How The Right Work Chair Can Prevent Chronic Tension Headaches

If you suffer from chronic tension headaches, back pain or neck pain, you’re probably aware that poor posture was at least partly responsible.

However, did you know the way you sit may have had more to do with your pain than the way you stand?

If you’re like most Americans, you spend much of your day seated. That’s because your work station is probably at a computer terminal, assembly line, or desk.

Consider, too, that much of your time at home is also spent sitting – either watching T.V., surfing the Internet or reading. As a result, of the 16 hours or so you’re awake, you may well spend 12 or more of them sitting down.

Doesn’t it make sense then, that you should concentrate as much on your sitting posture as you do your standing posture?

And while standing properly – shoulders rolled back, head up, chest out – is important, the benefits of a good standing posture will be minimal if you slouch all day at your desk.

You may be one of many unfortunate workers who are forced to slouch because your work chair won’t adjust to accommodate your body, or because you don’t have your chair adjusted properly.


Three things can happen when you habitually slouch for long periods every day. They’re all bad:

* stiffness and pain in your muscles, connective tissue and joints

* restricted breathing

* postural deformities


Problems related to inappropriate seating are cumulative. The first noticeable symptom is usually stiffness and pain in your low back, upper back or neck. These can lead to chronic tension headaches, back aches, and muscle spasms or a restriction of circulation in your legs.

As a result of sitting slouched over all the time, other body segments begin to break down because when one part of the body is out of alignment, it’ll have an effect on the structures above and below it.

For example, if you habitually sit slumped over you’re not only at risk for back and neck pain, but also for repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.


When you’re sitting upright, you should have good tone in your lower abdominal muscles so your diaphragm is in its proper, raised position. This is important for optimal breathing.

But when you slump in your seat, your lower abdominal muscles relax and your diaphragm lowers. This forces you to breath from the upper chest instead of from the diaphragm.

As a result of decreased support from a relaxed lower abdominal wall, together with a lowering of your diaphragm, your abdominal organs are forced downward, which restricts your breathing.


If you’re a woman, the resulting pressure in your pelvis from slouching all day for prolonged periods of time can be an overlooked cause of back, pelvic and menstrual pain.

And – particularly if you’re a woman – you risk skeletal deformities if your poor seating posture is not corrected.

Often, when people think of a “round-back” posture, they usually associate it with a post-menapausal woman who’s already had osteoporosis.

However, many pre-menopausal women have rounded backs that are caused by the way they sit all day.


Here’s a checklist you can use that will help you determine if you’re sitting properly:

* your feet are firmly on the floor, or on a foot rest, slightly in front of you

* your seat is adjusted so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, with your knees at about 90 degrees and slightly lower than your hips

* your seat allows your weight to be borne primarily on the upper half of your thighs

* your knees are shoulder width apart or closer

* your chair seat isn’t too deep (you shouldn’t be sinking in your chair)

* you’re able to sit upright, maintaining the natural curves of your back

* your back is adequately supported

* your pelvis is neutral

* your rib cage is elevated

* you can draw a straight line down through your ear, shoulder, rib cage and pelvis (check this by sitting in front of a full-length mirror, or have a co-worker analyze your sitting posture)


If you sit at a computer terminal all day, there are other factors you need to consider:

* you should be sitting directly in front of your keyboard and computer screen

* your monitor should be between 18 – 24 inches from your eyes, and you should have to look slightly down to see it

* you should use a work surface that allows your elbows to maintain about a 90 degree angle

* you should keep your shoulders relaxed; don’t slump forward

* you should relax your wrists and keep them in a neutral position; don’t flex them up or down

* while typing, keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows loose at your side

* take breaks

When doing extensive computer work, it’s important to take brief breaks to stretch and walk around every 30 minutes or so. Alternate between work activities that utilize different muscle groups.

Make sure to give your eyes a periodic break, too. For example, blink frequently, close them momentarily and gaze at different objects.



In most work environments, and in nearly all offices, chairs are mounted on caster wheels to allow you to move from task to task easily. These wheels are usually mounted on a five-point base.


In some industrial settings, a chair with a stationary base is more common because of safety issues. Such chairs are often found in laboratories because the floors tend to be hard and smooth, making caster wheel chairs risky.

Stationary chairs are the norm in assembly lines because they’re more stable.


Bench chairs are often used in small parts assembly areas in manufacturing, as well as for other jobs that require manual dexterity. Bench chairs are higher than typical office chairs and usually offer footrests for stability and comfort.


Sit-to-stand chairs are best if you move from a seated to a standing position often during your shift (if you work as a receptionist or assembly line worker, a sit-to-stand chair would be a good choice).

