Fight Chronic Back Pain with the Right Ergonomic Chair and Desk

by Will M on May 9, 2013

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Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is cited as one of the most common reasons for lost work days, adversely affecting both employees and employers. (Photo: IAATPA)

One of the most common issues we see from customers here at the Human Solution is chronic back pain. In a recent blog entry for the Huffington Post, sports medicine specialist Dr. Vijay Vad refers to it as an “epidemic,” and the numbers he cites certainly reflect this. He lists it as one of the most common reasons for lost work days, which means individuals, companies and the economy in general all suffer from its effects. And he agrees with what we’ve been saying on our own blog for some time now, that sitting all day is to blame.

As Dr. Vad points out, while it seems instinctual that sitting may be relief for back pain, it actually has the adverse effect. According to Dr. Vad, “it maximizes pressures on the discs that are the shock absorbers in your spine and minimizes nutrition to the disc,” adding that this “puts a kind of chokehold on the disc, cutting off the blood supply it needs.”

So while it seems counter-intuitive that sitting down doesn’t relieve back pain and instead aggravates it, study after study has proven this to be the case, and it’s great to see the science of it laid out that simply.

Dr. Vad’s first two solutions for addressing chronic back pain? Exercise and ergonomics. Luckily, these are two things we can help with. His two simple exercise suggestions are standing every 30 minutes and walking or biking. Our exercise desks pair a bike or treadmill with an electric sit-to-stand desk, letting you stand, bike or walk without ever leaving your workstation.

He also lists a good ergonomic chair as important to fighting chronic back pain, though he also points out that, even with a good chair, you should still periodically stand.

As a Council for Disability Awareness study that Dr. Vad cites points out, almost a third of long-term disability is due to musculoskeletal system problems, and half of these are related to back pain. These are certainly epidemic proportions, but ones that can be easily addressed by an ergonomic workstation. You’ll soon find that sitting is not the relief you’re looking for – it’s standing and exercising.

Find ergonomic office products to help you fight back pain at

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Written by Will M

Will M

Will Moore has been with The Human Solution since 2011, and currently resides in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife Angie and their terriers Eli and Hannah. When not writing about or selling ergonomic furniture, he’s usually catching a live music show or watching a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. He enjoys bacon, Pearl Jam, and sitting in a Steelcase Amia Chair when not using his desk’s standing capabilities (ah, the perks of working at THS). He is responsible for spearheading the very popular Music Friday at THS, in which a theme is picked and everyone plays a song in turn, culminating in the entire office ceremonially playing “Who Let the Dogs Out,” no matter what the theme, every Friday at 6 pm when we close.

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