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129 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 180673 17-Sep-2015 13:47
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I'm 21, and have recently been getting lower back pain, nothing severe but constant aching.

I've taken up daily running to get some exercise, getting up and stretching every now and then and such which has helped somewhat, but being in the computer industry, and with most of my hobbies surrounding computers, sitting for long periods can't be avoided. So I'm considering investing in a professional, ergonomic office chair to give myself that extra comfort.

I've heard a lot about the herman miller Aeron, and have enquired at the only store listed in NZ as a distributor, but I've heard it goes for $2500 new here, which is way, way over budget, and getting it second hand would lose the 12 year warranty it has on it, which is a large portion of it's value so that isn't ideal either.

As for budget, I don't really know what figure to give. Ideally under $700 but based on advice, I can extend that to say $1500, but going higher will be unlikely. I prefer new rather than second hand, I don't care about looks, only quality and comfort. The cheaper the better obviously, but if something expensive will help me not be a cripple in 20 years, and will last most of those 20 years then I'll call it an investment and stomach the cost.

Any advice would be appreciated!

I'm a rather slim male, 62KG, about 166cm tall

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  Reply # 1389070 17-Sep-2015 14:25
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Have you been to someone to actually diagnose your back pain?

Spending $1.5k on a chair seems a bit mental if you haven't actually seen if there is something else you can do. I had bad back pain for a year, went to an osteo, got a good set of stretches and a few sessions done and it was much better. Core strengthening through weight lifting also massively helped.

But a physio/osteo/whatever body specialist you like would be a great start.

I sit in in a chair 8+ hours a day and haven't had any back pain for years.

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  Reply # 1389075 17-Sep-2015 14:28
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Honestly I think the secret is variety. I Sometimes use a Swiss ball and I have a kneeler chair but you can slouch on those things too. I regularly stand up to code, I put my mouse keyboard and scrren on a raised table for a few hrs. If your back is straight and your head is inline with your spine (ie not head forward) then you are heading in the right direction. There are very expensive seats that you can still slouch in but standing up has been the best thing for me

 
 
 
 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1389084 17-Sep-2015 14:41
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I haven't been to a specialist, no. But I did go to the Doctors to get advice. The usual exercise, fixing your sitting habit etc. After taking his advice, it has definitely gotten a lot better, but it's not gone. It's worse on days I'm sitting more, so I've been thinking the root cause was probably the crappy chair I sit in most of the time, so thought buying a good chair that promoted good posture was the best way to sort this out. Would obviously rather not spend $1500, $700 max if possible. But the end result is I need a new chair either way, so might as well get a good one that'll last and hopefully reduce the chance of more back problems cropping up in the future.  

Will probably go to a physiotherapist when I have time, but in the end of the day wouldn't that just fix the current back problem? If I keep my crappy chair, sitting on it for long periods at a time, my back problems will only come back. Hence why I was thinking investing in a good chair would be a more long term solution.

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  Reply # 1389089 17-Sep-2015 14:48
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I have a severe spinal condition, I swear by my Mirra Chair by Herman Miller it is very very good but not cheap




Mike
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  Reply # 1389090 17-Sep-2015 14:50
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Standing desk instead?  Becoming quite popular around my workplace.  Takes a few days to get use to, but after that there seems to be no going back. 

I am however first and foremost in the 'get the issue diagnosed' properly side of things.




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  Reply # 1389100 17-Sep-2015 15:08
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scuwp: Standing desk instead?  Becoming quite popular around my workplace.  Takes a few days to get use to, but after that there seems to be no going back. 

I am however first and foremost in the 'get the issue diagnosed' properly side of things.


Absolutely get it diagnosed as soon as you can. When you know what you are dealing with get a consultation with an occupational therapist. Back conditions can lead to serious disability, something I am very familiar with.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1389114 17-Sep-2015 15:21
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scuwp: Standing desk instead?  Becoming quite popular around my workplace.  Takes a few days to get use to, but after that there seems to be no going back. 

I am however first and foremost in the 'get the issue diagnosed' properly side of things.


Hmm that is an idea, but I do game occasionally, so a chair might be a better fit. Will definitely look into them though.

MikeB4:
Absolutely get it diagnosed as soon as you can. When you know what you are dealing with get a consultation with an occupational therapist. Back conditions can lead to serious disability, something I am very familiar with.


I'll book an appointment in early next week, would you suggest a physiotherapist or what? I did go see a Chiropractor a month or so ago, before I understood exactly what they were. Was almost about to book in a set of visits, but after looking into Chiropractic a bit more, I decided to stay away from it. That's when I went to my Doctor for advice.

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  Reply # 1389119 17-Sep-2015 15:24
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I'm a big fan of osteos over physios - but everyone is different.

Chiropractors are all evil monsters however.

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  Reply # 1389140 17-Sep-2015 15:56
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alexcc:
scuwp: Standing desk instead?  Becoming quite popular around my workplace.  Takes a few days to get use to, but after that there seems to be no going back. 

I am however first and foremost in the 'get the issue diagnosed' properly side of things.


Hmm that is an idea, but I do game occasionally, so a chair might be a better fit. Will definitely look into them though.