These chairs usually don’t have a backrest. the seat is angled downward, allowing you to lean comfortably in a half-standing position.



The backrest of your chair should stabilize your pelvis and elevate your rib cage by supporting your lower back.

If it doesn’t support your lower back properly, then it will sink into the backrest. A backrest that’s too soft, inclined, and/or concave causes this to happen.

These faults result in a backrest that supports the wrong areas, which reinforces slumping.


If your work surface is too high to allow you to place your feet on the floor, then you need a footrest. The footrest should be large enough to allow you some movement during the day. It should also be adjustable to accommodate your height and leg length.


A five-point base offers you maximum stability and can usually be found with any type of chair.


When shopping for a work chair, you must realize that one size doesn’t fit everyone. You must consider what you do at your chair all day, as well as take into account your physical size.

Generally speaking, you want a chair that provides appropriate support to your back, legs, buttocks and arms.

Here are the various components of a work chair and what to look for in them:


You want a chair that has a five-pedistal (point) base, regardless of whether you need casters (wheels). If you choose a chair with less than five pedestals, you’re sacrificing stability and safety (chairs with four casters can tip over more easily).

Make sure the base allows the chair to swivel easily.


Keep in mind that armrests should only be used while reading or resting between typing sessions, NOT while actually typing or using your mouse. Depending on how you spend your time in the chair, you might not even need armrests.

If you do get a chair with armrests, make sure they’re adjustable, broad, cushioned and comfortable. While seated, you should be able to independently adjust the height of the armrests and move them closer together or further apart.


The part of the chair that you sit in (the seat pan) should allow even weight distribution and comfortable support. Pay attention to the width and depth of the seat pan – it should be wide enough to give you at least one inch of unused space on both sides of your thighs and hips.

It should also be deep enough to support your thighs comfortably and not put pressure behind your knees (that’s bad for circulation).

The seat pan should feel comfortable even after sitting for an hour or more. Insufficient cushioning and poor contouring can cause hip and back fatigue, so ensure that the padding is of high enough quality to resist becoming permanently deformed.


You should buy a chair that allows you to adjust its height easily. The best chairs have a device that permits you to adjust the height of the seat pan while you’re seated (a chair with a spinning mechanical height adjustment mechanism is okay, too).

Either way, make sure the adjusters are within easy reach while you’re seated – you shouldn’t have to get up to change the height of your chair.

If more than one person will be using the chair, make sure the range of heights will accommodate all users. You should be able to adjust the height of the seat pan so that the fronts of your knees are level, or slightly below level, with your feet firmly on the ground or on a footrest.


A good lumbar support (the part of the chair that supports your lower back) is essential. Many chairs have cushioned lumbar supports that can be adjusted up and down and forward or backward. That’s what you want, as these supports will better fit your shape.

The ability to adjust your chair is especially important if more than one person will use the chair.

A fixed-height lumbar support might be okay if you’re the only user of the chair and it feels comfortable when you sit back against it.

When sitting against the lumbar support, make sure there’s sufficient room for your hips and that you aren’t being forced so far forward in the chair that you lose thigh support.


The back support should recline to allow you to sit back at more than 90 degrees. The best chairs allow your back to move and also track your back as you move back and forth.

Try to avoid locking a back support in one position. Look for a support that’s sufficiently broad and doesn’t put pressure on the side of your back. The support should also be tall enough to provide good support to the middle of your back – at least up to your shoulder blades.


If you like to recline in your chair to read, talk on the phone or relax, look for a chair with a high back and good neck and head rest.


Good chairs are coming down in price, but they can still be costly. You can get a good chair for between $300 and $500.

(Remember this – you get what you pay for)

While $300 to $500 (or more) may seem like a lot of money for a chair, if you’re among the millions of people who spend most of their workdays sitting, a high-quality, comfortable chair is a wise investment.

