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Can My Chair Cause Neck Pain?

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

In my humble opinion, the single most important factor, in your choice of chair to maintain a healthy spine, is chair height. The chair height can have a big impact on the position and stresses on your neck. Where you place your butt (Ie. your pelvis) dictates how easy or hard it is to make the positioning corrections to maintain a position of least stress (PLS). The most simple thing to look at when sitting while working at a computer, the easiest way to maintain proper low stress position on your spine is to have your hips higher than your knees when feet are flat on the floor.

When your hips drop lower than your knees, your pelvis is pulled under into a tucked under position creating a flexion force on your low back causing a tendency to round the lower and upper back and over extend your neck. This is the exact opposite of what we want to accomplish and the opposite of what our spines want to be happy and comfortable.

Simply sitting with your hips higher than your knees will make it much easier to maintain a spine neutral position. Spine neutral position means not too far rounded and not too far arched. I call this the position of least stress or, the PLS. This simple adjustment can decrease your neck pain and neck fatigue immediately.

Complicated Chairs are overrated IMHO

Before you invest in a complicated chair just stop and think about what height you are putting your chair at and what position your hips/pelvis/butt is in relative to your knees. Once that position is good with hips higher than knees ideally you should be able to have an activated enough trunk to dynamically support yourself to work for some time. Don't forget about the 30 minute rule and get up and move around for an exercise snack and you will keep your body feeling energized and flexible.

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