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doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181cb8f82
Occupational Health/Ergonomics

Changes in Head and Neck Posture Using an Office Chair With and Without Lumbar Roll Support

Horton, Stuart J. MPhty, DipMDT; Johnson, Gillian M. PhD; Skinner, Margot A. PhD

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Study Design. A repeated measures observational study.

Objective. To investigate change in sagittal alignment of head and neck posture in response to adjustments of an office chair with and without a lumbar roll in situ.

Summary of Background Data. Forward head posture has been identified as a risk factor for neck pain, and there is evidence to show that ergonomic correction in sitting may reduce the incidence of pain. The effect placement of a lumbar roll has on cervical spine posture has not been previously investigated experimentally but rather, is assumed to have a positive influence on head and neck posture.

Methods. Thirty healthy male participants (18–30 years) were photographed while registered in the natural head resting position in each of 4 sitting positions with and without a lumbar roll in situ. Two positions incorporated adjustments to the back rest and 1 to the seat pan of the office chair. The craniovertebral (CV) angle, as a determinant of head and neck posture was measured from the set of digitized photographs obtained for each participant. Comparisons between the CV angle in all postural registrations were made using a mixed model analysis adjusted for multiple comparisons.

Results. Of the positions examined, significant differences in the mean CV angles were found with the backrest of the chair at 100° and at 110° (P < 0.001). With the lumbar roll in situ and the backrest position at 110°, there was a significant increase in the mean CV compared with the angle without the lumbar roll in situ (2.32°, 95% confidence interval: 1.31–3.33; P < 0.001).

Conclusion. The degree of angulation of the backrest support of an office chair plus the addition of lumbar roll support are the 2 most important factors to be taken into account when considering seating factors likely to favorably change head and neck postural alignment, at least in asymptomatic subjects.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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