A guide to office ergonomics
Back pain at work is an all too common occurrence, with experts estimating that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Despite this alarming statistic (which is on the rise too!), we still regularly witness office workers spending a significant amount of their week working at a desk/workstation that isn’t ergonomic and is likely to be contributing towards back pain, as well as other conditions too. This is why we’ve created the guide and made it our mission to guide as many people as we can towards a healthier back, free of pain and discomfort.
Invest in a comfortable & Ergonomic Office Chair
With the average office worker spending between 6 - 8 hours a day (around 2,000 hours every year!) sat in a chair, having a comfortable and ergonomic office chair is a fundamental factor to avoiding back pain. We frequently speak to customers that are suffering from back pain as a result of spending so much time every day sitting in an unsupportive office chair. This is why it’s so important to spend time making sure you’re investing in the right chair. Thankfully, we’re here to help!
So, what is the best office chair for lower back pain? The best ergonomic task chairs promote spontaneous movement without needing to adjust knobs and levers each time you adjust your position! Instead, look for a chair that automatically adjusts to your body’s needs with dynamic recline and lumbar support as you move. As an added bonus, also try finding an office chair with armrests that are connected to the back of the chair, this allows the armrests to move with the chair as you recline. We spent a lot of time trying and testing a variety of task chairs and brands before deciding who we wanted to work with. It was clear that we wanted to carefully select one brand that we believe to be the best in the sector, rather than offering a huge range of lots of different office chairs.
After a lot of research and testing, our preferred brand was Humanscale and they excelled in all of our tests. Humanscale were also described by The New York Times as ‘The Gold Standard in Office Seating’. We currently offer a range of 3 Humanscale chairs, the Freedom Chair, The Different World Chair and the Liberty Task Chair.
After witnessing the impact that back pain can have on peoples everyday lives and knowing how much time the average users spends in an office chair, we truly believe that investing in the right office chair is so important. Our Humanscale chairs are also sold with an industry-leading 15 Year warranty, so you can have peace of mind that your investment will last for years to come.
Please see our Humanscale Office Chairs below. If you’d like to discuss any of these chairs with one of our staff then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Humanscale Diffrient World Mesh Office Chair
Diffrient World is Humanscale's first foray into all-mesh task seating. Designer Niels Diffrient wanted to create the most minimal, full-function task chair ever made. With an innovative tri-panel mesh backrest that provides custom back and lumbar support and a lightweight design, Diffrient World is, like all of Humanscale’s products, simple, beautiful and functional. The design eliminates the need for traditional mechanisms, instead using the laws of physics and the sitter’s body weight to offer perfect recline for each individual sitter. Diffrient World offers the ultimate user-friendly sitting experience.
Humanscale Freedom Task Chair
The Freedom chair redefines the concept of traditional task chairs. Designer Niels Diffrient aimed to design an office chair that automatically adapts to the user, allowing them to move freely from posture to posture. Diffrient’s unique approach removed complexities found in other chairs, such as cumbersome recline levers and back tension dials for a truly ergonomic task chair.
Humanscale Liberty Task Chair
Liberty, with Form-Sensing Mesh Technology, is unlike any mesh chair you’ve seen or experienced. With its tri-panel construction, Liberty has the body-fitting contours that single-panel stretch mesh chairs simply can’t achieve. And it offers perfect lumbar support for everyone, without external devices or manual adjustments. Liberty’s mesh back is formed by combining three panels of nonstretch mesh in the same way a tailor combines multiple pieces of material to form a shirt. So its contours are custom-made to both fit and support the human body in unprecedented comfort.
Prevent Lower Back Pain with a Lumbar Support
Whilst creating an ergonomic workstation, we always recommend firstly looking at your office chair as the key factor. However, for users looking to improve the support on their existing chair at a low cost, it’s worth trying a supportive lumbar cushion. Lumbar supports can be the perfect solution to improve support to your lower back whilst also improving your posture. This can be particularly important if you’re prone to slouching in your office chair! We have a variety of Lumbar Supports available that are all manufactured here in Britain and are all sold with a 2-year guarantee.
Memory Foam Lumbar Support
Our new lumbar support helps ease lumbar pain and backache and stays in place without fixing straps. Memory foam core for ultimate pressure relief and support for your back. Simply place the back support over the back of your chair and adjust up or down until maximum support is felt in your lumbar region. The simple counterbalance will hold the posture cushion in place so there is no need to keep adjusting it. This also makes the cushion ideal to swap quickly between chairs.
Memory Foam Lumbar Support
Our Backrests were researched and approved by the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. Contoured in Putnafoam on a solid base, the Backrests do not assume the shape of the seat. Instead they hold their ergonomic shape to support the spine, giving excellent lumbar support, ideal for the home or car. Made with built-in wooden back board to hold shape and offer optimum support.
Consider an Office Chair Seating Cushion
We offer a range of pressure-relieving cushions designed for use in office chairs, the best options will vary depending on what you are looking to improve. If you are looking to reduce pressure on your tailbone / the base of your spine then we recommend looking at one of our pressure cushions that have a coccyx cut out. If you are looking to improve your overall posture whilst sitting, then you may also benefit from a sitting wedge. For prostate and sensitive region relief look at the Sero Pressure cushion, Dr Huff cut out. For smaller and shaped office chairs, we recommend a Sero Pressure Office Cushion.
Recommended to reduce pressure on your tailbone
Pressure relief and comfort cushions with coccyx cut outs to reduce pressure at the base of the spine. Ideal for lower back pain, Coccydynia and tailbone pain. Most of these cushions are also available without coccyx cut outs or with other cut outs. If you cannot find a specific product let us know.
