Why Back in Action sits well
This year, the Buckinghamshire-based family retailer Back to action celebrates 35 years of helping customers sit more comfortably. With stores in Amersham, Bristol, Marlow and London, the business is proving invaluable to a growing number of people with back pain, says Senior Ergonomics Advisor Lucinda Newbound…
Founded by David and Lindall Newbound as a pop-up store in their Berkshire home, and since taken over by daughters Lucinda and Romilly, Back in Action prides itself on its range of stylish, ergonomic furniture and associated back care solutions – and of the work he does to address the causes of back pain.
Thanks in part to the Work from Home Revolution (WFH), Back in Action has become an increasingly popular destination for those investing in health and wellness. Offering a mix of great Scandinavian brands and exclusive solutions, the retailer really appreciates the ability to engage customers in a physical setting, says Lucinda…
What prompted you to specialize in back care?
Back in Action was started in 1987 by my father David Newbound, an engineer who suffered a debilitating neck injury in 1982. When he discovered there was an alternative to constant pain, David started the company to share information and help others.
Over the past 35 years, we’ve helped thousands of people lead happier, pain-free lives. Overall, we’re pretty proud of what we do and the people we work with. Our team is the heart of our business.
How does your business approach differ from that of a standard furniture store?
At Back in Action, our experts are at the heart of our business. In fact, many of our employees started their relationship with Back in Action as customers and later decided to join the team – so they have a pretty good idea of what customers are going through. Together, our expertise and passion for helping people lead happier, pain-free lives continues to grow. We strive to manage, prevent and treat the symptoms of back pain and help customers find the perfect chair, whether it’s for long periods of office work, meals or relaxation.
What kind of feedback do you get from customers?
Many of our clients have sought help from doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors, and they still suffer from back or neck pain. As a final solution, they come to us – often we can diagnose and offer a solution that we know will help them within minutes of entering one of our stores.
Has the WFH movement made a tangible difference in sales?
We know that many people have struggled over the past few years as the shift to remote working has become the norm. We’ve seen workers sitting on unsuitable dining chairs at the kitchen table, leaning on a stool near a kitchen island or breakfast bar, and even working from bed and bathroom ! Each of these can lead to back pain, poor posture, neck and shoulder pain, and more.
During the pandemic, the desire for ergonomic furniture has increased – we’ve seen an overall +400% increase across the board for ergonomic home office items. The difference this could make to productivity is staggering, especially when our research over a 10 year period showed that the average proportion of work stoppages related to back pain in the UK is 40%. We have seen that by actively sitting this can be reduced to less than 0.1%.
We feel very fortunate to have been able, over the past two years, to bring huge changes to the way thousands of people work. We are driven by creating lasting positive change, by adjusting the way people use their bodies throughout a work day. It means we like to work individually, to do things right for each individual.
The key for us in the beginning is always knowledge – understanding the person, the space, the possibilities, the restrictions and their needs. We like to get to know things from the inside out so that we can achieve the biggest change possible.
Back problems seem to affect young people. Do you feel relevant to this demographic?
Oh absolutely, there’s nothing better than tackling a problem early – and yes, we really do see problems getting younger and younger. Being able to help a wide age and wealth demographic is why we sell items to help with posture, back pain and fitness from just £29.
How can you keep up to date with the latest product innovations and developments in ergonomics?
We learn from our colleagues, clients, chiropractors, physiotherapists, doctors and osteopaths with whom we work, and by attending trainings and seminars. We’re on the front lines – working with real people and learning what works from real situations.
Pictured: The Newbound family, left to right – Lucinda, Lindall, David and Romilly
Read the rest of the interview in The September issue of Furniture News.