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How To Sit In Office Chair With Lower Back Pain

Use this guide to learn the best way to sit with lower back pain as well as five tips for dealing with and preventing pain during your workday.

Do you feel like you spend most of the week at your desk? If so, you may be all too familiar with lower back pain. It might be dull and achy or sharp and stabbing, and it's never pleasant. On top of that, it's often accompanied by other issues, like neck pain. But what are you supposed to do when you work at a desk?
Chronic back pain has several causes, from poor posture to low-quality office chairs, but there's a solutions for every problem. For example, you could find relief by giving your office an ergonomic makeover, increasing your physical activity during the workday, or simply learning the best way to sit with lower back pain.
This guide will highlight some of our favorite ways to relieve lower back pain from sitting at desks. We'll also help you figure out what to invest in and what free options you have available so that you can give your back the long-term support it deserves without breaking the bank.

Do You Have Pandemic Posture?

We know that sitting for long periods of time isn't healthy for our backs or bodies. But have you heard about pandemic posture? According to Harvard Health, it’s "poor posture from slouching at a desk or on a couch during time at home," which could be why your neck and back hurt.
Sitting with poor posture all day can also cause nerve irritation and joint pain. And even if you're sitting up straight, holding your body in one position for long periods can cause muscle strains, spasms, and fatigue.
If you work from home, be honest about how often you're sitting in pandemic posture. Maybe you've taken to working on the sofa or at the kitchen table, or maybe your home office chair just isn't made to support you for eight hours every day.
Whatever the case, it's time to sit up straight and commit to improving your posture and back health. The sooner you correct the issue, the better.

5 Tips to Protect Your Lower Back

If you experience lower back pain after sitting at your desk for hours on end, something needs to change. Put the below tips into action to protect your spine and address your back pain today.

1. Adopt Good Sitting Posture

Learning how to sit with good posture is one of the most straightforward changes you can make, especially since it's free. Plus, by working on your sitting position, you can reduce your risk of ongoing back problems from slouching or hunching over your screen.
It's all about alignment, so it can help to practice this posture in front of a mirror:
  • Joints: Sit with your hips and knees bent at 90-degree angles, keeping your feet flat on the floor and the backs of your knees at the edge of your chair. These angles help you effortlessly maintain an upright position, although you might need a chair with adjustable seat depth to make it happen.


  • Head and neck: Stack your head on top of your shoulders over your pelvis, with your neck straight. It can help to keep your upper back and head touching your chair, although you might need a high-back office chair with an adjustable headrest and backrest to make this possible.


  • Arms: Allow your upper arms to hang straight by your sides with your lower arms at a 90- to 120-degree angle on your armrests. Some people will need a chair with adjustable armrests for this position to work.


  • Spine and torso: Keep your back straight and the natural curve of your spine in a neutral position, lightly engaging your abdominals to support your lumbar spine. Avoid tensing your back muscles, letting your hips tilt back, or slouching forward from your upper and mid-back. If this is tough for you, try pressing your spine into the back of your chair — a reclining chair with a breathable mesh back can make this more comfortable.


Everyone's body is different, so experiment with these alignment tips until you find your perfect posture. An adjustable ergonomic chair can do a lot of the work for you, and it's a good safety net if you often slip into poor posture as the day goes on.

2. Stay Active Throughout Your Workday

Regardless of how much support your new executive chair offers, you'll still need to get up and move if you want to take care of your spine. A standing desk is a great start, but the human body is designed to move. Plus, movement breaks don't come with a price tag — all you need to invest is your time.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recently funded a study that showed that breaking up periods of sitting with five minutes of activity throughout the day can lower your risk of unexpected death. So try scheduling a five-minute break every hour to get your body moving — take this time to walk around, finish chores, or do some stretches.
The increased physical activity from these small breaks gives your spine the rest and reset it needs. It may also help with weight loss, which can relieve and prevent chronic low back pain while reducing your risk of other health conditions.

3. Strengthen Your Back Muscles

Strengthening your back muscles can help it stay healthy and pain-free. Try some basic bodyweight exercises that target your back muscles or consider yoga.
Ease into a workout routine instead of jumping right in. Otherwise, you could injure yourself. It's best to work with a personal trainer or attend classes so that an expert can correct your posture. And if that's not your style, head to YouTube and find some videos that focus on proper form.

4. Give Your Office an Ergonomic Makeover

An ergonomic makeover for your workspace might be the best investment you can make for your back pain. You can think of ergonomics as the science of work because it's all about designing your working environment to meet your body's needs.
We recommend looking for the best office chair for lower back pain, a standing desk, a monitor arm, and maybe some accessories. Here's why:
  • Ergonomic desk chair: A high-quality ergonomic office chair can provide adjustable lumbar support, 360-degree swivel functionality, tilt tension, adjustable seat height, adjustable headrest height, and many more ergonomic features. Some of the best ergonomic office chairs are executive office chairs and ergonomic chairs designed for long hours. Gaming chairs also often feature an ergonomic design.


  • Standing desk: A standing desk offers benefits like improved moods and productivity, and it'll help keep you more active. Most are height adjustable, so you can easily switch between sitting and standing when you'd like a break.


  • Monitor arm: Keeping your computer screen at eye level can prevent you from craning your neck to look down, but many office desks are the wrong height for this. A monitor arm allows you to adjust your screen to the correct height, whether you're in something low like a kneeling chair or standing in an upright position.


  • Accessories: Different body types and home offices can benefit from accessories to customize your workspace. For example, you might want a headrest, a memory foam backrest for extra lower back support, a footrest, and an orthopedic standing mat. In addition, some people like having alternate seats like an exercise ball or a kneeling chair.


If you're unsure of how to choose new furniture or don't have the time, our Design My Office feature can provide personalized recommendations. You deserve a workspace that protects your spinal wellness so that you can enjoy a pain-free life.
Note: Ask your employer's HR department about financial assistance when setting up your home office. Your company may provide a stipend to help you buy the office furniture you need.

5. Seek Medical Advice

The most important thing that you can do for your back pain is to speak with a healthcare professional. Your doctor can look at your health information and lifestyle to ensure you're not dealing with anything serious. And if you are, they can point you toward the right physical therapy or pain relief strategies.
For example, if you're dealing with sciatica or other nerve pain, a physical therapist can help relieve symptoms, heal the underlying cause, and prevent recurring issues.
There are many causes of lower back pain when sitting, and your doctor can help you identify them. Sure, poor posture is a common cause, but you don't want to miss other medical conditions like degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis before it's too late for nonsurgical treatment.

Figure Out What Works Best for You

Lower back pain might seem an inevitable part of working at a desk, but it doesn't need to be with these tips. Back pain can be a complex issue, so stay on top of it by speaking with your doctor, learning good posture, giving your office an ergonomic design, and keeping active with breaks and exercise.
Remember, the best way to sit with lower back pain is with good posture in a supportive office chair that has adjustment features and a comfortable, padded seat. And don't forget a standing desk so you can alternate between sitting and standing.
When you're ready to outfit your office, head to our shop for ergonomically designed desks, chairs, and accessories. We can also help you plan your space, providing personalized recommendations for all your furniture needs.

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