Are Massage Chairs the Right Solution for Back Pain?

Massage chairs

Massage chairs

Were you aware that a massage chair offers many benefits to relieving back problems? Many of the massage chairs these days are non-invasive and low risk to providing a real and practical solution to muscle pain. It might surprise you that there are massage chairs made using advanced technology that delivers an incredible experience and tangible benefits for painful back, neck, shoulder and legs. Let’s take a look at the primary advantages of using massage chairs to treat your bad back.

Circulation and Blood Flow

In most instances, the most common source of pain and aches in the lower back is the disruption or disturbance in circulation and blood flow. This compromises the delivery of essential nutrition to the complex muscles of the lower, middle and the upper back. This is a temporary condition and known in the medical field as ‘ischemia’ or tightened tissue, resulting in reduction in blood flow. With massage chairs, circulation and blood flow will increase, aiding in the recovery of soft tissue damage, muscle soreness or inflammation.

Muscle Tension

Muscle tension can be reduced by using a massage chair, which helps to reduce chronic and sharp pain in the lower back as well as other areas of the body. This is especially true when you receive an injury or need to align your muscles. The muscles are imbalanced when you experience tension, causing subsequent pain. A massage is able to reduce the tension and imbalance as well as improve sleep and facilitate healing. It will make a difference in the way you focus and also in your mood.

Increase of Endorphins

A twenty minute massage can increase endorphins in the body, triggering peace of mind, relaxation and an improved sense of well being. When the mood is enhanced, it prevents or reduces anxiety and depression that usually accompany things like back pain or any other chronic pain.

The Techniques

For individuals looking for comprehensive treatment for severe pain that is disrupting their daily lives, a quality massage is an excellent option. Massage chairs and massage specialist can deliver Shiatsu and Sweden massage techniques, particularly proven to help back pain sufferers.

Conclusion

In summarizing, massage therapy has been proven by medical research to be effective in treating severe pain. With massage, the body will improve its lymphatic flow through muscle manipulation. It will also increase blood flow, helping to enhance circulation. When you are sitting in a massage chair, there is a good feeling released by endorphins, helping with toxin flush out. When selecting massage chairs for helping with lower back pain, it is recommended that you try to choose one that provides 3D technique, which offers deeper massage into the muscle tissues.

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Office Chair: Steps to Creating Ergonomically Safe Workstations

Ergonomic Office Chairs

Ergonomic Office Chairs

When you are seated in an office chair for long periods of time at your workstation, you may suffer from poor posture or back pain. In order to maintain a posture that is healthy and to work in an environment that is most comfortable, then you have to setup the workstation appropriately. In other words, the way that your work space is setup will determine the level of your comfort throughout the day.

Healthy Posture

It is important to make an adjustment to the height of the office chair. This is essential in keeping your feet as flat as possible on the floor. This will help to keep the hips and knees at a similar height.   Be sure that your elbows are comfortably in a vertical position. In alignment with the ground, the forearms should have a parallel positioning. You should keep your wrists neutrally positioned as well. The height of most office desks is fixed. Make sure that you adjust the height of the chair to reflect these positioning.

The Wrists

Avoid the bending of your wrists, whether a sharp upward movement or direct downward movement. This will help to prevent carpal tunnel. It will also help to keep your wrists at ease as you type from your keyboard. From time to time, give the wrists a rest between typing and at times, try to elevate the wrists to encourage them from being used at a bad angle.

Shifting Position

Good posture is important. Therefore, try to shift your posture frequently. While you may have healthy work posture, if you are seated in one position all the time, it could damage your health and posture over a long period of time. That is why an adjustable chair is imperative so you can alternate your position.

The Guidelines

There are some guidelines to follow in order to keep a healthy posture. When you are seated for long periods of time, you should follow these guidelines below.

  • Be sure you are seated upright, keeping your torso and lower legs in a vertical position. Your thighs should be horizontally positioned
  • Sit in a reclined position, titling the chair’s backrest so that your torso is reclined in a specific degree.
  • For every office chair, the seat pan should be tilted at a 90 degree angle.

