Trouble-Shooting Guide for Discomfort in Lower Back

The following lists some possible causes of lower back discomfort amongst computer users.  Potential corrective actions to consider are also listed.

  • Backrest height on chair not adjusted properly
    • Adjust backrest height so that it provides maximum support for lower back (i.e., fits curve of lower back); check backrest tilt
  • Seatpan too deep so backrest is too far away to provide support for user’s back
    • Adjust backrest horizontally if possible to shorten the distance between front of seat and backrest; try a strap-on back support or a pillow to shorten the distance
  • Keyboard or mouse device too far away so user leans forward
    • Bring the keyboard and/or mouse closer to the body so the user can sit comfortably and maintain contact with back support
  • Poor sitting posture
    • Habit training and body awareness; sit straight in chair and avoid regularly leaning on armrest or work surface as this throws posture out of line
  • Static posture and sitting for prolonged periods of time
    • Take frequent posture breaks; change posture and move around; stretch
  • Feet not well supported
    • Use a footrest to help alleviate back discomfort