Source by Paul Bacho

About Gregory Masley

Gregory Masley CNE, CNA, MCSE


• Twenty years of Network Engineering hands on experience, with a demonstrated ability to quickly learn and integrate new technology in a variety of industries
• Proven expertise in various network including Novell Netware and Microsoft Windows networks.
• Proven expertise in large scale network, wireless and cloud-based network build-outs and migrations
• Proven success in implementing management, operations, technical and interpersonal skills to increase productivity, reliability and teamwork to benefit the company
• Team Lead, Project Manager, IT Manager, Network Administrator, Network Engineer and sole IT support for security, repair, installation, migration, reconfiguration and maintenance of large-scale Windows and Novell networks ranging from 5 users to over 8000 users
• Hands on experience in Wireless Networking, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Optical Networking, Switching/Bridging (VLAN, Spanning Tree), VPNs, LAN/WAN/MAN, TCP/IP Protocol, IP Addressing and Subnetting, IP Access Lists, Routing Protocols, Token Ring, ATM, Frame Relay, HP OpenView NNM, Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks, Resource Manager Essentials, Cisco Security Management Center (PIX, IDS), Microsoft Visio, WebNM, IBM compatible computers, Windows 2008/2003/2000/7/Vista/NT/XP, Remote Desktop Management, Microsoft Office 2010/2007/2003/2000/XP, Norton, Remedy, Compupic Pro, Network Security and MicroStation (95/SE/J/8)
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Hands on experience with Cisco 2600/3600/4000/7200/7500 series routers, Cisco Catalyst 1900/2900/5000/5500 series switch, Cisco 3550 Multilayer Switch, Cisco PIX Firewall, Cisco IDS 515E, CAD/CAM Systems, Netopia Routers, Sonicwall, IBM Compatible Workstations and Servers and Printers
• Hands on experience with Microsoft Windows Enterprise Server, Office 365, Small Business Server and Workstation NT through 2008, Active Directory, Novell 3.1-6.0, UNIX, SCOM, SCCM, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft SharePoint, Citrix, Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, AutoCAD, MAPICS, Rhumba Reflections and ISA Server, Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Programming experience in Visual Basic, Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN, SQL, HTML, Wordpress, CSS, DreamWeaver, Oracle and DBASE
• MCSE, CNA, and CNE Certified
• United States Department Of Defense SECRET Security Clearance 2005


• Networking: Wireless Networking
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet
• Optical Networking
• Parsed Cloud
• Switching/Bridging (VLAN, Spanning Tree)
• TCP/IP Protocol
• IP Addressing and Subnetting
• IP Access Lists, Routing Protocols
• Token Ring, ATM
• Frame Relay
• HP OpenView NNM
• Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks
• Resource Manager Essentials
• Cisco Security Management Center (PIX, IDS)
• Microsoft Visio
• WebNM
• IBM compatible computers
• Windows Enterprise Server, Small Business Server and Workstation 2008/2003/2000/NT/XP/Vista/7
• Exchange 5.5/2000/2003/2007/2010
• Remote Desktop Management
• Microsoft Office 2010/2003/2000/XP
• Windows 95/98/Vista/XP/7
• Norton
• Remedy
• Compupic Pro
• Network Security
• MicroStation
• (95/SE/J/8) HP Openview
• OSPF,BGP,VLAN,IPSEC, routing and bridging protocols
• Citrix XenApp
• VmWare


• Cisco 2600/3600/4000/7200/7500 series routers
• Cisco Catalyst 1900/2900/5000/5500 series switch
• Cisco 3550 Multilayer Switch
• Cisco PIX Firewall
• Cisco IDS 515E
• CAD/CAM Systems
• Netopia Routers
• Sonicwall
• IBM compatible Workstations and Servers
• Printers


• Microsoft Windows Servers (all versions) NT 3.51 through 2008 R2
• Microsoft Windows Desktop (all versions) Windows 95 through Windows 7
• Novell 3.1-6.0
• Parsed Cloud
• Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003/2007/2010
• SharePoint 2007/2010
• SQL Server 2005/2008
• Lotus Notes
• Microsoft Office XP/2000/2003/2007/2010/365
• Word Perfect
• AutoCAD
• Rhumba Reflections
• ISA Server RAID Storage Devices SAN Storage Devices
• Citrix
• Active Directory
• Citrix XenApp
• VmWare


• Visual Basic, Basic
• Oracle and DBASE
• Wordpress
• DreamWeaver


California State University Fullerton
• Novell Certified Network Administration and
• Engineering Program – Graduated in the top 10% of the JTPA Grant Class of 93
• BS – Computer Science 1997


• CNE – Certified Novell Network Engineer 1993
• CNA – Certified Novell Network Administrator 1992
• MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 1997


Senior Computer Network Consultant - Masley and Associates - Owner
Orange County, CA Jan 1994 to Present

Senior Network Consultant (Masley & Associates)
Lynx Grills, Downey, CA
Feb 2013 - April 2015
• Lead network technical support engineer onsite for 70 user network reconfiguration and move from Commerce California to Downey California with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL 2008, Navision, Microsoft Exchange and Office 365