The computer monitor should be adjusted at eye level, in front of your face. For employees wearing bifocals, the head probably has to be tilted back so you can look directly down at the monitor and still be comfortably seated in your office chair.

Conclusion

For every employee, ergonomics is important in maintaining comfort. For that reason, ergonomic office chairs are usually suggested and highly recommended. For the next office chairs, employers may want to consider the ergonomics of it all.

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How to Protect Your Health by Sitting in an Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic Office Chair

 

 

 

 

 

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/136222177@N02/21971642598/

If you spend more than seven hours at your desk while working, then you may want to read further. When you are seated so long, do you experience any kind of pain in your neck, back or shoulders by the end of closing time? Do you continually feel the discomfort and pain every time that you are seated or all the time? While it may be time to see a doctor, it is also probably time to change your office chair to an ergonomic office chair. Changing your work chair at the office is the ideal way to dissipate the pain over a short time.

Seated for Long Periods

When you are an office worker, there is no way around not spending time seated in an office chair. It is a given. But, when you sit in the same position for long periods of time, it can take a toll on your limbs; back, shoulder and neck. When you put too much stress on the spine, it is bound to cause ongoing pain.

The Solution

The solution is an ergonomic chair for the office, which is not the same as a traditional office chair. It is designed specifically to rest the primary structures of the body that are used while seated and the ones prone to being stressed while you are working. Below are some of the health benefits to protecting yourself while seated in an office chair.

The Benefits

An ergonomic office chair will help to provide support to your back and foster better posture while seated. Traditional office chairs do the opposite and for that reason, there are so many people with incorrect postures, especially those seated for long periods of time. An ergonomic chair is designed to counteract these issues. With this office chair, you are in control, which means that you can adjust it to your personal needs. It comes with adjustable back and head rest. It also supports the knees while placed on the floor and your hips remain parallel throughout the day. The ergonomic office chair offers more comfort than the traditional chair. Why? Well, the adjustable features will subsequently provide the comfort necessary to be productive at work. You avoid the risk of also having neck pain because the ergonomic office supports the neck with an adjustable headrest. It also supports the back to prevent back pain.

Conclusion

With an ergonomic office chair, you will be inclined to sit for longer because of its noticeably comfort. If you are an employee who is experiencing pain due to long hours of sitting and an uncomfortable office chair, it is time to speak to your boss about making the chance to an ergonomic office chair.

Top 5 Features of the Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic Office ChairImage credit:https://www.flickr.com/photos/nivuniconnu/3363399181/

Employees spend most of their eight hour work day sitting on their chairs, sometimes in uncompromising and uncomfortable positions. In most cases, they are working in front of the computer and don’t realize that their posture is not good. It is a fact that when you sit on a chair for a long period of time, it will finally take a toll on you. It can result in poor blood circulation, soreness, weak muscles, carpel tunnel syndrome and other recognizable ailments. However, there is no way to eliminate the long hours of sitting since your job involves desk work. You can make it easier on your lower back, spine and legs by sitting on an ergonomic office chair instead.

The Benefits

When you sit on one of these chairs, you will be more productive on your job. You won’t have to deal with work-related injuries and you will love going to work. Ergonomics offers a solution to your ongoing muscle pain and discomfort. These chairs were designed for that. Some of the features that you can expect from an ergonomic chair are discussed below.

The Comfort

These kinds of office chairs offer sufficient space to accommodate your hips and thighs. It provides amply cushioning for added comfort. You won’t suffer from pinched nerves or numbness. The cushioning is comfortable enough to prevent your butt, thigh and back muscles from being sore.

The Firmness

Ergonomic chairs come with contoured and rigid backs, designed to be supportive of your back – upper, middle and lower. Most employees will complain of back pain while sitting for too many hours at their desks. The employee’s back muscles will get weak after a while, but an ergonomic office chair can provide the remedy with its contouring effect for added support.

The Backrest

Ergonomic chairs have adjustable backrests for employees of different height and weight. That means the person sitting in the chair will be able to lean back and comfortably experience rests for their necks. The upper back is just as important as the lower back and needs the same support. If not, the employee could experience migraine headaches and soreness in the neck area.

