Where Should Lumbar Support Be on an Office Chair?
An ergonomic chair is a staple to one’s sit-stand workstation. When we think about purchasing ergonomic office chairs, we often think about whether or not we can adjust the seat depth, whether or not we can adjust the height of the chair (and keep our feet flat on the ground), and perhaps how much weight the chair can hold.
However, one of the most important elements of purchasing an ergonomic chair is actually about the lumbar support.
Today we’re going to cover all the lumbar support basics you need to know when you’re optimizing your office chair. Starting off with…
What Is Lumbar Support?
Where exactly are we talking about when we refer to “lumbar support”?
To begin, let’s take a look at your spinal cord. Your spine is made up of five main sections. From top to bottom, we have:
- The Cervical
- The Thoracic
- The Lumbar
- The Sacral
- The Coccygeal
Your back’s lumbar area is made up of 5 of the thickest vertebrae along your spine. It’s responsible for supporting most of your upper body weight, so it tends to endure a lot of strain throughout the day. As you go about your daily life, your lumbar is hard at work to keep your body upright.
Now, when standing desk companies and ergonomic brands refer to “lumbar support”, we’re really referring to any cushioning that provides extra comfort for the natural curves in your back.
Why Is Lumbar Support Important?
If your lumbar experiences prolonged periods of strain, poor posture and/or stress over time, this can result in nerve pinches, inflamed muscles and tendons, and/or other long-term effects for the rest of your body.
Your lumbar is responsible for supporting your upper body, but it does more than that:
- It provides the side-to-side and twisting movements of your torso
- It protects the highway of nerves that runs up and down your spine
- It controls movement and sensation in your legs
Hence, if your job and/or daily activities require you to be in a sitting position for long periods of time, be sure to try and find ways to improve your sitting posture and avoid bad habits -- even something as simple as sitting at the edge of your seat!
Who Needs Lumbar Support?
- People who suffer from acute and/or chronic back pain
- People with musculoskeletal disorders (joint and bone pain)
- Anyone who sits in a chair for long periods of time (desk workers, bloggers, gamers)
- Office chair owners that don’t have built-in lumbar support
- People who spend a lot of time on their feet during the day
Where Should Lumbar Support Be On My Office Chair?
All body types are different, so it’s no surprise that lumbar support positions are going to look different for each and every individual. There’s not just one ideal lumbar support position or height that your chair should be at -- rather, the most optimal choice would be to invest in a height-adjustable and depth-adjustable chair which will allow you to tailor your chair to the ideal position that brings optimal lumbar support for you.
Your lumbar support should rest in the small of your back to maintain the natural curves of your spine. You can find the small of your back by running your hand along your spine and locating an inward curve. This is usually an inch or two above where your waistband sits.
What Does Optimal Lumbar Support Look Like?
There are a few ways to check and see if your office chair is optimized for lumbar support.
4 Tips: Office Chair is Optimized For Lumbar Support
1. Check the Height of Your Office Chair
The ideal height of an ergonomic office chair should allow your feet to be flat on the floor, and your forearms to rest at ease on the tabletop.
2. Check Your Seat Pan Depth
Are your feet dangling? An office chair with ample seat pan depth allows your knees to be supported so that your buttocks and back can rest against the back of the chair with ease. The backs of your knees should also be just touching the edge of the seat pan.
3. Check For Lumbar Support
Lean back into your office chair and make a quick assessment: can you feel where the small of your back meets the chair?
PRO TIP: Make sure that the lumbar support isn’t too high or too low, as this can cause slouching or discomfort from the support being pushed into the wrong sections of your back.
If you find yourself slouching or straining certain parts of your body while working, check and adjust your backrest so that the lumbar support hits the inward curve of your spine.
4. Ensure a Proper Sitting Posture
Lastly, check to see if your shoulders are hunched over in a resting position at your desk. If so, adjust the height of your chair and/or tabletop accordingly. Make sure the seat isn’t tilted too far forward or backward. To achieve a proper sitting posture, you should be sitting upright with your neck straight, and your head at eye-level with your computer monitor.
PRO TIP: If you haven’t switched to an electric standing desk already, be sure to check out our signature EFFYDESK collection. A height-adjustable standing desk allows you to adjust the height of your tabletop, so you can easily optimize the height and comfort of your workspace as you see fit!
Is it time for you to switch to an ergonomic office chair? Look no further.
Discover Canada’s Best Ergonomic Office Chairs
As you can see, improper workplace ergonomics and poor posture can cause damage to your spinal structure, and result in chronic back pain. Thousands of EFFYDESK customers have switched to our signature collection of electric standing desks to help them get more done, more comfortably.
Our most popular ergonomic office chair, the AeryChair, offers a natural ergonomic design that shapes to your body, movement, and posture to provide an organic balance to your daily lifestyle. The stylish AeryChair office chair comes with fully-adjustable armrests and lumbar support to provide you with extra comfort while working.
PRO TIP: Alternate between sitting on your comfortable mesh office chair and standing on an ergonomic anti-fatigue mat at your workstation - it will help you feel more energized, focused, and productive.
All of our ergonomic office chairs come with a 2-year warranty and free shipping to both Canada and USA.
To learn more about EFFYDESK’s products and services, be sure to check out our FAQ page or browse the blog archive for other helpful articles on ergonomics in the workplace.