Workplace safety might bring to mind hardhats and reflective vests, but not all injuries on the job result in a trip to the E.R. Many are stress related, but they’re no less problematic. In some cases, such as with back strain, they can cause more long-term damage than a bump on the head. But a lumbar support office chair is a good way to help head off some problems before they have a chance to begin.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s “Low Back Pain Fact Sheet” explains that lumbar pain can be caused by, among other things, awkward posture. Preventing it can be as simple as using good, supportive seating.
If you’re in the market for new office chairs for you or your employees, here’s what you need to know about getting the right lumbar support and why it’s so important:
Some Chairs Might be Straight, but Backs are Not
The chair backs of some seating bears little resemblance to the shape of the human spine. A properly aligned spine curves in slightly at the waist. So a straight-back chair either forces the spine into an unnatural position, or it encourages the seated person to hunch, shift, and otherwise adjust to reduce discomfort and fatigue.
Chairs with proper lumbar support reasonably mimic the shape of the spine, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
Correct Shape is Only One Element of a Good Chair
OSHA recommends that chairs fit the users. In an ideal world, that would mean workers could try out chairs before they’re purchased, just like you’d try on a pair of pants before bringing them home. But in reality, most chairs are purchased for work stations, not for the workers themselves.
With seats that are between 17 and 20 inches wide and back rests that fall into the 12 to 19-inch-wide range, chairs can suit a broader variety of users, according to the North Carolina State University “Ergonomic Workstation Guidelines.” Seats and back rests should allow for height and recline adjustments, too, as this allows each user to customize the chair for their body shape and posture. Lumbar support can’t help if it’s too low or high for the person who is seated.
Ergonomic design in office chairs means the person who is seated doesn’t have to experience stress or strain while performing work. Lumbar support that conforms to the shape of the user’s spine is critical for comfort, and for the reduction in stress-related back injury.
Where stress is reduced, workers experience less fatigue. This can lead to a healthier and more productive office. And key is as simple as buying the right office chairs.
If you’re considering new seating for your business, now is the time to contact the office furniture experts, Cubiture. We have the experience and resources to help you find the best lumbar support office chair for happier and more comfortable workers.