This past year has taught us a lot about what it really means to work from home (WFH). Millions of people have had to answer questions about how to manage their daily responsibilities with everything from intermittent internet to outside distractions.
One major concern after hours in a home office (and an often haphazard one at that) was whether the chair they were using was right for their back. We’ll look at how to evaluate this question to ensure that you’re doing the right thing for your body.
Support for the Lower Back
Also known as lumbar, the goal is for the back of the chair to rest squarely at the small of your back. If you find yourself adjusting the backrest constantly without much luck, it’s likely not the right chair for you. If you have found the right fit, more advanced chairs have a mechanism so you can increase or decrease the pressure of the support on your lower back.
Ideally, you should set up a 100° recline to prevent lower back pain. In terms of the actual seat, there are no set recommendations for how long or wide it should be. OSHA’s general recommendations are around 18″ high and wide, though your seat will differ based on your body type.
Rather than getting out a protractor or ruler, it sometimes helps just to pay attention to your body. At the end of a stressful day, it’s all too easy to dismiss back pain or ignore it entirely. This can lead to more severe issues in the future, and not necessarily the distant future either. If you notice that you’re uncomfortable or feel the tension when you stretch, it’s a sign that your WFH chair can’t go the distance.
The reality is that some people who are working from home shouldn’t have a chair at all. In many cases, a standing desk is just a better option for them. Converting your desk can be as easy as piling boxes on top of one another so the monitors are raised. You can also consider seeing an experienced chiropractor to help determine the right preventative measures to take for your body.