Most furniture at work complaints relate to office chairs and back pain. After stress, back pain is the second most common cause of long-term sickness in the UK, with around 7.6 million working days lost to work-related back pain (plus other musculoskeletal disorders) from 2010 to 2011.
Back pain is usually caused through strained muscles or ligaments, general wear and tear, poor posture and stress. Sitting in an office chair for long periods of time (such as a full day at work!) can cause lower back pain, as well as pain in the shoulders and neck, and aggravating existing problems. The good news, however, is that it may be painful to sit in the wrong position, but changing your posture and/or your chair can make a world of difference and is easily resolved, meaning you shouldn’t have any more furniture at work complaints.
Your company may have a dedicated staff member or department which can help you get the right office chair or help you to set up your chair properly, but if not, here are some tips to make sure you have the correct posture while sat at your desk.
First of all, establish what the height of your workstation or desk is and if this is adjustable. This will affect how you position the chair and if you need any further equipment. The base of the chair should extend from the back of your bottom to just behind your knees. Your body should basically be at right angles, with a right angle at your hips, elbows and knees. If you find your legs aren’t at a right angle but that your chair is at the right height, you may need a foot rest or to raise the height of your desk. Your eyes should also meet the centre of your computer screen naturally without having to move your head or neck.