It’s the defining trait of the office worker generation – a bad back from sitting at your desk, staring at a computer monitor for too long! The consensus had always been that a correct posture with ergonomic chairs, desks and even monitor stands and keyboards was the only way to combat back pain, something that 1 in 3 British people experience at any one time.
Sitting straight is bad for your back
However, new research suggests that rather than the typical upright position of 90 degrees, slouching in your chair at an angle of 135 degrees can keep the weight off the base of your spine and stop back pain from occurring. – Take that Mr Jones from second year primary school – I told you slouching was not merely an indication of my laziness.
The research was completed by Scottish and Canadian researchers using advanced MRI scanning to show where strain is located on the spine when sitting at various angles. During the research, a number of volunteers sat in different positions on their chairs, with the most unnecessary strain being placed on the lower spine found in the group that sat at 90 degrees. This is in direct contrast to the normally recommended position that until now has been recommended to prevent back pain.
Why do we suffer from back pain?
The reason for back pain manifesting itself when sitting for prolonged periods is due to the spinal disks moving out of alignment when exposed to weight-bearing strain. This latest research carried out at Woodend hospital in Aberdeen suggests that sitting back at an angle of 135 degrees can significantly reduce this strain on the spinal disks, as well as the associated muscles and tendons surrounding them.
The same research also looked into other angles of being seated, including sitting at a 70 degree angle as one might do when leaning forward towards a computer screen or other desk related work. While 70 degrees can also contribute to spinal disk movement, at 90 degrees this movement is most pronounced.
As we all know, the human body isn’t really designed to be sitting around all day, so for the one in three British people who spend 10 hours or more seated every single day, this new research could help with their back pain.
Ergonomic chairs still have their place
Despite this research, a good quality ergonomic chair is still a wise investment if you plan to spend any considerable amount of time at your desk. A correctly configured ergonomic chair is important to reduce strain in other parts of our bodies including shoulders, arms and wrists.
Ergonomic chairs also allow you to adjust the angles at which you can comfortably sit on your chair. Having a seat base that can tilt back is helpful in enabling you to reach that 135 degree angle without sliding off the front of your chair.
InteriorsTeam are a leading UK supplier of high quality ergonomic chairs and other seating options, so check them out online to find the ideal solution for reducing back pain and other posture related ailments.