By: Shraddha Rupavate
Sitting in the same position at work exerts pressure on your spine. Here's why you need a work-friendly chair.
Do you spend more than 6 hours at your work desk? Do you normally experience pain (in the back, shoulders and neck) at the end of the day after leaving from work? Maybe you need to change the chair you use at work.
‘When you work in the office, you’re bound to spend more time sitting in a chair. Forget office, sitting in same position for a long time anywhere is not good because it exerts excessive stress on your spine,’ says Dr Jahnavi Acharya, consultant physiotherapist at Revival Bone and Joint Hospital, Mumbai. An ergonomic chair is quite different from a traditional chair. It is specifically designed to provide complete rest to the main structures of your body that are prone to get stressed while working.
Here are some benefits of using ergonomic chairs at work, with inputs from Dr Jahnavi.
- It supports your posture: Traditional chairs may be one of the reasons why people tend to have an incorrect posture while sitting at their desk. An ergonomic chair takes these problems into consideration. It has all the necessary features including head rest and back rest that support your posture while sitting. Moreover, you can adjust the height to sit with your feet flat on the floor, knees at an angle of 90 degrees to the floor and parallel to the hips. These corrections automatically help you to improve your posture.
- It is more comfortable: Ergonomic chairs are any day more comfortable than normal chairs because they are user-friendly. You can adjust all the features individually to fit your needs until you’re totally comfortable.
- It reduces the risk of neck problems: Without a neck support for a long time while sitting, you’ll develop stiffness in your neck and shoulder region. This can even lead to complications like cervical spondylosis. Ergonomic chairs have a headrest that supports your head and neck even when you want to stretch out. This is especially a good feature for people who spend more time answering phone calls at work.
- It reduces the risk of back pain: Ergonomic chairs come with a backrest that supports the natural curve of your spine. Unlike traditional chairs, ergonomic chairs are high enough to support the entire back. Some ergonomic chairs come with a reclining function that allows you to rest at an angle greater than 90 degrees.
- It reduces pressure on your hips: Normal chairs have a hard surface. So when you sit, the seat exerts extra pressure on your hip region. An ergonomic chair has a good seat depth (measuring 2 to 4 inches from the back of your knees) that supports the hips and buttocks.
- It makes working easy: All the features of an ergonomic chair are adjustable to accommodate different activities you may perform at your work desk. It also has a swivel feature that enables the user to move around swiftly without having to get up from the seat or without the need to extend and strain.
‘People should understand that ergonomic chairs are not the solution to all work-related health problems. Apart from ergonomic corrections at work place, they should also be aware about their posture while sitting. Even after using an ergonomic chair if you keep your back slouched, you will suffer all the kinds of problems. Therefore, some amount of physical activity or exercise is important,’ adds Dr Jahnavi.