Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why Lumbar Support Not Only Doesn’t Work, But Can’t Work

The ergonomist’s standard approach to curing low back pain is to recommend a chair with lumbar support to restore the arch in your lower back. While it is true that we want to maintain the arch in our lower back, the problem with this advice is that it doesn’t work! We lose the arch in our lower back when we sit for a reason, and unless we fix the underlying cause we cannot restore the lumbar curve without causing potential damage to connective tissues in the low back.
The fundamental flaw of the standard, non-ergonomic chair is the 90 degree hip angle it forces you into. The hip-joint is only capable of bending to about 60 degrees.  In order to lift your thighs up the extra 30 degrees into a right-angled sitting position you are forced to rotate your pelvis backwards and flatten out your lower back. Lumbar support cannot fix this. It just winds up creating extra pulling forces on the connective tissue around your tailbone. In order to remedy the situation and restore the curve in our lower back, we need to open our torso to thigh angle back up.
I recommend chairs that have adjustable seat tilt and seat pan depth to help protect the lower back by allowing you to drop your thighs down and rotate your pelvis back forward to its natural position. Browse our recommended ergonomic chairs to restore your body today.
Varier Furniture is the pioneer in open body angle seating, based on the work of legendary designer, Peter Opsvik and Hans Chr. Mengshoel.

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