Anyone who has spent long hours in an office chair can relate to the back pain that can go along with it. Putting too much stress on your spine can also lead to potential medical problems. For these reasons, the office furniture industry has embraced the use of ergonomic design in today’s modern office chairs, incorporating comfort and health in order to improve posture and redistribute body weight for proper lumbar support. The benefits of ergonomics are monumental in the workplace, reducing downtime at work due to injury, uplifting morale with comfort, and also increasing productivity in the office by being designed for proficiency. With all of the lost income that back injuries cause employees and the companies they work for, it is good business to invest in an ergonomically designed office chair. Listed below are four main ergonomic principles that must be incorporated into all office chairs.
#1. – Principle of Health
According to a Bureau of Labor and Statistics News Release, there were 1, 157,410 workdays lost in 2014 due to nonlethal injuries and illnesses. This is why a worker’s health is paramount to the rest of the principles of ergonomic office chairs. If an employee develops a lumbar ailment due to prolonged sitting in a chair that doesn’t provide the proper support, that employee is not only missing days of work, but also, at risk of being out on an L & I claim for possibly months. Ergonomic chairs are designed to allow for perfect posture, redistributing the body’s weight so as not to put too much stress on the spine. With the proper ergonomically designed office chair, one can successfully help counteract the adverse effects of prolonged sitting in an average office environment.
#2. – Principle of Adjustability
A very important aspect of an ergonomic chair is that it adjusts to the proper sitting position with the back of the knees three to four inches from the seat edge, and they keep the elbows positioned at 90% in order to provide maximum movement without straining any part of the musculoskeletal system. Most ergonomic chairs have easy to operate controls. The chairs are specifically designed to adjust in order to divert pressure from the back, thighs, and knees. Most have adjustable backrests that conform to the contours of the small of the back. They swivel and coast for maximum movement. Armrests are also designed to adjust so that one’s elbows are at an appropriate angle as to avoid straining one’s arms. All of these adjustable features are incorporated into a standard ergonomic office chair in order to ensure for both maximum comfort, and also protection from work related injuries, due to hours of prolonged sitting at the office.
#3. – Principle of Productivity
The productivity principle of ergonomic office chairs is based on the fact that a comfortable worker is a happy worker. It is also based on the rational that a comfortable worker with the proper back support is also a worker not in pain – Making them happy, comfortable, healthy, and focused office workers who are more proficient and productive because of it. As we have covered above, ergonomic office chairs can drastically reduce health problems associated with prolonged sitting at work. This reduces employee downtime, workman’s compensation claims, which, of course, not only promotes better productivity, but also saves both the employer and the employee money in the long run. Good morale brings higher productivity rates; higher productivity ensures that a business is at the top of its game, thus ensuring the office’s success at beating its competitors. Ergonomic chairs are the silent foundation of a professional, productive, happy workplace, which is ready to fully face the challenges that every working day brings.
#4. – Principle of Mobility
It is a well-established fact that sitting in one position for hours is absolutely harmful to a worker’s spine. Ergonomic chairs have been designed for decades to ensure maximum movement while still providing lumbar support. The chairs are designed to swivel, roll, and keep support while reaching for all of those things one constantly needs in the office to do their work. Movement is the best defense against stiff joints, back pain, and shoulder and hip strain. It is easy when sitting in front of computer monitors and control panels to fall into total immobility. Ergonomics provides a fluidity of movement that helps to counteract the effects of sedentary work, making the principle of movement another very important aspect of an ergonomic office chair.
Health, adjustability, productivity, and mobility, all important aspects of the ergonomic office chair that come together in order to provide the best-known health and comfort benefits. These attributes are why ergonomics is a vital staple of the modern office workplace. Using this technology to protect from lumbar injuries and muscle strain is not just common sense, it is vital to ensuring a smooth running, healthy productive workplace that also promotes a safe working environment. Another great thing about ergonomic office chairs is that they are normally made to conform to all body types and stature. They also come in so many variations as to accommodate most everyone’s tastes. The old office chair of our father’s age is not only obsolete but also unhealthy. Ergonomics in the workplace is nothing new, but they are absolutely the future of new and innovative office furniture and a necessity of the modern workplace.