Office chair: use the backrest or not

The Workplace Asked by Damian Nadales on December 11, 2020

I’m currently test driving and reviewing a new chair. The salesman recommended that I should not use the back support, but sit a bit to to the front and rely on my lower back muscles. This position seems to work for me, but I cannot sustain it for long periods of time.

So I was wondering whether there is any research related to the effects on the back of typing in a computer for long periods of time, without using back support.

2 Answers

This position seems to work for me, but I cannot sustain it for long periods of time.

That is absolutely normal. Our bodies (bodies of animals included) are not made to be kept motionless for a long time.

The best example: even during sleep (the most motionless time), we turn from one side to the other.

Another way of thinking: if the backrest would be so dangerous, the manufacturer would not install it and would sell more chairs, cheaper. It would be illegal for any chairs to have a backrest.

Of course, a bad posture on any chair can create health problems, but being careful about it will avoid you getting in trouble.

On the other hand, if the person has specific health problems (e.g., spine-related), then special recommendations from a doctor must be followed.

Correct answer by virolino on December 11, 2020

Your best bet for not using a backrest would probably be reading on articles related to kneeling chairs - which do not include a backrest by design.

Speaking from personal experience, for a period of few weeks my home PC was set up such that I used it standing. I could sustain it for a few hours at most, but the pain didn't feel like the damaging kind but rather like the muscles were just tired.

Answered by Jan Dorniak on December 11, 2020

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