Ergonomic chair back support is something that can make a huge difference in your life, especially if you find yourself working long hours at a desk every day. Before you choose a chair, it’s good to know the ways your health stands to benefit from sitting with correct posture—and how to choose the right ergonomic chair with back support suited to your needs.
Long-term effects of bad posture
So why exactly is good posture so important? As it turns out, doctors are discovering more and more ways your seated posture can have a powerful ripple effect on other parts of your body. Though the health of your back is, of course, important in and of itself, you’d be surprised at how many other parts of your body can be affected!
Your spine depends on it
Your spine is the core pillar of support for your entire body. It allows you to stand upright and maintain balance. Its natural curve acts as a shock absorber for every step you take. An upright spine keeps all the internal organs in place so they can function to their fullest extent, and allows the blood to circulate freely.
Naturally, we should do everything we can to protect our body’s central support system.
Poor posture can rupture or wear down spinal disks, which can cause misalignment. This puts tremendous pressure on the rest of your spine to compensate for the imbalance in even just one part of the whole. This can cause back pain because of pinched nerves and general pressure in the area, and pinched nerves can cause pain in areas further away from the spine, such as your shoulders and arms.
In addition to bone and nerve health, your muscles may have to compensate for poor spinal alignment, which increases the occurrence of tough, painful knots that reduce flexibility and make it more difficult to do even simple movements like reaching for something on a shelf.
Your bloodstream is a vital organ that delivers nutrients to every part of your body, from your brain and internal organs to every muscle and ligament. When your blood flow is restricted, your entire body misses out on that critical stream of nutrients and oxygen.
Bad posture can restrict blood flow not only to parts of your back, but to the rest of your body as well. This can have an impact on your alertness as your brain needs a steady supply of oxygen to function at 100% capacity, and can eventually wear down on other internal organs that don’t receive as many nutrients as they could be with an unrestricted bloodstream.
Poor circulation can eventually lead to blood clots, as well as cardiovascular disease. It’s important to make sure your blood can flow freely and effectively throughout your body!
Slouching forward not only puts additional strain on your spine, but compresses your internal organs as well. For your digestive tract, this can have a major impact on how well you process food and nutrients.
Over time, poor posture can have a detrimental impact on your gastrointestinal system and metabolism, making it more difficult for your body to process food and potentially leading to nutritional deficiency and even constipation.
In addition to your digestive system, poor pasture can compress your diaphragm, which is essential for taking full, deep breaths. These breaths are what allow the maximum amount of oxygen to enter the lungs, which is then absorbed by the bloodstream.
If your breathing is cut short by your posture, your oxygen supply may be compromised. This, in turn, affects your brain’s ability to process and problem solve throughout the day, and increases fatigue.
Lift your posture, lift your mood
Research shows that poor posture can not only have a detrimental impact on your physiology, but your mental health as well. Similarly to how our facial expressions share our emotions with the world, our physical posture can be a reflection of the emotional state within.
Good posture has a direct impact on self-esteem, positivity, and overall confidence. It’s no wonder that posture is so important for people giving speeches to deliver them in a powerful and impactful way. The same is true for you as you sit at your desk doing the best possible work you can!
Choosing the right ergonomic chair with back support
The spine’s natural curve in the lower back (the lumbar curve) requires proper support when seated. Since all of us have different spinal curves, it’s best to find an office chair with an adjustable lumbar support that suits the curves of your body uniquely.
Customizable and adjustable
The more adjustments you can make with an office chair, the better. While most have basic adjustability for arm rests, seating height, and back support, there are many other dimensions to account for when seated. Look for office chairs that allow you to adjust as many areas as possible.
The slope of your seat and the forward or backward adjustment of the back support can have a major impact on your seated posture. A seat with a headrest can be a tremendous help to providing necessary support to your neck and relieving strain which can cause neck pain and headaches.
A nice set of wheels
While most ergonomic office chairs with back support include wheels, some of them are better suited to rolling across different surfaces than others. It’s important to get a chair that rolls easily to avoid straining to move around throughout the day. Consider ordering specialized wheels to replace the ones on your chair if they are not suited to the floors in your office.
Your ergonomic office chair with back support should help, and not hinder, your ability to reach for anything on your desk or in the area around you. A swivel base allows you to rotate freely, and makes a huge difference in reachability, especially for people who work with a lot of documents and files and need the ability to rearrange things throughout the day.
Material and cushioning
This should go without saying, but your ergonomic office chair with back support needs to be comfortable for long periods of time. The fabric should be breathable without getting too hot and sweaty. Many ergonomic back supports for office chairs feature a mesh back that allows airflow and proper ventilation throughout the day.
Whether you’re on a budget or looking for the nicest chair on the market, be sure to evaluate the above criteria to ensure that your body has the best chance at having great posture and good health throughout the day.
An ergonomic chair with back support can have a huge impact on your life both inside and outside of work. Consider the investment as a worthwhile measure to protect your health and your ability to do your absolute best work for years to come!
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