Your work brings you money but may cost your health if you don’t focus on your seating style. Most people spend extended sitting hours at the office desk. So, there is a high chance that their health will be affected.
Here comes the need for a good office chair that supports their back and allows them to maintain a proper posture while sitting. What kind of office chair can do that? The answer to this question is simple – a good ergonomic office chair.
Therefore, in this article, we will talk about why ergonomic chairs are important and what are the characteristics of a good ergonomic office chair. So, you can make an informed decision while shopping for a new chair for your office.
What does “Ergonomic” Mean?
Meriam Webster defines ergonomics as an applied science (also referred to as “human engineering”) that deals with designing and arranging things for people’s use. The main idea behind this is to establish a safe and efficient relationship between things and users.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word “ergonomic” relates to the design of furniture or any equipment which makes it comfortable and effective for the users.
Conventional Chairs vs an Ergonomic Office Chair
There are a number of different office chairs out there. Each one has some specific features which make them unique. Some of the most common among them include drafting, executive, and task chairs among others.
Most people choose an ergonomic office chair over all the other normal chairs because of the number of features they provide. Some of the features of an ergonomic office chair include maintaining natural posture, support to the upper body, spine support, adjustable armrests, support to the head and shoulders, etc. Moreover, you can adjust your ergonomic chair on a number of different levels so that it adds to your well-being, and improves your work quality as well.
You can also adjust the seat depth and seat height of your ergonomic chair for sitting in your body’s natural position with your lumbar spine well-supported. A conventional chair, on the other hand, doesn’t allow you to adjust the seat height and backrest. So your lumbar spine area remains undersupported and your knees are not parallel to your hips.
Not only this, but you can also adjust the backrest to feel relaxed when not working and the headrest to provide support to your shoulder and neck area. All of these adjustability options cannot be exercised in a conventional office chair.
Why Ergonomic Chairs are Important? – Features of a Good Ergonomic Chair
Why ergonomic chairs are important? The answer is simple. A number of internal and external factors dictate how a person sits on an office chair. Some office workers slouch because of their own habit of sitting loose whereas others slouch due to the chair design limitations. An ergonomic chair, however, allows you to sit correctly at your office desk. Here are some of the features of these chairs that help you do that:
1. Provides Lumbar support
The first and foremost benefit of a good ergonomic chair is that they come with lumbar support. Your posture on an ergonomic chair drastically improves with less strain on your muscles.
A good ergonomic chair comes with a backrest that perfectly fits the thoracic spine and supports the lumbar area of a person. This helps in improved blood flow to your lower back, prevention of back pain, and better health.
2. Fits all body types
An ergonomic chair is made to fit all types of bodies. A traditional office chair typically offers a variety of different body shapes and sizes. But an ergonomic office chair comes with a number of adjustable features that fit perfectly to all types of bodies. With its adjustable arm width and height, adjustable back support, and headrest, the user with any body type can fit into it.
3. Reduces back pain
Ergonomics has focused greatly on dealing with back pain in furniture especially helping with back pain. Due to prolonged office sitting hours, people develop slouched posture and sit in the same position all day.
Ergonomic chairs come with a responsive backrest feature that is specifically designed to fit the natural curve of the human spine. They provide optimum support to ensure that an average office worker doesn’t develop poor posture and enjoys his time sitting on the office chair.
Adjustability is the selling point of an ergonomic office chair. An ergonomic chair is preferred over traditional chairs because of the level of adjustability it provides to its users.
Four levels of adjustability are the most common when it comes to a good ergonomic office chair. These include adjusting the headrest, arm width, height, and seat height.
The headrest is so important when it comes to an office chair. Sitting for long hours can cause severe head and neck aches if the proper headrest is missing from a chair.
Ergonomic chairs provide an adjustable headrest that keeps the back side of the head relaxed by reducing tension in the shoulders and neck. Headrests can be adjusted on a number of levels that complement easy sitting for people with different body types.
Adjustable arm width and arm height
A good ergonomic office chair also comes with adjustable arm width and height. This is because every one of us has a different arm weight. If that weight isn’t supported well it can cause a strain on the neck and shoulders. With adjustable arm width and height, one can adjust the chair’s arms to the correct positioning and enjoy a better sitting experience.
Adjustable seat pan
What is a seat pan? It is the flat surface of a chair on which we sit. In most standard office chairs, the seat pan is fixed to the chair base and doesn’t allow the user to move it. The good part of ergonomic chairs is that they offer seat pan adjustability on various levels.
So you can adjust the seat depth and seat width with reference to the floor according to your level of comfort. You can also adjust your chair’s seat height to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your knees and hips at a parallel angle.
5. Helps in maintaining an upright posture
An ergonomic office chair allows office workers to maintain a good posture during their long periods of work. This better posture is achieved by a number of adjustable features offered by an ergonomic chair.
For instance, the adjustable headrest prevents you from neck pain during long hours of work. The fully adjustable backrest allows you to sit comfortably by providing proper support to your upper body. If you use any other office chair instead of an ergonomic chair, you will end up developing a bad posture, which will damage your overall health as well.
6. Boosts work efficiency and productivity
The level of comfort ergonomic chairs provides goes a long way in allowing office workers to give better work performance and higher productivity. When your body feels well-supported and you sit in a relaxed position with your feet flat on the floor, your brain definitely performs better.
If you are an employer and make your employees use traditional chairs in the office, do yourself a favor by shifting to ergonomic chairs. You will see a drastic improvement in the performance of your employees.
7. Lets you relax when not working
Most ergonomic office chairs come with the reclining option. Unlike traditional chairs, which come with a hard surface, ergonomic office chairs have a good seat depth.
So, they relieve hip pressure and with their seat depth adjustability allows you to enjoy improved comfort and a better sitting experience.
8. Durable and long-lasting
While picking up furniture for our homes and offices, we all think about “durability” or “life span”. Although an ergonomic chair costs you more than traditional chairs, they pay off in the longer run.
You invest in them and then forget about changing them any time soon due to malfunctions. Also, ergonomic chairs come with a warranty as well to ensure that your user experience is as smooth as possible.
9. Aesthetically Pleasing
A lot of health benefits have made ergonomic chairs the number one choice of all companies. More and more people are shifting to ergonomic chairs because of all the abovementioned features. But, there is one more thing ergonomic chairs rock at. You guessed it right, aesthetics.
Unlike traditional office chairs, ergonomic chairs are not at all boring. Nowadays, ergonomic chairs are coming with super sleek and trendy designs to fit your office interior and satisfy your aesthetic sense.
Conclusion – Last Thoughts!
Lastly, the importance of ergonomic chairs in a working environment cannot be overstated. Their health benefits along with cost-effectiveness make them a must-have for offices. If you incorporate ergonomic chairs in your office, you will save the sum of money that you’ve saved for the medical insurance of your employees.
Not only this, but an ergonomic chair is also aesthetically pleasing and offers durability as well. If you haven’t bought your office furniture yet, don’t settle for traditional office chairs. Go for a new ergonomic chair and see how your business expands and your employees’ productivity boosts.