In the modern workplace, people can spend up to 70% of their day sitting at their desk in front of a computer. This shift in the way we work has resulted in an increase in posture-related injuries, as well as a heightened awareness of the importance of ergonomics for office workers. The use of ergonomic office furniture, including an ergonomic office chair such as the Bambach Saddle Seat, is more important than ever before to maintain good health during our working lives. Whether you work in a corporate, SME or home office environment, poor ergonomics can impact on your productivity, quality of life and overall health, leaving you with mild to debilitating chronic pain.
This month, we discuss how to improve ergonomics in the office, including posture, back support and the best office chair for lower back pain:
Conventional vs Ergonomic Office Chairs
Ergonomic experts agree that although conventional office chairs are useful to relieve the fatigue of standing, they are a potential cause of back pain and trauma due to an increase in intradiscal pressure on the spine. This can in turn result in disc displacement, disc prolapse and damage to the sciatic nerve. When sitting on a conventional office chair for a long period of time we tend to slouch or hunch forwards, which overstretches the spinal ligaments, and strain the discs and surrounding structures of the spine. Over time, this can cause damage to the spine and significantly contribute to back, neck and shoulder pain. In comparison, an ergonomic office chair like the Bambach Saddle Seat supports the natural curve of the spine, improving your posture and reducing back pain.To learn more, see our post on the benefits of using ergonomic office chairs.
Body-Conscious Seat Design
It seems like common sense that people should not hold unnatural positions for long periods of time. The price of postural stress on the body is often paid for by not being able to perform activities that we want to do outside of work, like picking up a child, travelling, enjoying leisure activities or even just being able to relax watching TV. However, the majority of ergonomic office chairs available can actually end up increasing postural stress. Some ‘ergonomic’ chairs support the lumbar curve by pushing into your back, while alternative ergonomic seating such as kneeling chairs and bicycle seats can put sustained pressure on your joints and become uncomfortable to use over the working day. At Bambach, we are interested in body-conscious seat design. Our saddle seats are designed to improve the productivity, mobility and health of workers across a range of industries by creating the ideal sitting posture.
Improving Seated Posture at Work
Although standing desks are becoming more popular across workplaces, there are a number of advantages to sitting down to work. Sitting relieves the joints of the lower limbs from load bearing, reduces energy consumption which in turn lowers demands on the respiratory and vascular systems, provides greater stability and a better range of movement, and prevents you from working in unnatural positions. The design of our saddle seat allows you to sit naturally and comfortably, while improving your seated posture and even enhancing muscle tone due to the active seating position. In a saddle stool, your spine maintains its natural ‘S’ shape, with all your major joints in a neutral, stress-free position. Our philosophy is to give people a sound ergonomic seating solution with the Bambach Saddle Seat, which encourages correct seating posture instead of the slouching and hunching caused by conventional office seating.
Avoiding Lower Back Pain
In the office, one of the worst things you can do is end up in a prolonged static posture. The body can only tolerate staying in the same position for a short amount of time before stress begins to build in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the back, eventually turning into discomfort and then pain. Investing in an ergonomic office chair will help you avoid postural stress and back pain, as will adopting the habit of taking frequent breaks to stand, stretch, walk and change positions during your work day. The best chair for lower back pain is one which is customised for your individual use. Every saddle seat created by Bambach is tailored to its user, with multiple stem heights, four seat sizes and a range of accessories available. We ensure that your seat fits all your personal attributes and applications, including gender, height, occupation, environment and workstation.
Back Support and the Office Chair
When choosing an office chair, back support is another important consideration. Unlike other ergonomic chairs, the groundbreaking design of the Bambach Saddle Seat supports the lumbar curve of the spine through the straddle posture and open hip angle of the seat. Purpose-designed to position the pelvis in an upright, neutral position and keep it there, back support is provided by the saddle stool and your upright posture on the seat. Therefore for most work which involves sitting or leaning forward, you should not need a backrest. We supply saddle seats both with and without backs to accommodate different requirements. In order to get used to the new seating position, we recommend a period of a few weeks to adjust to using your saddle stool. You can also choose a saddle seat with a backrest, to use as a rest point during the day when thinking or in a meeting.
Increasing Comfort and Productivity at Work
Improving the ergonomics of your office can have a range of benefits, including increasing your comfort, focus and productivity at work. Bambach Saddle Seats can help improve work performance in three significant ways. Firstly, using a saddle stool helps to reduce fatigue, opening up the chest to improve breathing and circulation. As a result of the muscles and joints being in balance, a saddle seat also helps increase dexterity for those undertaking task work or procedures requiring a high level of precision. Finally, our ergonomic office chairs improve your mobility and reach no matter what your profession is, ensuring free movement around your workspace while maintaining stability.
The Bambach is the original saddle seat, designed and manufactured in Australia by occupational therapist Mary Gale. Our ergonomic office chairs are tested by AFRDI to the highest standards and are recommended by health professionals worldwide. To find the best saddle seat for you, use our online seat calculator to choose a chair model or Contact Us today.