First of all, let's take a look at the meaning of the term ergonomics: the Occupational Safety and Health Organization defines it as "the science that adapts workplace conditions and work needs to the capabilities of the working population". In other words, the field of ergonomics studies how to design furniture and objects to complement the human body and create a safe working environment.
Therefore, the ergonomic chair is aimed at finding a way to solve the physical pain and strain caused by using the standard chair for a long time. This is a chair, which can best support the body when sitting at the table. It takes into account posture, back support, weight distribution, comfort and movement. The ergonomic office chair will have multiple adjustable parts, so it is suitable for each user, and each user can sit comfortably at work.
Yes, we know, ergonomic office chairs are more expensive than your standard office chairs. But think of it as an investment in your or your employees’ health and productivity.
The most important reason to buy an ergonomic desk and chair is health. It turns out that spending too much time at your desk increases your risk of developing a range of serious diseases. More specifically, sitting in an ergonomic chair will lead to the development of musculoskeletal diseases, which will affect your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves due to the lack of upper back support. It can negatively affect your posture, stress your spine and spine, and cause back pain. It can also inhibit blood flow, leading to complications such as deep vein thrombosis and cervical spondylosis. The correct ergonomic chair will fit your body, support correct posture, keep joints and tissues in neutral position, and allow correct hip joint and pelvis alignment. This will reduce your risk of injury and strain, give you more energy, and let you focus without distraction and discomfort.
In the end, the benefits you get from investing in an ergonomic chair will directly translate into your work. If you are an employer considering providing ergonomic chairs for your employees, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry has conducted a compelling study. They surveyed 4000 users who used ergonomic furniture in the office, and found that absenteeism was reduced by 75%, error rate was reduced by 56%, and task time was increased by 40%. By making your employees' workplaces safer, you can increase their participation and provide a more flexible environment in which each employee can adapt uniquely. If our prediction is correct, job seekers will give priority to more and more offices that pay attention to employee welfare. In addition, ergonomic chairs are usually high-quality furniture with a longer service life and can withstand years of wear and tear.
You will find that there are many chairs on the market that are ergonomic, but do not meet all the required standards. If you plan to invest in ergonomic office chairs, please make sure that you consider the following points to obtain the best ergonomic support:
What makes a great ergonomic office chair is how you can easily adjust it to your needs. Everybody is different, so every chair needs to be able to adapt to its unique user. Think about who will be using the chair, in what context, and make sure it is adaptable to every function it will serve. Most of the following criteria include the adjustability of a chair’s various parts.
A good ergonomic chair will allow for the seat height to be adjusted from 15 to 22 inches off the floor. This range suits people that are 5’ to 6’4” tall. At the proper height, your feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90-degree angle. This will reduce stress on your knees and lumbar region. A chair with a pneumatic adjustment is ideal as you can correct the height sitting in the chair, but a chair with a spinning mechanism will work to adjust the seat pan height.
The standard seat size is between 17 and 20 inches wide to provide ample space for thigh support. Each user needs to be sitting comfortably on a quality seat pan, with at least 1 inch on either side of their hips, but not so wide that their arms need to stretch to touch the armrests.
On a right ergonomic office chair, the seat needs to be deep enough for the user to sit with their back against the backrest but leaves a space for 2 to 4 fingers between the end of the chair and the user’s knees. At least ¾ of the thighs need to be supported by the seat. Look for chairs with a seat that slides, which lets the user slide the seat in and out while sitting in the chair.
The presence of good lumbar support, and its adjustability, is a critical criterion. The lumbar spine supports and stabilizes the upper body, including the neck and head. The chair backrest allows for truncal movement, protects the spinal cord, and controls leg movements. Its concave curve helps to even weight distribution, which reduces the concentration of stress. Sitting in a chair without lumbar support tends to flatten that curve, which leads to lower back pain.
A typical backrest is between 12 and 19 inches wide. It needs to support the natural curve of the spine. An ergonomic office chair should promote dynamic sitting rather than static posture to increase blood flow. It should, therefore, allow its user to try different recline postures to relieve some weight from their lower backs. Pressure on the lumbar discs and muscle activity are at their lowest with a reclining degree that is between 110 and 130, depending on the body type.
Seat and backrest materials
Look for materials suitable for long-term use.
Make sure the seat cushion is made of high-quality foam. On most ergonomic chairs, insufficient padding and low-quality foam will lead to hip dislocation, imbalance, back pain, fatigue and discomfort.
Avoid unbreathable synthetic materials. Cloth fabric on the seat is comfortable and breathable, and leather is easy to clean
The mesh backrest keeps the user cool by keeping the air flowing, and comfortably shapes the body contour, while distributing the weight to a large area.
The armrests need to be adjustable and even removable if possible. The ideal height of armrests is from 7” to 10” above the seat pan height. They should be broad and comfortable so that the elbows and forearms can rest lightly on them while typing.
Movement and stability
The chair needs to move and rotate easily so that its user can reach anything on their desk without straining. A chair that allows for movement also promotes a dynamic position and increases blood flow. Additionally, it needs to be stable. For this, an ergonomic office chair needs to have at least 5 spokes. And make sure the wheels are of high quality, so no damage is done to the floor surface. Also, check its weight capacity to validate it’s appropriate for its user.
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