The Armrest

In the same way, ergonomic chairs have adjustable armrests for employees of different height and weight. This helps to cushion the arms to prevent carpel tunnel syndrome. There will be less stress on the arms while working on the computer. The employee will avoid pinched nerves and unbearable pain in the arms and wrists.

Conclusion

If your chair doesn’t boast the five-point tip base , then you have a problem. The ergonomic chair with this feature allows the employee to recline and take pressure off the back and neck. Who wouldn’t want that? Don’t you now see that it is time to provide an ergonomic office chair for your employees? Make the purchase today!

 

 

Ergonomic Office Accessories

keyboard ergonomic posture accessories-335847_640

Considering how much time they spend sitting each day, most office employees understand the importance of having a good office chair. After all, does it really make sense to endure hours in a cheap chair only to end up with costly consequences like chronic back pain?

However, while ergonomic seating can make a huge difference, many workers forget to improve the rest of their office setup. Even the best office chair can only do so much, as employees are typically also working at a desk and use a computer, mouse, and keyboard on a regular basis.

To make your workspace healthier and more ergonomic, here are five helpful office accessories to consider.

Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard

Let’s face it. Your standard mouse and keyboard weren’t really made for prolonged use. In fact, some seem to be shaped so users end up with poor circulation and positioning.

Needless to say, in addition to joint and muscle strain, things like hand cramps and carpal tunnel syndrome are far from pleasant. As a result, going with an ergonomically designed mouse and keyboard can really help reduce the impact of all-day computer usage.

Lumbar Pillows

With so many office workers suffering through lower back pain, getting enough support for the lumbar region of your spine is critical.

In general, most ergonomic office chairs are contoured so they provide sufficient back support (or come with an adjustable insert). However, for some individuals, adding in a small lumbar pillow at the curve of their back provides increased support and relief.

Foot Rests

Ideally, every office worker should have an office setup that allows them to sit correctly (with their feet flat on the floor) at a desk that is matched to their height. As this is not a perfect world however, short employees can benefit from foot rests.

After all, dangling all day not only strains your legs and feet, but keeping your lower body engaged promotes a better sitting posture.

For employees with the opposite problem (aka having to sit with your legs scrunched up), finding a higher desk and investing in a big and tall chair is the way to go.

Monitor Arms/Laptop Risers

As their names suggest, monitor arms and laptop risers enable you to move your computer monitor or laptop screen so it’s at eye-level (or a comfortable angle). This accessory compensates for variables like desk design or monitor height so you don’t have to strain your neck or twist your body to see what’s on the screen.

For employees that alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, the ease of having a monitor that is attached to adjustable arms is especially useful.

Screen Protectors/Task Lighting

While most office workers need to use their computers or focus on certain tasks for long periods of time, ending each day with tired, red eyes or a pounding migraine is a problem.

In many situations, the symptoms of eye strain (such as headaches) can be linked to harsh or insufficient lighting. To address, many find that installing screen protectors and overhead task lighting are easy ways to cut monitor glare while keeping their workspace well illuminated.

Common Office Areas with Ergonomic Problems

office space problemsWhile most people understand that an office is a fairly safe environment, many underestimate how often accidents can occur. In fact, some of the most typical injuries that happen are the result of falls, bad posture, repetitive movements, or muscle strains.

To reduce their chance of falling victim to these types of injuries, office workers can benefit from being more careful and ensuring their work space is properly set up. Especially for those who already experience aches, strains, or back pain, here are some common ergonomic problem areas and how to address them.

Desk and Chair Setup

The central area of your work space, having a desk and/or chair that is not suited to your individual needs can become problematic. Desks or chairs that are too high or too low encourage you to work in less-than-ideal positions that then create muscle tension and lower back pain. Poorly sized chairs are uncomfortable, while desks that are the wrong size can interfere with your workflow or make you strain to reach everyday items. Similarly, desks like your typical L-shaped cubicle ones can cause you to angle your arms into awkward positions.

For your seating, choose a good ergonomic office chair that can be adjusted to your body’s needs. In general, your feet should be flat on the floor (or a footrest) and your thighs parallel to the ground when sitting. Furthermore, your chair should have a forward angle that bolsters the lumbar region of your back while encouraging you to sit in a neutral spine position.