Recommended for office chairs
New! By popular demand: the Sero Pressure Office Cushion. Made from the same foam as our best selling Sero Pressure Cushion range the Sero Pressure Office Cushion is shaped for the modern office chair, allowing you to work in comfort.
Recommended for prostate and sensitive region relief
Made from Top Grade 50 superior foam we guarantee high performance and durability. The integral pockets allow air to circulate enabling heat to disperse, while the high profile foam helps eliminate numbness and relieves pressure points. The Sero Pressure Cushions are also indispensable during the natural healing process. Suitable for home, office and travelling. A choice of covers is available which are zipped, hand washable and have a carrying handle.
Improve Your Posture with a Sitting Wedge
The simple action of sitting is likely to cause neck and lower back pain for many people, due to the pressure that is placed on your spine. This is where sitting wedges can be ideal, perfect for use in the office as well as at home. Placed on an office chair, they adapt the angle of the sitting position, tilting the pelvis forward; encouraging good posture and helping to correct the alignment of the spine. This is a great solution to reduce back pain and improve posture. This form of active sitting improves your muscles and can also improve your posture when you aren't sat too.
If you’re looking to purchase a sitting wedge, we recommend our most popular and versatile 8-degree wedge, please see below -
Our best selling sitting wedge
The simple action of sitting is likely to cause neck and lower back pain to many people, due to enormous pressure placed on the spine. The Wedges are ideal for car seats because they angle the body to a comfortable, easy driving position. Placed on an office chair, they adapt the angle of the sitting position, tilting the pelvis forward; encouraging good posture.
Keep Moving with a Foot Rocker
No matter how comfortable and ergonomic your office chair may be, prolonged static posture can lead to a bad back. To avoid keeping the back in one position for a long period, remember to stand, stretch and walk regularly throughout the day. In addition to this, we also recommend investing in a foot rocker to place beneath your desk. Foot rockers provide perfect support for the feet and legs when sitting. By engaging lower leg muscles, they increase healthful circulation while also raising the feet to relieve pressure on the lower back. This addition to the workstation provides instant relief from prolonged sitting by encouraging a gentle rocking of the feet. Of all the Foot Rockers available, we recommend the award-winning FR500 Foot Rocker, which delivers effortless functionality in a simple, stylish package.
The award-winning FR500 delivers effortless functionality in a simple, stylish package. Like all Humanscale Foot Rockers, the FR500 promotes health and comfort by getting the user’s feet moving. This addition to the workstation provides instant relief from prolonged sitting by encouraging a gentle rocking of the feet.
Help prevent an RSI injury with wrist supports
If you suffer from pain, numbness or tingling in your hands and wrists while working you could be at risk from Repetitive Strain Injury, commonly known as RSI. To help improve the impact of an RSI or to prevent one altogether, we recommend investing in wrist supports. These are worn to support your wrists while you are using your hands. Our preferred brand - Wristys, offer a uniquely formulated neoprene soft cushioning which protects delicate tendons and nerves and helps distribute pressure evenly.
If you suffer from pain, numbness or tingling in your hands and wrists while working you could be at risk from Repetitive Strain Injury, commonly known as RSI. Wristys are worn to support your wrists while you are using your hands. Wristys uniquely formulated neoprene soft cushioning, protects delicate tendons and nerves and helps distribute pressure evenly.
Treat and prevent back pain at home with Teeter Inversion Therapy
After following the steps above to achieve a fully ergonomic workstation, we’d recommend also looking at how you can improve your back pain at home. Without a doubt, our preferred solution to prevent and improve back pain is a Teeter Inversion Table, which is what our staff regularly recommend. We regularly receive fantastic feedback from customers that have dramatically improved their back pain through the use of a Teeter Inversion Table. if you’re new to inversion therapy, it allows you to target back pain at the source naturally, using your body weight and gravity to elongate and relax tense muscles while decompressing your spine and weight-bearing joints.
Unlike surgery, mechanical traction, and other invasive forms of treatment using a Teeter is a gentle, passive way to target pain at the source and care for all weight-bearing joints. This progressive form of traction allows each joint to be decompressed by the same weight that compresses it while upright. To put it simply, inverted decompression creates an ideal stretch that improves spinal health and targets back pain by helping to:
1. Rehydrate discs
2. Reduce nerve pressure
3. Realign the spine
4. Relax tense muscles
With over 3 million users worldwide, Teeter is the leading brand for Inversion Therapy and currently, the only FDA approved inversion table brand. Please take a look at our range of Teeter Inversion Tables and read some of the hundreds of reviews left by genuine Teeter users.
A modern twist on a classic design, the Contour L5 boasts features that provide unparalleled user-friendliness and security. Its unique, contemporary styling elevates this inversion table to a furniture-quality piece that fits beautifully within any décor.
The Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table is one of the best inversion tables on the market and has been designed to provide pressure-point relief, deeper compression and improved alignment to help relieve various back pain issues. They also offer relaxation benefits and greater flexibility when used for as little as a few minutes per day, resulting in better posture, pain-relief and improved circulation.
Lightweight and portable, the incredibly popular Teeter Hang Ups Gravity Boots offer a customisable way to perform an inverted workout at home or at the gym.
If you’d like to discuss your current workstation setup with us then please get in touch and one of our ergonomic experts will be happy to provide an online assessment, offering suggestions of what could be improved.