Security First Corporation, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Sep 2011 – Feb 2013
• Built and tested over 20 new Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Servers with Microsoft Exchange 2010 in DAG failover clusters and SQL and SharePoint with Active Directory configurations from scratch to test Security First Corporation’s SPX Connect and BitFiler Encryption Software with and documented and reported findings, as well as Office 365, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp
• Built and tested new encrypted Cloud Based Parsed Cloud Secure network encrypted Cloud network environment
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Network Engineer responsible for system configuration, communications, and installation of hardware, operating systems, and software applications in multiple client locations
• Design, instillation, and maintenance of all computer networks for major Southern California and Colorado companies including:JNIC Missile Defense Agency Schreiver Air Force Base Department Of Defense, Net Solutions, Planet Network, Analysts International, Accucode, Capitol Records, Unihealth Insurance, Fuji Bank, UNOCOL 76, and Price Company
• Performed nationwide wireless network upgrade for The Sports Authority and Gart Sports on multi-tier network with over 1000 users.
• Migrated St. Joseph’s Hospital from Novell to Windows 2000 Server with Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 2000 users.
• Migrated Anaheim Memorial Hospital from Windows 98, NT Server, and Exchange 5.5 to Windows XP, 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 4000 users.
• Designed and documented data and voice networks from the ground up.
• Trained customers and managers on system capabilities and usage.
• Website programming in CSS, HTML, Wordpress and Dreamweaver

Aug 2010 - Sep 2011 Network Consultant- EdgeMac Finance, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Jul 2009 – Aug 2010 Network Consultant- Microtek, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Jun 2008 – Jul 2009 IT Manager - Bert Howe & Associates, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Consolidated List of Duties/Roles
• Edge Mac Finance:
Moved, reconfigured and supported sixty user network with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Servers, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp. Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Microtek-Bert Howe & Associates:
Reconfigured and supported sixty user network with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Servers, SCOM, SCCM, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp. Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008

2GWLAN Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Peterson Air Force Base/ Luke Air Force Base
May 2005 – Jun 2008
• Designed and implemented 2GWLAN system for both Air forcebases
• Worked with Aruba Controllers, Aruba Access Points, RADIUS and TACACS Servers, and used Motorola LAN Planner, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp to do the design
• Configured and tested all necessary network platforms under extreme time constraints resulting in successful customer acceptance of required test bed network
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Established network security measures in order to support defense agency accreditation for The Department Of Defense at Schreiver Air Force Base JNIC Missile Defense Agency
• Recommended and implemented network wide security management solution, including Firewall policies and configuration, router access-lists, and agent based network monitoring

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA
Apr 2003 – May 2005
• Primary support and lead Novell Network migration specialist for multi-site 500 user Novell Network, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Network Planet, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 2001- Apr 2003
• Primary support for Novell Networks, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp at Fortune 500 law firms in Los Angeles, California

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Network Solutions, Tustin, CA
Feb 1999 – Mar 2001
• Primary support for Novell, Microsoft Networks, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp at Fortune 500 companies in Orange County, California
• Network Engineer responsible for system configuration, communications, and installation of hardware, operating systems, and software applications
• Installed and maintained entire computer networks for major Southern California companies including:Mellon Financial, Mallinckrodt Medical, Shiley Medical, AJS Accounting Service, Online Connecting Point, Sandpiper Computer, Nadek, ARC, Farmers Insurance, Classic Homes, Horizon, Qualtek Manufacturing, Powell Manufacturing, RL Holdings, COACT, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Computer Support Network and Manpower Technical
• Performed nationwide wireless network upgrade for The Sports Authority and Gart Sports on multi-tier network with over 1000 users
• Migrated St. Joseph’s Hospital from Novell and Lotus Notes to Windows 2000 Server with Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 2000 users
• Migrated Anaheim Memorial Hospital from Windows 98, NT Server, and Exchange 5.5 to Windows XP, 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 4000 users in Active Directory
• Designed and documented data and voice networks from the ground up.
• Trained customers and managers on system capabilities and usage
• Performed Systems Administration on Windows Servers and Clients for Local and Wide Area Networks
• Recommended and implemented network wide security management solution, including Firewall policies and configuration, router access-lists, and agent based network monitoring
• Administered and supported Citrix network environment for Classic Homes including building new Citrix servers and load balancing, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

Network Administrator (Masley & Associates)
Mallinckrodt Medical, Irvine, CA
Jan 1994 To Feb 1999
• Sole onsite IT support for 400 user network
• Managed all aspects of several network implementations including network planning, design, testing, documentation, deployment and maintenance of Novell and Windows based network systems
• Responsible for complete support, installation, maintenance and training for all network and system components
• Developed training and support plans for 400 user network
• Lead effort to migrate Novell based Microsoft and Lotus Notes servers with upgraded Windows NT based Exchange Servers to Active Directory. Included development and implementation of plan to provide remote access to e-mail and database servers via Windows NT RAS
• Administered Windows NT, Back Office, Exchange, RAS, AS400s, Lotus Notes, MAPICS, JD Edwards, Rhumba and Reflections, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

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