For your desk, it should be a suitable size and shape. You can tell if it is ergonomically set up if the desk is about level with your elbows when you are seated.

Monitor Height and Distance

When staring at a screen throughout the workday, a monitor that is placed at the wrong height or distance away can cause neck strains, irritated eyes, and headaches.

In addition to taking breaks, your monitor should be adjusted so it is either center or slightly below your eye level in height. In terms of distance, make sure your monitor does not cause you to push your neck forward or backward. It should be at least 16 inches away from your face, though for many it is most ergonomic somewhere between 20 to 40 inches.

Keyboard, Mouse, and Document Placement

Poor placement of your keyboard and mouse can hurt your wrists, hands, and shoulders. Over time, this can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Craning your neck to read and type from documents likewise strains your neck and upper body.

When typing, make sure that your wrists are aligned with your forearms and not bent or under pressure. Don’t place your mouse too far away and keep it within reach. Also, avoid working off of documents that are placed flat on your desk or off to the side.

Adjusting where you place your keyboard, mouse, or documents might be the only changes necessary. For some however, incorporating a mouse bridge, palm rest, corner extension, or document holder are also helpful tools for an ergonomic setup.

Four More Common Office Health Hazards

carpal tunnelWhile working inside at a desk is certainly much safer than at a construction site, accidents definitely still occur. Even in an office, people not paying attention to their surroundings can be badly injured while the standard desk worker’s long hours and daily aches can turn into a painful medical condition over time.

Being aware is one way to avoid potentially debilitating accidents. Falls, strains, and static posture frequently cause injury to office workers; however, they are not the only dangers.

Here are four more common office health hazards to watch out for.

Injury from Objects

Since your typical office is often a smaller, more confined space filled with objects and people, injuries from running into things or being hit by items are fairly commonplace. While necessary to your work, equipment like tables, desks, filing cabinets, and office machines are also potential sources of injury.

Always watch where you are going and what is around you when straightening up. Be wary of how objects are stacked overhead, doors being opened unexpectedly, and unstable items near or on your desk that might fall over.

Repetitive Motion

Especially if you are frequently working at a computer, lack an ergonomic office setup, or have bad sitting posture while working, repetitive motion can lead to major health issues over time. Carpal tunnel syndrome is perhaps the most well-known injury, but the day-to-day cumulative strain on your body can also lead to bursitis, tendon problems, chronic back pain, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

Reduce the damage from repetitive motion by having your desk and workstation set up properly. Your computer monitor should be at eye level, and you should be able to type with your shoulders relaxed and your arms at a 90 degree angle to the keyboard.

For adequate support while sitting, invest in a good task chair that allows you to make individualized height, back, armrest, and other adjustments.

Electrical and Fire Hazards

While less common, the risk of electrical or fire related harm is a prevalent issue since most office workers interact daily with many paper materials and electronics. Make sure to report malfunctioning or overheating equipment as soon as they are discovered.

Furthermore, diligence is necessary to prevent the following situations. Mass amounts of improperly stored paper or flammable materials could quickly escalate an emergency situation or block escape routes if a fire breaks out. Likewise, power and extension cords are not only tripping hazards, but if damaged can also lead to fire or electrocution.

Poor Environment Control

Whether it’s a faulty ventilation system, constant noise, or poor lighting, offices often come with many environmental problems. While some of these are minor and unavoidable distractions, others can lead to health issues and should be addressed.

For example, since office workers are inside all the time, lackluster ventilation and poor air quality can lead to illness or exacerbate respiratory issues. Extreme temperatures make work uncomfortable and reduce employee efficiently. Similarly, dim lighting can cause accidents while bright lighting or a constant glare can cause headaches and eye strain.

Three Common Office Health Hazards

slippery-151881_640While not nearly as dangerous as occupations like construction or logging, working in an office comes with its own set of health hazards. You might not think that being indoors and working at a desk would cause health concerns, but accidents do happen. In addition, common strains can lead to debilitating injuries thanks to doing repetitive tasks in long shifts.

Being aware is the first step to protecting yourself, so here are some of the most common office health risks and how to avoid or minimize your chance of injury.

