The issue of the 'chair'

The issue of the 'chair'


The issue of the 'chair'

A bright, cozy and luxurious chair catches the attention of eager shoppers in a mall. Most want to take it home without realising that their dream of comfort could soon become an issue concerning health problems. It is thus crucial to think twice before you choose the right chair.

Sitting on an office chair for prolonged periods can definitely cause low back pain or worsen an existing back or neck problem. The main reason behind this is that sitting in an office chair or in general, is a static posture that increases stress in the back, neck, shoulders, arms and legs and in particular, can add large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs.

“One needs to have a chair that supports your back right upto your shoulder and has a little curvature so that there is a little bump at the lower back. The height could vary from person to person and needs to be made suitable for the back at an angle of about 20 degrees. You should sit with you buttocks going right upto your back with knees bending at 90 degrees,” advices Dr Harshavardhan Hegde, director of medical services at Nova orthopaedic and spine hospital. Also, the height of an office or computer chair should be such that the foot can remain flat on ground. “Try not to keep your feet on heels or toes,” adds Dr Harshavardhan.

At home too, one needs to be careful while choosing a chair. Chairs kept in living and reading rooms should have, “a firm cushion, neither too soft nor too hard, to sit on with arm rest on both sides and the back of chair should be convex and bulge towards the front at about 12-15 degrees to give support to the lower back. But neck rest should be avoided as they tend to push the neck foward, which is not good for neck muscles,” says Dr Manoj Miglani at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj.

While using laptop, “use a pad to lift the height of laptop so that it comes to the level of your eye,” adds Dr Manoj insisting that it is ideal to use a different keyboard and mouse rather than the one enabled in a laptop, to avoid eyes from straining.
To relax, a recliner is the best. But if you spend a lot of time in a recliner, it is important to move from time to time to enable mobility of joints, maintain good blood circulation and prevent discomfort and the possibility of pressure sores. Getting the right size and support in a recliner is also a must.

Selecting the perfect height is also the issue in dining chairs but if used for long periods, these should include arm rests to increase comfort and decrease stress on the shoulders.

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