As per Occupational Health and Safety statistics indicate, back injuries account for one quarter of all workplace injuries and two thirds of injuries from repetitive work. As people spend more and more time sitting at their desks, back pain has become a common problem. One of the primary causes of this discomfort is poor posture while seated; which leads to improper spinal alignment. Fortunately, office chairs designed with lumbar support can help alleviate this issue. Lumbar support is a feature found on many ergonomic office chairs that supports the lower back, promoting good posture and reducing back pain.
Benefits of Proper Lumbar Support
Proper lumbar support can provide many benefits, including reducing lower back pain, improving posture, and increasing comfort while sitting. Sitting in a chair that lacks lumbar support or, if it is located in the wrong position, can lead to muscle fatigue, discomfort, and even long-term back problems. Investing in an ergonomic office chair with proper lumbar support can make a significant difference in your daily comfort and overall well-being.
Types of Lumbar Supports and How to Choose the Right One
There are many types of lumbar supports available, including fixed, adjustable, and inflatable. Fixed supports are typically built into the chair and cannot be adjusted. Adjustable supports can be moved up and down or forward and backward, allowing for a customized fit. The best type of lumbar support for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may prefer a softer support, while others may prefer a firmer one.
How to Adjust the Lumbar Support on a Chair
A quality ergonomic office chair (such as the ergoCentric chairs) will offer adjustable lumbar support. These chairs can offer both height and/or depth adjustment in order for you to find the perfect position for your lower back curvature. The lumbar adjustments can come in various forms. Some offer a turn dial knob that is found at the base of the backrest bar. Some offer a ratchet system where you just pull up on the backrest and it will “click” into place via 1” increments. Other chairs do not have the backrest adjust in height but instead offer a lumbar pad that can be moved for the user to adjust in the proper location. ergoCentric has a patented lever/paddle that allows the backrest to adjust 5” in height. They also have an air lumbar feature that inflates or deflates for precision placement to accommodate all shapes and sizes of lumbar curvatures.
Where Should Lumbar Support be Placed on Your Chair?
The lumbar support should be positioned to align with the natural curve of the lower back, which is usually slightly inward.
If the lumbar support is too high or too low it may actually cause discomfort. Ideally, the lumbar support on a chair is adjustable so that it can be positioned to fit the individual’s specific body shape and size. No matter how the backrest adjusts, here is a general guide on how to adjust the lumbar support of the chair:
- Sit in your chair and place one of your hands in the curve of your lower back – where your spine dips inward.
- Then take your other hand and find where the support is located on the chair.
- Adjust the height of the lumbar support so that the hand matches with the hand that is in the natural lower curve of your spine.
- Sit back completely and ensure the lumbar cushion follows you as you shift comfortably into position.
- If you have the depth adjustment, adjust the depth of the lumbar support so that it fits snugly against your lower back. You should feel support without any pressure points.
That’s it! While you’re at it, if your chair has adjustable armrests, make sure to adjust them so that your shoulders are relaxed at your side and not elevated or hunched up.
It’s best to try the chair’s lumbar support system out in person to get a good idea. If you’re in Canada, consider visiting our showroom since we not only stock ergonomic chairs, but also have professional Ergonomists available in the store to assist you with picking the perfect chair.
When it comes to office chairs, proper lumbar support is crucial. Knowing how to position your lumbar support correctly can help reduce back pain and improve your posture. Remember to adjust the lumbar support to align with the natural curve of your lower back, and choose the type of support that works best for you. By investing in an ergonomic office chair with proper lumbar support, you can reduce discomfort and increase your daily comfort and productivity.
Ergonow is an ergonomic services and products provider company based in Windsor, Ontario. The company offers a wide range of services and products, from assessments to being the retailer of exclusive ergonomic products in North America. If you are in need of an ergonomic consultation or product, feel free to contact us any time for assistance.