Objective: The purpose of this study was to perform a needs assessment to determine whether short-term use of BackJoy SitSmart Relief and Spine Buddy LT1 H/C chair supports influences neck, upper back, and lower back pain.
Methods: Forty-eight college students (age, 27.5 ± 6.3 years; height, 1.72 ± 0.08 m; body mass, 78.7 ± 19.8 kg; time seated that day, 4.3 ± 2.8 hours; means ± SD) were recruited for this study. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used to measure pain for the neck, upper back, and lower back regions. Subjects were randomized to sit in a stationary office chair for a single 12-minute period under 1 of 4 conditions: office chair only (control group), BackJoy SitSmart Relief and chair, freezer-cooled Spine Buddy LT1 H/C and chair, or microwave-heated Spine Buddy LT1 H/C and chair. Participants then completed a posttest Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. A between-within repeated-measures analysis of variance using the between-subject factor intervention (group) and within-subject factor time (baseline and posttest) was used to analyze study data.
Results: The main effect of time across the whole sample was statistically significant for neck (P = .000), upper back (P = .032), and lower back (P = .000) pain; however, there was no statistically significant interaction effect between intervention and time. Thus, as long as participants sat down and rested, symptoms improved similarly across the different groups.
Conclusions: In this preliminary study, short-term and single use of a support product for an office chair had no additive effect on reducing neck and back pain.
Author keywords: low back pain, neck pain, patient outcome assessment, ergonomics, self-help devices
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