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The need to sit slightly reclined.

There are three main problems associated with extended periods of sitting, based on scientific evidence and research:

The effect of back inclination on pressures on the lumbar spine.
The effect of lumbar support on the pressures on the lumbar spine.
The effect of seat pressure and its association with back inclination and lumbar support.
Chart A. highlights the effect of different positions on the load of the lumbar disk. As can be seen when the back is relaxed, there is the least amount of pressure on the lumbar region.

Chart B. indicates that muscle activity in the back decreases significantly, the further the back is positioned past 90°.

Chart C. explores the effect of increasing back inclination, allied with increased lumbar support, and highlights the dramatic reduction of pressure on the lumbar spine when both are combined together.

The current Worksafe Victoria “Officewise – A Guide to Health & Safety in the Office” refers to “A slight backwards tilt of the backrest” as being the preferred positioning for ergonomic seating. This is because the “force on the lower back is reduced”.

Ergonomists and other healthcare professionals acknowledge that the following 3 key elements prevent and relieve back pain:

A total contact back-support system.
A seat which allows good pressure distribution.
A mechanism which facilitates for correct positioning; ideally one which is slightly reclined.

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