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Reforming the Chair: A Chiropractor's Perspective

As a chiropractor, I witness daily the repercussions of prolonged sitting in poorly designed chairs.

I'd like to explore how we can reform the chair to better support spinal health and overall well-being.

Understanding the Problem

The standard chair design, with its right-angled seat and backrest, fails to accommodate the spine's natural curves, leading to poor posture and the inevitable strain on the back muscles and spinal discs. This static sitting posture can contribute to a host of musculoskeletal problems, including lower back pain, neck strain, and decreased mobility. I would argue that the design of chairs should evolve to meet the body's needs rather than forcing the body to conform to the chair.

Principles for Chair Reform

  1. Ergonomic Design: The first step in reforming the chair is to embrace ergonomic principles that support the body's natural posture. Chairs should encourage a slight forward tilt of the pelvis, allowing the spine to maintain its natural 'S' curve. This can reduce pressure on the spinal discs and encourage better breathing and circulation.

  2. Dynamic Seating: Chairs should allow for movement, recognizing that the body is not designed for prolonged static postures. Dynamic chairs, which enable users to rock, tilt, and swivel, encourage micro-movements that keep muscles engaged and promote blood flow, reducing the risk of stiffness and pain.

  3. Adjustability: No single chair can fit every body type or work situation. Chairs should be highly adjustable, allowing individuals to customize seat height, backrest angle, and armrest position. This personalization ensures that the chair meets the user's specific needs, fostering comfort and support throughout the day.

  4. Alternative Seating Options: Incorporating alternative seating solutions, such as standing desks, kneeling chairs, or even stability balls, can provide much-needed variety and flexibility. These alternatives can help break up long periods of sitting, offering relief to the spine and encouraging a more active working environment.

  5. Education and Awareness: Reforming the chair is not just about design; it's also about changing how we think about sitting. Educating individuals on the importance of proper posture, regular movement, and the risks associated with sedentary behavior is crucial. Encouraging a more mindful approach to how we sit can significantly impact our health and productivity.

Implementing Change

The journey to reform the chair begins with awareness and choice. As consumers, we can demand better-designed chairs that meet ergonomic standards. In the workplace, employers can play a significant role by investing in quality seating and promoting a culture of health and movement.

As a chiropractor, I encourage my patients to be proactive about their seating choices. Experiment with different types of chairs and setups to find what works best for your body. Remember, the goal is to support your spine's natural alignment and foster a dynamic, healthy relationship with your work environment.


It’s clear that reforming the chair is not just a matter of design—it's a holistic approach that encompasses ergonomics, user education, and a shift in cultural attitudes towards sitting. By rethinking the chair, we can create environments that support our spinal health and enhance our overall quality of life. Let's embrace the challenge and move towards a future where chairs are not just seats but tools for better health and well-being.


Dr Mark has a special interest in helping recreational athletes of all ages perform better and prevent injury. Correct breathing and postural alignment are critical for top performance and injury prevention and is an integral part of “The Over 40 Athlete System” that Mark has developed.

Dr Julie has a special interest in helping mothers and “mothers to be”. Her Post Graduate qualifications in Paediatric Chiropractic and as an ex-midwife give her a unique ability to help pregnant women, new mums and their young children.

Yours in Health,

Dr's Mark & Julie


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