This article will provide an overview of the whys and hows of lumbar support. It will also explore some of the options available.
There are many options for office and desk chairs. Here are some key points to consider when selecting a chair for your office. It is worth looking into the lumbar support of your chair if you intend to spend a lot of time in it, whether for work or gaming.
But what exactly is it? Why is it so important?
What is Lumbar Support?
A ‘lumbar support’ generally refers to anything that provides additional support for the lumbar region. Technically, these are the five lower vertebrae between the sacrum (diaphragm) and the sacrum (sacral). But to most people, it’s just the lower back.
Most people have a tendency to lean forward or slouch when they are seated for long periods of time. This can cause the lower back to push out, making the inward curve turn into an outward one. As Sukhi Assee, Flokk Ergonomist, explains that this can cause strain to the lower back.
When a person sits in a slouched posture, it puts a lot of stress and emphasis on the lower vertebrae (L4 and L5). A C-shape spine position is considered to be non-neutral. The most neutral position for the spine is something that looks like an S-shape. This can only be achieved when the body is slightly reclined. This is why lumbar support is required to bridge the space between the lower back of the chair and the backrest.
Good lumbar support is essential when you are seated. It should be at the bottom of your back. This will help you maintain an inward curve to your lower spine and give you a healthy position.
HAG SoFi mesh chairs feature an innovative adjustable lumbar support with a ratchet mechanism. This allows you to easily slide the chair into the right position. You can adjust the chair’s height and depth by turning a dial. For example, the HAG Tribute has a touch button. This opens a knob that can be turned to adjust the depth and height of lumbar support.
Different types of Lumbar Support
There are many types of Lumbar Supports available, with varying ergonomic qualities. Let’s take a look at some of these options.
FIXED LUMBER SUPPORT
A fixed lumbar support means that it is rigid. This is a lumbar support that is fixed to the chair. It cannot be moved in height or depth. Although this is more ergonomic than a chair without lumbar support, it can be counterproductive due to its inability to adjust. Because people come in many shapes and sizes, your spine is unique. A lumbar support that can’t be adjusted to your needs will not be right for you. It may protrude too much or too little, giving incorrect support.
ADJUSTABLE LUMBER SUPPORT
The adjustable lumbar support can be adjusted manually to accommodate a wider range of spine curves. There are many options for making these adjustments, including
- Height. To target more precisely, the support can be moved up and down on the chair back.
- Depth. This allows you to adjust the distance the support is visible. This can be done by inflating the support with a pump.
- Firmness. This is often done by a dial knob that adjusts the firmness of the support.
While the height adjustment is the most important, the best lumbar support includes at least two of these adjustments.
EXTERNAL LUMBER SUPPORT
Sometimes, chairs without lumbar support can be supplemented by external support. Most commonly this is a pillow. The strap can be adjusted manually to hold the pillow in place. This feature is standard on gaming chairs but can be used as an addition to basic office chairs.
This option has one problem: the quality of support can vary greatly. For example, cheap complimentary supports are often a token gesture and don’t offer enough support. These can be problematic when it is about staying in place.
Below: An inflatable lumbar support can be operated by a pump. The pump can adjust the firmness and depth of the support. This is the RH New Logic. Watch the video below to learn more.
Is lumbar support necessary when?
The absence of a lumbar support is one of the most important aspects to look for when choosing a task chair. Because of the natural curves in our vertebral column, this is normal. Because the lumbar area is where we feel the most discomfort, it is also the region that is affected by incorrect sitting or standing. It’s also where we feel the pains and aches from sitting in non-neutral positions.
How can a chair support without a lumbar? Simple answer: a chair with a pelvic supports. A pelvic support principle chair rotates your pelvis to create an S-shaped spine. This support allows you to sit properly without needing to adjust your posture or force a bridge to the lumbar region.
If you work long hours, lumbar support can be an extremely beneficial component of seating. While movement and postural adjustments are the best way to reduce strain on your body, particularly your lower back, it is worth considering a chair with adjustable lumbar support. This will help to prevent any long-term health problems.
Last, lumbar support is only effective if you sit correctly. Sukhi says: “When we learn about the comfort qualities of task chairs, we are always taught the importance of providing lumbar support. This is still an important feature of most chairs. Learning about the anatomy and function of the spine while sitting can make a big difference in how we interact with the chair. Although it seems simple in principle, this tip is often forgotten in daily practice. I mean to really scoot straight back while sitting in a chair.