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The Terrifying Long Term Effects of Poor Back Support

17 November 2021

Your chair has more power over you than you realise. While it might seem like an inanimate object, with the sole purpose of keeping you in one place while you type or perform tasks, it’s really so much more than that. Sitting for long periods of time in a chair can have long-term consequences on your body - and eventually, your mental wellness and productivity too. Here’s how…

Back Pain and Your Chair

The most common cause of lower back pain is postural stress. This means sitting, sleeping or standing in a way that is causing tension in your back. A rounded back position is particularly dangerous which is why sitting on a sofa or soft armchair can cause prolonged, agonising pain. According to Cornell University Department of Ergonomics, up to 90% more pressure is placed on your back when you sit compared to when you stand. This is because, out of habit, you tend to sit in a way that causes imbalance in your back and neck. For example, when sitting on a chair, you might lean your head towards the TV, or lean your back in forwards to view your computer screen.

When sitting for a long period of time, your hip flexors are in a shortened position, which can stop your glutes from firing, rendering them weak. Consequently, your hamstrings will overwork, resulting in anterior pelvic tilt (APT). APT is an excessive tilt of the pelvis.  The more you suffer with APT, the more weak your abs become, which then makes it look as though you have a bigger stomach than you actually do.

When you have APT, you can start to experience poor movement mechanics, uneven muscle tone and lower back pain. This is why it is important that you find a chair that will properly support an upright posture, giving you comfort and a safe position to prevent back pain caused by APT.

Common Mistakes That Cause Back Pain

The first mistake you can make when sitting in a chair is to look down at your screen, book or notepad. Looking down puts strain on your neck and upper back and shoulders. Similarly, when you lean forward with shoulders hunched, you are causing strain on your upper back and your chest.

Having a desk too far away from you can cause you to reach forward and place strain on your shoulders. The same happens if you try to hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear, instead of in your hand.

Taking note of these mistakes and being conscious of them in the future can help you minimise any long term damage from poor sitting posture.

Long Term Effects of Poor Posture

Normally, the effects of poor posture are relieved by correcting and repositioning yourself when sitting. However, prolonged poor posture can have detrimental effects. For example, Postural kyphosis, or “round back”, is a condition that can be quite prevalent in young adults. It is when the spine is curved forward as a result of hunching forward in a seat. When this happens, the lumbar spine compensates by curving more in the opposite direction, causing lumbar back pain.

Another long term effect of poor posture is fatigue. From where your body is working overtime to support your poor posture, you might find you have mental and physical tiredness. This could, in turn, lead to you feeling depressed, especially if you are in constant pain.

Lastly, having chronic back pain can be expensive. You might find yourself splashing out for massages and physiotherapy if you cannot get on top of the situation. Chronic back pain could see you have time off work, lose employment or end up on long term sick leave. There is, without a doubt, no downplaying the seriousness of poor posture and chronic pain. Therefore, it’s crucial you find furniture that can help prevent these situations from escalating.

What Can You Do About Poor Sitting Posture?

Finding the right chair is important, but you shouldn’t choose just anything. Guessing which chair is best could lead you further down the path to chronic back pain. At Flexispot, we only source and sell the best ergonomic furniture that is tried and tested before you buy. That means, each product is scientifically proven to provide results. We offer a variety of office chairs that are adjustable, breathable and comfortable. You can also look at out for our multi function gaming chairs, offering lumbar cushion and a footrest - perfect for those long hours spent gaming where you may lose track of time.

Head over to our website to view our full range of products, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. One of our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you.