Most of us spend the day sitting at an office chair and staring at a computer screen. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause low back pain or worsen an existing back condition.
When sitting in an office chair for a long period, our natural tendency is to gradually slouch over; this can overstretch the spinal ligaments and strain surrounding structures in the spine. Over time, all of this slouching can contribute or worsen back pain. Recently, more people are gravitating toward more ergonomic, active chairs.
Advantages of Non-Traditional Office Chairs
While a traditional office chair is designed to provide complete support, some recently designed alternatives help promote good posture without back support. In addition, they also require more muscle use.
The Kneeling Ergonomic Chair
As far as selecting a more spine-friendly chair for your office, there are two options that stand out the most. The first is the kneeling ergonomic chair. This chair has no back, and places the user in a modified kneeling position. This design encourages good posture by sliding the hips forward and aligning the back, shoulders and neck. The forward slanting seat of the chair leads to a more natural seated position for the spine.
The Saddle Ergonomic Chair
This type of office chair is in the shape of a horse’s saddle and puts the user in a position somewhere between sitting and standing, similar to riding a horse. This will allow the legs to drop and widen naturally, creating a healthy and stable position. With long-term use, this design can even help strengthen the back muscles.
If you have an injured back, it is best to talk to your doctor first before using an alternative to the traditional office chair. Since there is no single type of alternative office chair to use, it is best to determine your own preference for comfort. Just remember that you only have one spine, and it’s your job to do all that you can to take care of it!