"Sit up straight. Put your shoulders back." How many times have you heard this mantra while growing up? If you have ever suffered from lower back pain, you know it can make you and everyone around you miserable. It is important to keep the correct posture to avoid strain on the lower back. In the work place today, many people sit for hours at a time staring into computer screens. These workers are not sitting in ergonomic leather chairs to support themselves. An ergonomic chair can provide relief for the worker's weary back.

Sitting for long periods of time in one position causes lower back pain and may worsen existing neck or back problems. A static posture could further lead to stress in the shoulders, legs, arms and spinal discs. A tendency to slouch over or down could overstretch the spinal ligaments causing muscle pain. It is not enough to simply sit in an ergonomic leather chair; the chair should be adjusted to the body's proportions to retain maximum comfort. Supporting correct posture allows you to use your muscles more efficiently resulting in less fatigue and a lessened chance of developing arthritis. There are some guidelines to maintaining the proper posture in an ergonomic chair.

oThigh measure-Check that you can slide your fingers under the thigh at the edge of the office chair.

oElbow measure-Elbows should be allowed to rest at a 90 degree angle.

oCalf measure-The office chair is too deep if you cannot pass a clenched fist between the back of the calf and the front of the office chair.

oLow Back Support-There should be a cushion that causes the lower back to arch slightly with the bottom pressed against the back of the chair.

oArm rest-It should be adjusted so it slightly lifts the arms at the shoulders.

oResting eye level-Your gaze should be aimed at the center of the computer screen. If your gaze is higher or lower than the center, raise or lower it to reduce neck and shoulder strain.

Once you have adjusted your work station, have another coworker check your posture while you make normal work related movements. If your posture still is not correct, allow your coworker to help rearrange your position. Because we spend most of our lives at work performing the same tasks daily, it could take a serious toll on our health. An ergonomic leather chair is necessary to support good muscle health.