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The Office Chair: Friend or Foe?

Last updated 5 years ago

Have you ever risen from your desk at the end of the day feeling cramped, creaky and uncomfortable? If you are like many office workers, you spend the majority of your day seated at your desk. But spending eight hours a day in an office chair can be as detrimental to your physical health as it sometimes feels for your mental health. If your chair does not support your body and posture properly, it can cause a variety of health problems, including lower back pain. If you experience back pain after a few hours at your desk, or if you feel a twinge each time you stand up from your chair, talk to your spine specialist about ergonomics and selecting a spine-friendly office chair. 


Ergonomics is the science of creating a workspace that is designed to meet the physical needs of employees. An ergonomic workspace can differ for each individual; a person’s height, size, history of previous injuries, and the nature of any repetitive motions performed on the job can all shape the particular ergonomic environment he or she needs.

Chairs to Avoid

Imagine working on a tall, backless stool for eight hours a day. While very few offices provide chairs of this nature, this uncomfortable stool represents chair characteristics to avoid. Because of the chair’s height, you might need to hunch over to reach your desk, and rather than lying flat on the floor, your feet would hang in the air. Additionally, a chair with little or no back support can also take its toll on your physical comfort and long-term health.

The Right Chair for You

An ergonomic chair is one that is an appropriate height for you. Your feet should be able to lie flat on the floor, which keeps your hips and spine balanced. Lumbar, or lower back, support is another critical feature of an ergonomic chair. Proper support helps you to sit up straight, avoid hunching over, and prevent back pain. The seat of your chair should be sized so that you can sit against the back support without discomfort for your knees. A cushioned seat rest can also help to prevent discomfort from prolonged seating.  

Could your office environment be impacting your spine health? For more information about protecting and supporting your spine at work, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.


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