Falling, Slipping, and Tripping

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falling down is not only the top office accident, but office workers are more likely to receive a disabling injury from falling than non-office workers.

These falls are often caused by the fact that offices have lots of equipment in them and are confined spaces, meaning that there are many things for people to trip over or fall from. Some of the most common objects to trip on include open drawers, electrical wires, and loose carpeting. Slipping on wet floors or toppling off from an unstable chair also happens often.

Prevent fall related accidents by paying attention to your surroundings, closing drawers, reporting things that need to be fixed, cleaning up spills, and exercising sound judgment. For example, if you need to reach something overhead, use a ladder rather than a chair. Ladders are more stable and safer since chairs aren’t designed for people to stand on.

Strains and Overexertion

These types of injuries are often the result of improper lifting or stretching. If sitting, get up to reach a faraway object rather than straining to get to it. If you need to pick something up from the floor while standing, remember to lift from your legs, using a straight back, otherwise you risk pulling a muscle or “throwing out” your back in the process.

Know your limits. We all have our pride, but always ask a co-worker to help lift something that is too heavy for you to handle safely by yourself. Also avoid twisting your arms or body in an awkward manner, especially when lifting or reaching for something.

Static Posture

Ever get a sore back, neck, or shoulders after work? Those minor aches are the result of static posture, namely, working and putting strain on your muscles by holding them in the same position (like your arms over a keyboard) for long periods of time. Your body becomes fatigued and over an office worker’s lifetime, that soreness can become problems like chronic back pain.

While remembering to get up and move around definitely helps reduce the stress of static posture, sitting correctly while working is also important. Most, if not all, desk workers can also benefit from having an ergonomically sound workstation and office setup.

Furthermore, since they are designed with office workers in mind, equipment such as ergonomic office chairs not only increase your comfort while working, but reduce static posture’s strain on your body.

Is the Way You Sit Hurting Your Back?

lower-back-pain-300x194Many people suffer from lower back pain, and one of the main causes is sitting incorrectly at home, in the car, or at work for long stretches. While you wouldn’t think it, sitting does strain your back. This is because human spines are curved into an “S” shape that essentially functions as a shock absorber. Problems arise from the fact that too many of us round our backs when we sit, throwing off that natural shape and distributing pressure unevenly across our spine. This leads to problems like aching joints, back pain, and strained spinal disks.

While most of us are desk employees and can’t avoid sitting at work, here are some ways to address back pain and the way you sit.

Sit Properly

Unless you’ve taken the time to learn how to sit correctly, chances are you have some posture problems when it comes to sitting. Some of us slouch, slump, or lean too far forward or back. Even seemingly harmless positions like crossing your legs at the knee or having one leg up and the other down can strain your hips, pelvis, and knee joints if you do them for long periods of time. And in the end, a bad posture only exacerbates back pain.

At the most basic level, good sitting posture means that all parts of your body are balanced, aligned, and supported as needed. You should be sitting against the back of your chair, with your lower back settled into a natural arch. Your feet should be flat to the ground (or flat to your footrest), with knees level or lower than your hips and upper arms parallel to your spine.

Make Sure Your Work Chair and Office Space are Ergonomic

While sheer willpower can go a long way, your office chair and workspace setup should be ergonomically sound. After all, they should help and not hinder you.

Your chair and desk need to be adjusted to your height so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle when you are working. Armrests should support your elbows without making your arms too far apart or encouraging you to scrunch your shoulders up.

A good ergonomic office chair will most definitely have supportive cushioning that bolsters your lower back and encourages that natural S curve.

Consider Alternative Work Chairs

For some, severe back pain is already a problem and the standard sitting posture becomes difficult. In those cases, a good ergonomic chair might not be enough. Many in this situation try out alternative work chairs. From kneeling chairs to exercise balls, these can help alleviate back pain, but not every option works for each person. Before trying out an alternative office chair, make sure to discuss your specific situation with your doctor.

Get Up and Be Active

As good as your chair and posture may be, avoid settling in a static position for too long. Take breaks and get up to stretch, ideally every 20 to 30 minutes. When you aren’t at work, be active and exercise to strengthen your back muscles and body in general.