition, the Health and Safety Executive estimates that musculoskeletal disorders, which includes back pain costs UK employers between £590 million and £624 million per year.
The Impact of Back Pain
- Every year, nearly 5 million working days are lost as a result of back pain. This means that on any one day 1% of the working population is on sickness leave due to a back problem.
- Back pain is one of the major reasons for long term sickness in much of the UK.
Back pain is very common; almost half the UK adult population report lower back pain lasting for at least 24 hours, at some time in the year. Inactivity and the wrong sort of movement are usually at the root of 'simple back pain'. This makes the muscles slacken, and become unable to support the back properly which in turn means it is more vulnerable to damage when certain movements pull too much on one area of your back.
Ergonomics The Pelvic Posture Principle
When we sit into a chair, the weight of the upper body causes the pelvis to roll backwards. Chairs designed using the revolutionary 'Pelvic Posture Principle' take account of this.
Developed by a prominent chiropractor and chartered engineer, they allow the 'wings' of the pelvis to be supported just below the waist and allow the spine to take up its natural shape whilst sitting. The uniquely shaped pelvic support contacts these critical areas of the spine and pelvis, providing increased support.
The Pelvic Posture Principle is offered as an alternative to our lumbar support ranges within the Posture Collection.
A good working posture is one that requires the least amount of static muscle work with least muscular effort. The more varied the posture the better. The correct sitting position is the critical first step in minimising the risk of back pain.
The spine is one of the most delicate parts of the human body. As demonstrated in (fig. 3), an incorrect sitting position such as slouching may result in an unhealthy curve of the spine and puts increased pressure on the soft tissues (muscles, discs and so on).
The first two illustrations (figs. 1 and 2) show the use of an upright sitting position, used in combination with a correctly positioned computer screen and keyboard. The lumbar curve is maintained in this way, which helps to reduce the pressure on the structures of the back.
Adjust The Chair For Maximum Health
All Posture Collection chairs can be adjusted in many ways to support and allow movement to reduce the onset of discomfort. Here are the key points to remember when adjusting the chair to ensure a good working posture is achieved:
- Initially sit at the desk, looking squarely at the computer. You are now ready to adjust your chair.
- Firstly, adjust the seat height so that your elbows are resting slightly higher than the desk surface (shoulders relaxed). Your thighs should be between 90-95 degrees to the upright body. You may require a footrest if your feet are not comfortably flat on the floor. The top of the display screen should be approximately at eye level (you may need to raise the screen) see fig. 1.
- Secondly, adjust the seat depth - that is the horizontal part of the chair seat - so that you can sit firmly against the back pad with a small gap between the front of the seat pad and the back of your knees.
- Next the height of your backrest should be adjusted to match the small of the back. To avoid neck and shoulder tension, shoulders should be relaxed. Additional neck support is generally only required where the person benefits from leaning back to change their posture and requires further support. It is rarely used whilst the person is working; more when they are reclining.
- Sitting in your normal working posture, your forearms should rest slightly higher than the working surface, whether the keyboard, the mouse, or paperwork. Armrests are to be used when resting and encourage you to lean back and take the strain off your upper limbs.
- Lastly, release the seat and back locking mechanism so the chair can move freely. This free movement encourages your muscles to work and to help your circulation. It greatly helps to reduce discomfort in a sedentary job.
Fig 1. Fig 2. Fig 3.
Posture Assessment Forms are available to complete yourself or by your doctor/osteopath/physiotherapist/chiropractor. These can then be submitted to our manufacturers to allow us to recommend the perfect chair for your needs.
Please Contact Us for your Posture Assessment Form to be emailed directly to you.