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Working in an office typically involves sitting at your desk in a sub-par swivel office chair, unless you’ve adapted to one of those standing or treadmill desks; be honest with yourselves, how long will that really last?
Spending a large amount of time sat down and staring at a screen can have a big impact on your health where bad posture leads to back problems and headaches. Therefore the right office chair can make all the difference to your work life, which is why we suggest looking out for a fantastic ergonomic chair.
But what is an ergonomic chair we hear you shout?
The term ergonomics relates largely to the application of scientific information when designing objects and systems. An ergonomically correct chair has been designed to provide stable body support by minimising physical effort and discomfort whilst enhancing efficiency. The idea is, by working comfortably you work more productively.
Whilst we acknowledge that said injuries do not refer solely to office environments It is important to minimise risk whatever the case. In this instant, it is completely reasonable when we hear safety experts agree that the correct chair is the most important piece of equipment in any office environment.
Many studies have shown how ergonomic office chairs can reduce work related injuries and improve productivity. One report from Haworth states that in 2003 there was a 17.7% productivity increase in participants that received a highly adjustable chair. Further statistics from the UK Health and Safety Executive shows that in 2013/14 there were approximately 28.2million working days lost where employees took days off due to health and safety related injuries. The report suggests that 8.3million of these days related solely to musculoskeletal disorders. Although office workers are not the main contributors to these statistics the risks of back problems on our health and productivity diminish significantly with the wrong office chair.
It has also been suggested time and time again that an adjustable chair combined with the right ergonomic training leads to less orthopaedic damage. It therefore stands to reason that a decent, comfortable and quality ergonomic chair can be the difference between happy, healthy and productive workers and compensation claims.
Did you know that the more hours you spend in a chair the more features it should have?
A good chair should not only support your body and allow you to sit comfortably for long periods of time but allow you to move freely around your desk, accommodate all those who intend to use it, regardless of shape or size, and to be suited to your workstation in terms of height. Therefore there are a number of features you need to watch out for when purchasing your ergonomic office chair.
Adjustable Seat Depth – An adjustable seat depth feature should allow you to slide the seat backward or forward to suit the length of your legs. Ideally your back should rest comfortably against the back support where there is a 2 to 4 inch gap between the back of your knees and the chair. By taking advantage this feature you will reduce any strain directed at your legs and back as well as avoiding the temptation of leaning forward.
Adjustable Height - When sitting at your desk your feet should be flat against the floor (or foot rest) and your legs positioned at a 90° angle with your forearms resting parallel to the work surface. Taking advantage of the seat height can avoid limited blood circulation and reduce pressure on the sensitive area behind the knee. Furthermore if your seat height is too low your knees are positioned higher than your hips, causing your body weight to shift back and put pressure on the sitting bones.
Recline-ability – Being able to recline or tilt back in your office chair not only allows you to stretch out when you’ve been sitting all day but enables you to recline whilst still comfortably seeing your work. It is important however recline at a position that is in easy reach of the chair without straining your eyes, shoulders or arms.
Lumbar Support – Back pain is a bug barer of many an office worker where proper support can make the world of difference. Your chair should remain supportive of the natural curvature of the spine, but not so hard that it creates pressure points in your back. An ergonomic design with an adjustable lumbar system is key as sitting for long periods of time tends to lead to slouching and strains on the structure of your lower spine. A lumbar support should have both height and depth adjustable features so that the user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back. With the ability to move and sit correctly you allow oxygen to move to your muscles and increase blood flow to the brain, improving focus and keeping the individual refreshed and energized.
Armrests – Did you know that 10.2% of your total body weight is held within your arms which can result in considerable exertion of muscles in your upper back, shoulders and neck. Therefore armrest are essential features for great posture as they provide proper support whilst both working and resting. Make sure that your shoulders aren’t hunched and your arms rest comfortably on the armrests or work surface.
Don’t forget the importance of a swivel base too, as this allows you to move freely without twist your back when reaching other parts of your desk.
This fantastic ergonomic chair is loaded with features designed to support your back, improve posture and enable you to work comfortably at the office. For outstanding value the Chachi Mesh chair boasts an integrated lumbar support amongst its many qualities.
This heavy duty office chair has been designed specifically with performance in mind. Including features such as height adjustable arms and back support the sierra computer chair is ideal for any office worker stuck behind the desk.
This fantastically ergonomic chair has been designed with your comfort, efficiency and body in mind. The Cheetah leather chair is complete with fully adjustable arm rests, options to fix or free float the angle of the seat and back rest as well as ‘anti-shock’ facilities.
If you have any further questions on using ergonomic office chairs to help reduce back, shoulder, leg, knee or any other pain when sat at your desk do get in touch with the Office Supermarket!