What is ergonomic lumbar support

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Find out what ergonomic lumbar support is and why it's important for your health

Anyone who experiences chronic back and neck pain quickly learns about ergonomic options. Basically, the term refers to furniture (typically for the workplace) designed to offer maximum comfort, and alleviate stress or injury caused by lack of support.

Sometimes the term “ergonomics” is used as a philosophical approach, creating the office space to suit the worker rather than the other way around. Common causes of physical stress include repetitive movement, sitting awkwardly (holding a land line phone between your shoulder and ear for extended periods) and environmental factors, included poor air quality, bad lighting and excessive noise.

If you spend the majority of the work day sitting at a desk, ergonomic workplace furniture will make a world of difference for your health, quality of life and the quality of the work you do there. It’s critical to know what is ergonomic lumbar support and how to choose furniture that’s right for you.

What’s this about lumbar?

The lumbar region refers to the lower spine or the lower back. It includes the abdominal part of the torso located between your diaphragm and sacrum. Adjusting a chair to provide proper support to this area relieves stress and improves your posture.

Your lower back is vulnerable to injury because most people put excessive physical strain on it and continue doing so until it leads to serious pain. The area carries more than its share of weight as it is. The five vertebrae in the lower spine are the largest, most movable part of the spine.

Your lumbar muscles are essential to your vitality, flexibility and strength. You would miss having a healthy lower back! If the lumbar area is not healthy, the spine cannot provide the full support the skeletal frame needs. This severely impairs physical movement.

Now you really want to know what is ergonomic lumbar support. 

From a design perspective, creating a proper desk chair means building in support for the skeletal frame and muscles surrounding the lower back. Visually, this support targets the place where the lower spine curves inward. A little firm cushioning reinforces the lower back’s ability to support every major joint correctly, provided you sit with good posture.

The longer any one part of the body is strained, the higher your risk of injury. That’s why office workers and anyone who spends long periods of time sitting is at high risk of lower back and neck injury. 

Human bodies are made for movement, not for extended periods of sitting. Using chairs and other workplace furniture with built-in lumbar support is important. 

It shouldn’t go without saying that this extra support makes you far more comfortable at work. This means less readjusting, less aches, less distraction, which equals more focus, more productivity and more engagement with what you’re doing. Happy workers do better work and smart employers know it.

Choosing a style

There are many ergonomic desk chair styles to choose from, including the popular swivel kind as well as knee and saddle chairs. If you’re already experiencing lower back stress, the less traditional styles provide more support and relief than the swivel style. Also, try some back pain relief exercises to strengthen your core and gain back mobility.

Slouchers should choose designs with extra support while those with good posture need less.

Adjustability counts. You should be able to adjust the height and tilt to suit your desk and the height of your screen. Ideally the back, seat and arms will be adjustable, too.

Now that you know what is ergonomic lumbar support, you know that back and neck pain is not something you have to live with. Changing your desk chair is a simple way to enjoy instant comfort and relief. 

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