Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can Adjustable Chairs Diminish Neck Pain?

Sitting in a chair for prolonged periods of time is a sure shot recipe for developing back and neck pain. However, if a chair such as your office chair is adjustable, then it may reduce neck and back pain that you could otherwise suffer from.

Back pain from sitting could result from several reasons. For instance, sitting in a chair or stools e.g. hospital stools, for long periods can lead to a buildup of stress on our shoulders, neck, back, arms, legs, and back muscles. In addition, most people tend to slouch while sitting, and a bad posture may make it more likely for pain to develop.

How adjustable chairs could remedy the situation.

Some time back a study published in the medical publication Spine, concluded that adjustable-height chairs that had ergonomically curved seats, had the potential to significantly reduce neck and shoulder pain in garment workplaces. (Spine, Apr 2007)

Garment workers seem to be an apt group for studying the back pain phenomenon because their work entails being seated in a position for seven to ten hours every single day. And not only do they have to work with cloth requiring fine-motor tasks while sewing, but they also have to lean forward and hold their arms and shoulders up.

Based on the results of the study the participants who were provided with an adjustable chairs had experienced a reduction in pain between 0.14 – 0.34 points on a 0-5 scale every month compared to a control group, over a four-month period.

So if adjustable chairs could work for garment workers, whose jobs are extremely physically demanding, then definitely, customizable chairs should benefit many of us who have to sit in our chairs for long hours.

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