The word ‘ergonomics’ refers to a science which studies how objects can be manipulated to most safely and comfortably align the human body. This science is also called biotechnology or human engineering. An ergonomic chair is designed to support the body for optimal posture, support, comfort, and health. For someone working a sedentary job, such as an office job, sitting for over 6 hours can get pretty uncomfortable without proper body support.
Many office workers complain of back, neck, and shoulder pain after sitting so long. This is because sitting in a flat chair puts pressure on the spine and compresses it. When the spine is under excessive stress, the whole body will suffer. This level of employee discomfort causes work injury complaints, decreased employee wellness, and decreased happiness with the workplace overall.
The ergonomic chair, while not solving every work-related health issue, is designed to prevent the discomfort and pain created by cheap office chairs, therefore, decreasing the amount of injury reports and increasing morale and production. Most office spaces are implementing ergonomic chairs, but how does an ergonomic chair actually benefit the body, and what does that do for the workplace?
Changeable seat height and tilt
The body is optimally aligned when both feet are able to be placed flat on the floor. Not everyone is the same height, which is why adjusting the height of a chair is so important. The same ergonomic chair can accommodate multiple people of different heights with optimal comfort for everyone. Controlling the tilt of the seat is important as well, as it allows the proper positioning of the pelvis. There should be 80° angles at the hips, knees, and ankles to ensure proper posture and pelvis position.
Backrest lumbar support and recline
Lumbar refers to the lower back, which is where most people in a sedentary job experience the most pain. This is perhaps the most important aspect of an ergonomic chair. The backrest is curved to support the natural shape of the spine and prevent slumping forward. This spinal position decreases stress put on the spine and pelvis. Being able to tilt the backrest back can take pressure off of the upper body as well, which decreases stress on the spine and muscles.
Swivel and wheels
The swivel and wheels are pretty basic, but they help the seated person reach far-away objects without excessive strain. The swivel allows for turning towards the desired item and the wheels allow mobility to out-of-reach items.
Arm and head rests
Armrests reduce strain on the upper body from holding up the arms, which lets the shoulders relax more than a regular chair would. Similarly, the headrest reduces strain on the neck from holding up the head. This also relaxes the shoulders and upper torso.
Which ergonomic chair is right for you?
There are a variety of different ergonomic chairs that focus on different issues. Each person may require different accessories or features, and some features may annoy them. Plenty of ergonomic chairs accommodate specific postures and activities performed during work. Swivels are important for someone with a larger workspace, for example. It is important to pay attention to your posture in normal chairs to determine which ergonomic chair is right for you. Some people need a deeper back curve than others. Let your body tell you what it needs and search for a chair that emphasizes solutions to those needs.
To invest or not to invest…
Ergonomic chairs obviously have some benefits, but are the benefits revolutionary enough to consider purchasing these chairs for an entire office? Take this into consideration: ergonomic chairs do not only correct posture and reduce pain, but they can also prevent early onset of arthritis if used properly.
The health and safety of employees is always important, so investing in the present and future health of your employees is never a waste. Increased comfort and decreased stress have proven to increase production and workplace attitude. Less pain means less distraction, which directly increases production. The benefits of an ergonomic chair can improve many angles of the work environment. The more you put into your team, the more your team can give to you. Your employees will feel appreciated and cared for if given the option to switch to an ergonomic chair, which will increase morale even further.
There are a lot of people who work in front of computers everyday like programmers and traders. It is important to get a good chair to sit comfortably and avoid health issues. You should research for the best chairs; for example if you are a programmer, then you should try to find the best chair for programmers online and buy one that you think will benefit you.
So, talk to your team about implementing ergonomic chairs in the office, or implement one individually if you work from home. There are many affordable ergonomic chairs on the market to accommodate any income level. This investment is crucial for keeping sedentary bodies healthy for long periods of time. Investing in the health and wellness of employees is investing for the good of the company.