Pregnancy and Ergonomics

Pregnant with back pain? An ergonomic chair can help!

It is no secret that pregnancy comes with a lot of discomforts, back pain being one of them. The majority of employees working in an office setting spend about seventy percent of their workday sitting in a chair. Today, it is common for employers to offer ergonomic work stations to their employees. If you are an employer with a mommy to be on staff, one of the many women that work during your pregnancy, or have a spouse that is working during her pregnancy, investing in an ergonomic chair may be the answer to relieve back pain associated with pregnancy and sitting for long periods of time.

Each person has a specific body type and no one chair will suit the needs for all people. An ergonomic chair is specifically suited to a worker's body dimensions, their particular workstation, and the tasks that must be performed there. It is not easy to select the right ergonomic chair on your own, but with the help of a knowledgeable consultant you will be on your way to relief.

We agree with the advice of parentingweekly.com, when selecting an ergonomic chair you should consider the following features:

  • Adjustable seat height. This is important if you want to continue using the seat after your pregnancy.
  • Contoured seat. This allows your buttocks to fit comfortably from the first time you use the chair instead of waiting until frequent use molds the seat to your body (which would take a lot longer than your pregnancy will!).
  • Firm and comfortable seat and back pads. It can be divine to sink into a cushy chair, but a firm one guarantees you comfort and support over time.Sloping front edge to the seat. This prevents your knees from pressing against it too hard.
  • Armrests that fit your arms. They should be molded so that they're comfortable and they should be at a height that feels natural to you.
  • Adjustable backrest. This will ensure your back and lumbar are well supported to prevent slouching and additional pain.

WebMD recommends the following posture during pregnancy to alleviate unnecessary strain and discomfort on your changing body:

    • Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.
    • Sit with a back support at the curve of your back.
    • Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.
    • Keep your hips and knees at a right angle (use a foot rest or stool if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
    • Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
    • At work, adjust your chair height and workstation so you can sit up close to your desk. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
    • When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don't twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body.
    • When standing up from the sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair. Stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist. Upon standing, do several pregnancy-safe back stretches.

Once you have chosen your ergonomic chair, remember to sit all the way back in your chair, using the backrest at all times. This will allow your chair to support your entire body and give you the rest you need.

Consider a sit stand desk to help relieve pressure on the spine and hips. When standing for long periods of time we recommend an anti-fatigue mat.