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The Correct Chair Fit

Millions of Americans suffer from lower back pain which makes it the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to a 2010 Global Burden of Disease report. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states that lower back pain is one of the most common reasons employees miss work and the second most common reason people visit a doctors office.

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One way to avoid back pain and related delays is to ensure office chairs are the right fit for the user. Here are some tips to see if your chair is the cause of your lower back pain:

1)    Elbow measure - when sitting comfortably, and as close as possible to the desk, rest your hands on the work space, keeping upper arms parallel to spine. If elbows are not at 90 degrees, your chair needs adjusted up or down.

2)    Thigh measure - If you cannot easily slide a piece of paper under your thigh at the leading edge of your chair you may need to adjust the forward tilt to take some of the pressure off your legs.

3)    Calf measure - With your bottom pressed against the back of the chair, you should be able to pass a clenched fist between your calf and the chair. If you cannot, this is a sign your chair is too deep.

4)    Lower back support - With your bottom pressed against the back of the chair, you should feel a cushion that causes your lower back to arch slightly. This lower back support is meant to prevent slouching as you grow tired over the course of the work day.

5)    Resting eye level - When sitting comfortably in your chair, close your eyes and look directly ahead. Slowly open your eyes and your gaze should be in the middle of the computer screen. If not, your monitor needs to be raised or lowered.

6)    Armrest - Adjust your armrests, if possible, so that it slightly lifts your arms at the shoulders. This can help reduce strain on upper spine and shoulders.

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Dan Parsons of Dan’s Office Furniture & Supplies has more than 30 years of office furniture knowledge and can help custom fit the right chair to any office staff. Give Dan a call at 419-339-0111 to keep your staff’s back pain low, and performance high.

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