If you work an office job, then you are most likely spending at least eight hours a day sitting in the same chair, in the same position. Over time this can wreak havoc on your lower back. In fact, you may already experience some of the lower back pain that comes with prolonged periods of sitting. It is important to take preventative measures like moving around every hour or changing seats if you have the ability to. However, if you are not working from home this can often be challenging to commit to. One step that all of us 9-5 workers can take right now to preserve our lower backs is purchasing a high-quality seat cushion.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Before we get into which type of seat cushion is right for you, let’s explore what exactly causes this type of back pain to occur. The root of the issue is often poor posture as that alone will cause muscle pain. It can also lead to some more serious conditions such as sciatica which is damage to the nerve when it is compressed or obstructed, or coccydynia which is when the tailbone becomes injured or strained. Bruising and arthritis can also result from sitting on hard uncomfortable surfaces for too long.
Why a Seat Cushion?
Seat cushions work to soothe and prevent lower back pain by positioning the user in a more ideal position to better their posture. This will help alleviate any pressure that falls on the lower back and hips by providing support. They also allow for easy weight distribution which helps improve blood circulation. Additionally, the best way for us to be positioned is with our hips above our knees. This can be difficult to achieve without the added elevation of a seat cushion as most of us will have our knees parallel to our hips when sitting in a standard office chair.
Cushion VS Office Chair
You may be wondering if you should invest in a seat cushion or a whole new office chair. If you are debating, there are a couple reasons to go with a cushion over a new ergonomic chair. The first one is going to cost. A new office chair that officers’ orthopedic level support can likely run you hundreds of dollars and can be quite bulky. A high-quality cushion will run you a small fraction of what an upgraded chair would. Additionally, the ability to move your cushion around is reason enough to go this route. You can use your cushion not just in your office but also in the car, at your dining table seats, or in a movie theater. The possibilities are really endless here, so if you are experiencing chronic back pain, a portable option is going to be a game-changer for you.
How to Choose the Right Cushion for You
So what exactly is the best seat cushion for your office chair? This depends on what your desired outcome is. If you are looking for something that can be used in a variety of positions to help target different ailments, then you may benefit from a wedge-shaped cushion. These have a stable base to provide support when you are leaning against them and may have a cutout for your tailbone. These are especially versatile as their shape enables them to be used in different situations like to support your back when laying on your side to help manage sleep apnea or acid reflux. If you are someone who suffers from bruising or injury to the coccyx (a small triangular bone that bears much of your weight when you sit) then your ideal seat cushion is going to be the appropriately named coccyx cushion. A coccyx cushion is specifically designed to help protect your tailbone. This type of seat cushion has a cut out where your tailbone sits and is typically a u-shaped design and has a front ridge which helps to support good posture. You can also choose from a variety of standard seat cushions that cover a broader range of ailments.
Once you have selected your cushion, then you can consider additional chair accessories that will help support your posture. Things like padded armrests, foam footrests, or even a chair massager can really help secure long-term spinal health.
Invest in yourself!
Even if you have minor to no back pain presently, prolonged periods of time sitting can affect you in the long term. Taking steps to ensure that you are sitting with proper posture is essential for all of us 9-5 workers whether you work from home or in the office. Don’t wait to invest in a high-quality chair cushion, your back will thank you!