Lower Back Pain? Go Ahead, Blame Your Chair

By C Simmons

Did you know one of the biggest health issues plaguing office workers is lower back pain? Why would this condition most would attribute to lifting heavy objects be such a prominent condition among those working in an office environment? If you are sitting down reading this, look no further than right behind you. Office chairs are not designed to give proper support during use. They are designed to provide a place to sit, however uncomfortably, and at the least cost possible.

Your boss’ big comfy chair is more suited to provide adequate support on those long days meeting with current or potential clients, reading through reports, or talking on the phone to a facilities manager in China for two hours. Well guess what, he is the boss so he is entitled to that $2000 chair that massages, heats, cools, and probably dispenses coffee from a tap in the arm. We have all tried to sit up straighter and take the occasional stretch break, but by the end of the day, even a Monday, we all find ourselves slouched over our keyboard wondering if 5pm is ever going to come.


I speak of this problem somewhat farcically but it is definitely a real problem throughout the office world. There are all kinds of expensive classes you can take to help with posture and breathing: Tai Chi, Qigong, Alexander technique. While very helpful, these classes are quite expensive and time consuming. Why not fix the problem at its origin? If not, you will have invested all that time and money only to step into that office and sit down in the same uncomfortable chair that started the pain. Something as simple as a lumbar pillow can make a world of difference to an old uncomfortable chair. For the same price as a weekend of breathing exercises and posture techniques you could have a permanent solution to a recurring problem. A well manufactured chair with a built-in lumbar support can turn a long, painful week behind a desk into a long, productive week behind a desk. I am sorry to say a new chair won’t make the job any easier, but it will leave you feeling a little more rejuvenated by the time 5 o’clock rolls around.

Of course, one cannot rely on a lumbar support to fix all the problems inherent with slouching at a computer all day. The extra support acts more like a posture aide than a ‘fix-all’. However, think about this: In order to keep correct posture, especially while sitting, your abdominals (along with other key core muscles) must tighten to hold you up. So, while you help minimize your lower back pain, you are also getting a pretty solid abdominal workout. Pretty good deal if you ask me, especially if you spend 4+ hours a day sitting at a desk. That’s 20 hours a week you will spend doing mild abdominal and core exercises along with keeping your back straighter and healthier. Bet you wouldn’t expect a six pack from crunching numbers all day would you?

About the Author: Chris is marketing director for

Ultimate Sleep

who specializes in 100% natural latex and other comfort products to help customers find relief from fatigue, back and joint pain, and sleep disorders.



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