MikeB4:
Absolutely get it diagnosed as soon as you can. When you know what you are dealing with get a consultation with an occupational therapist. Back conditions can lead to serious disability, something I am very familiar with.


I'll book an appointment in early next week, would you suggest a physiotherapist or what? I did go see a Chiropractor a month or so ago, before I understood exactly what they were. Was almost about to book in a set of visits, but after looking into Chiropractic a bit more, I decided to stay away from it. That's when I went to my Doctor for advice.


I would see a GP before going to a Physiotherapist. I would steal clear of any fringe or alternative people until there is a definitive diagnosis. If I had gone to a Chiroprator or an osteopath my spine would have been destroyed not that it is great shape now.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1389155 17-Sep-2015 16:11
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Go to the library and get hold of a book called "Treat Your Own Back", its a NZ book.
Read it.
Follow the instructions and do the excercises.


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  Reply # 1389171 17-Sep-2015 16:25
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I used to have lower back problem - from landing on the bum while snowboarding.

I found the best is strengthen the core, and have good sitting posture. But the best is move about every hour or stand up every hour for at least a minute or two.

And even better, instead of expensive chair, get a standing desk - one that can lower and raise.

And lastly, ensure your legs are 90 degs when seated with the height of the desk top just slightly lower than your elbows (tucked in to side at relaxed pose - either seated or standing). Any higher is putting stress on your neck.

And monitors - the top of the monitors should be at the horizon of your eyes and with just slightly for the eyes to look download at the bottom of the screen. If you work with laptop, don't lean forward, or lay backward on the chair.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1389504 18-Sep-2015 08:41
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I have had lower back weakness for many years after a game of squash caused some disc damage.  In my case it was a chiropractor who found the site of the problem and got me moving a lot better but I am not suggesting rushing straight there.  I haven't seen a chiropractor for a lot of years after my latest one told me that flat walking for at least 15 minutes may be best for my case.

Within the last year back pain got worse when sitting at the PC at work and a mix of swiss ball and different chairs helped.  However, my biggest improvement came when I managed to find a space at a group of standing desks where I alternate between full standing and sitting on a tall chair at same height.  It is critical to have the monitor high enough to be looking straight ahead - do not accept a "standing desk" where you cannot have the monitor high enough as it causes more posture problems.

Get some advice, try exercises including simple walking for long enough to warm the back up.  Many people still sit down at desks, and that might work for you with the right chairs, but if possible try a standing desk and see if it helps.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1389594 18-Sep-2015 10:51
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Being a > 2m tall person (and cyclist) I have been preparing for the inevitable bad back for a while and I now suffer with it most of the time.
I agree that the main point is to seek help. I have a great physio who understands that my issue is ensuring correct range of movement in my spine (the lower half moves as one instead of curving at each segment) so we work on different things to allow me to keep the best posture for each activity.
Other than that I found the best help is the work/home/sleep combo.

@work
my desk at work
I found myself a desk that could be adjusted to a higher level than everyone else, which in turn raises my monitor higher to ensure a better seating position. I got a chair that supports my hips and 'sit-bones' better by having a 'child bearing hips' size base to it (it is also crazy comfy). Then I got a great lumbar support to ensure I am sitting with a better posture http://www.spinalpublications.co.nz/page299619.html - this looks like it is too high up on the chair but that is actually the small of my back (i am that tall). I also do not sit down for more than about 40 minutes at any one time, I favour walking to speak to people instead of emailing them so it forces me to walk around the building. The best option would have been a swiss ball but there is heavy traffic of people right behind me so I would risk rolling into someone or something stupid.

@home
my stand up desk
This is one of the best things I have ever done, a desk that can be raised and lowered by touch of a button. I find I keep it up 99% of the time as after sitting most of the day at work I hate sitting down at home, but sometimes at the weekend I just want to sit back and read/relax so the ability to bring it back down is awesome.....I really wish we had them at work. I picked one that could take a lot of weight and go very high. This is combined with a suitable foot mat to prevent ankle issues, they are normally marketed as 'anti-fatigue' mats and go for overpriced fees but I find the ones that you would buy for a workshop or those they have behind the counter in fast food joints are essentially the same thing and a lot cheaper, I have this one
http://www.bunnings.co.nz/axton-kenware-workshop-egro-tred-mat-black-1200x900mm_p00187697
it helps a lot with standing posture.
I also ensure that I stand with a very wide stance when washing dishes or cooking to ensure I'm not hunched over too much.

@sleep
it is always important to have a good supporting mattress as your spine tends to curve to it if it sags in the middle, I have one that suits me best and is slightly soft but balances the weight evenly. This is just down to personal preference and involved trying a lot in different stores. Do not skimp if you can afford it...you spend a lot of your life there so it is worth the investment.

@play
while training (krav maga) I no longer lean over to help shorter people out...if you can't hit me or bring me down then that is your problem...leaning over for people was giving me the most grief and I only have myself to blame. While cycling I went and ensured I had my bikes properly adjusted/fitted which most good bikes stores can do with the camera set-up nonsense that they have these days....wasnt too expensive but makes my position a lot better.

and as always...bend to pick things up using your knees not your back...and finally for every person in countdown who asks me 'can you just get that from the top shelf for me please?' I make sure I ask people to get stuff from the bottom shelf for me as it is too far away ;)




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