If you’ve ever experienced lower back pain or a back injury, you already know how the slightest moves feel connected to the lumbar area of the spine. One reach or twist in the wrong direction can spark a dull ache or a sharp jab, neither of which are pleasant. What you might not know is that injury doesn’t just happen with a fall or impact; poor back support can injure the spine and back muscles, too.
The lumbar area begins at approximately the waist. It’s where the spine curves in toward the navel. Muscles surrounding the lumbar area help support the curve, and keep the spine in the correct position. After sitting long for long periods, muscles can grow a bit tired. The natural compensation is to hunch over, and that’s when trouble can begin.
The best office chairs offer consistent lumbar support to help prevent this from happening. And they have other adjustments to help keep the whole spine, arms, and legs in the proper position.
Complete Lumbar Support
The best office chairs curve out where the spine curves in. They essentially follow the shape of the spine, giving support to the entire curve of the lumbar area. Some are padded, and others are made from breathable, flexible mesh.
Lumbar support should be firm, but it should also allow for some flex and position adjustments. Not every spine is the same, and sitting in the same position all day, even with support, can cause fatigue.
Many office chair backs adjust by turning a knob under the seat. Turn the knob one direction, and the chair back moves more freely; turn it the opposite direction for more tension.
Adjustable Arms and Seat
Another important component to back support, believe it or not, is the ability to adjust the seat and arm rest height to a 90-degree angle customized for the user. These adjustment levers may be found on the left or right side of the seat.
If the seat is too low, knees bend more than they should, which alters the curve of the spine. Too high, and it has the opposite effect combined with pressure on the back of the knees, which reduces circulation. With feet flat on the floor and legs bent at a 90-degree angle, pressure is reduced and posture improves.
Arm position should also be at 90 degrees. When arm rests are out of alignment, the user has to reach too far, or the sitting position becomes more of a slouch. With forearms at a 90-degree angle and parallel to the work desk, there is less stress on the back, arms, and neck.
The best office chair is one that has plenty of support, and allows for adjustments that encourage proper posture. Because everyone is different, what’s right for one person might be different from what’s right for someone else.
With the spine aligned, the user has a lower risk of fatigue and stress injury. That helps encourage a more comfortable and productive workday, and supports overall spine health for years to come.
Cubiture has a wide range of new and used office chairs that can help make every work day safer and more comfortable. We can help you choose the best chairs for your office and everyone who works in it.