Of the 31 million Americans who experience back pain, half of those who are employed disclose that they have back pain symptoms each year. According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is also the most common reason for missed work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor also confirms that sprains, strains and tears account for 40% of work-related injury, with back pain accounting for 11%. Majority of these injuries are due to overexertion involving the back and shoulders and requires at least 21 to 28 days out of work to recover.
On the other hand, the US Department of Labor statistics also revealed that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), otherwise known as ergonomic injuries, accounted for at least 29% of work-related injuries in 2010. There were at least 346,400 cases of ergonomic disorders in the US which requires a minimum of 11 days out of work to fully recuperate. Americans, according to ACA, spend a whopping $50 billion each year on back pain treatment.
Back pain is borne out of poor posture or poor body mechanics due to static, prolonged and repetitive actions such as spending eight grueling hours sitting on an office desk, in front of a computer. Doing so inflicts stress not only to the back but other body parts such as the neck, shoulders, arms and legs and worse, the spine. The inevitability of this work style in a work environment that has become depended on this technology brought to the fore the application of ergonomic concepts to furniture designs and hence the evolution of ergonomic office chairs.
Ergonomic office chairs may already qualify as high-end investments for office people as those considered the cheapest are priced at less than $30, while the priciest are at $1,000. But of course, you’ll be getting what you paid for as ergonomic office chairs are custom-built to provide lower back and spinal support, adjust to body movements and promote good posture.
While a clear cut answer as to which is the best ergonomic desk chair is unavailable, one that is designed to put your well-being to the fore is worth your every penny.
Here are some features that you should look for when shopping for an ergonomic office chair:
Modifiable seat height, width and depth
A good ergonomic chair should have a height adjustment feature to encourage good sitting posture and properly distribute your entire body weight; your feet placed flat on the floor and your thighs and arms at parallel level to your desk. Your ergonomic chair should have enough width and depth that will allow forward and backward tilting with ease.
Provide lumbar back support
A good ergonomic chair should allow the user to curve his lower back because the lumbar spine has a natural inward curve. The absence of this feature may lead to slouching, a bad seating posture, and worse a spinal injury.
The backseat of your ergonomic desk chair should be adjustable in a forward or backward manner with a locking mechanism to secure the proper angle fit for the user. It should also be designed to support the body’s natural curve and comfortable enough for long time sitting.
Armrests and elbow rests
Last but not the least, your ergonomic desk chair should keep your arms and elbows at rest and parallel to your computer desk for easy typing. It should be adjustable to keep arms in a comfortable and relaxed position.
Maria Dublin is a PR Assistant in the blog community for ComputerDesk.com. She loves helping people find the right accessories for their home office. Visit ComputerDesk.com for free shipping on every desk, every day.