Modern Furniture and Sitting Well Could Save Freelancers From Back Pain

Rear view of a young man holding his back in pain, isolated on w

Whether it’s from smartphone slouching, slumping on the couch for Netflix marathons, or hunching in front of a computer screen, one of the most common pain complaints for Americans is lower back pain.

The leading cause of disability in Americans under the age of 45 is back pain, and it’s no wonder, with so many Americans working sedentary jobs. Increasingly, more and and more of them are freelancers. Forbes reported in September 2014 that a survey conducted by the Freelancers Union (in conjunction with Elance-oDesk, a freelance platform) found that 34% of the American population — or 53 million workers — qualify as freelancers.

Freelance or contract jobs are typically jobs that need to be done in front of a computer, like IT consulting, writing, marketing and advertising, and web development. It’s people in these fields that could face back pain from poor posture.

Physiotherapist Becky Lee gave Express a few key tips for sitting properly in an office chair. She recommends using an ergonomic workstation and sitting with good posture. Lower back support is essential for good posture, so the use of a lumbar pillow is important. A computer screen should be positioned an arm’s length away from the face and at eye level. Additionally, taking frequent breaks to walk around and stretch can help.

For freelancers who works from home — and many of them do — working better for your back doesn’t just stop at sitting well. According to, trends in active office furniture like standing desks, balance ball chairs, bike desks, and standing chairs are all viable options for creating a more ergonomic work space. Though they do sometimes resemble exercise equipment, none of the designs would look very out of place in the home.

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