Chair mats are an essential component for every home and business office where office chairs are used. They allow for ease of rolling and reduce the amount of energy required to move an office chair from one location to another. Carpeted floors tend to provide too much resistance for office chair casters to work effectively and efficiently. They are also designed to extend the life of your carpet by spreading out the pressure from the chair casters, which will wear down carpet fibers over time and cause indentations. Mats also help protect hard surface floors such as linoleum, tile and hard wood floors from scratches and wear that can occur from office chair casters. When determining which will work best for your work surface, it is important to take several factors into consideration prior to purchasing to ensure that it will be suitable for your work environment.
One important component that must be taken into consideration when purchasing a chair mat for your office is the thickness of the carpet the chair mat will be used on. Each chair mat is designed to be used on a specific type of carpeting, some are made for low pile carpet where as others are made for medium pile carpet. Then there are chair mats that can only be used on commercial grade carpet because of their thin design. The thicker the mat the flatter it will lay and the less it will bow, which makes it easier to roll on. Additionally, thicker chair mats will help prevent the chair from moving since it will stay more level. There are also thicker chair mats ideal for big and tall users that allow for a greater weight capacity and are strong enough to keep from cracking when rolled on.
The backing on chair mats is also essential when determining which will work best for your carpet or work surface. If the mat is intended for use on a carpet, be certain to make sure it has small anchors or studs that will grip the carpet and prevent the mat from sliding. These anchors are specifically designed to not damage the carpet surface or carpet backing. Hard floor chair mats feature have a smooth backing that will not scratch or damage the floor below while preventing the mat from sliding. Bamboo chair mats for hard surfaces come with a unique non-slip felt backing which works in the same capacity in that it protects your hard wood floor while keeping the mat in place.
Chair mats are available in multiple designs and patterns depending on your preference or your employer’s policy. Decorative mats are available in a variety of patterns including oriental rug design, heathered chenille, bamboo, squares, strips, swirls, and lines. These mats allow you to personalize your home or office with elegance and style, making them a perfect complement to all workspace environments. If you are looking for something more subtle, most chair mats come in a clear coating. Others are available in glass clear coating which allows for the beauty of your carpet or hard wood floors to show throw and your mat to seamlessly blend in.
The final consideration when purchasing a chair mat is the type of edges you will want your mat to have. The edge options available are straight, crystal (rounded at the corners), or beveled (sloped downwards). Straight edges are best for hard surfaces, making it more difficult to slide on and off the mat. Crystal edges can also be used on hard floors and add a more elegant appearance with rounded corners. For carpeted areas, a beveled edge chair mat is ideal. Beveled edges are also a good solution if you will be frequently rolling on and off your mat. The ramped edge allows for a smoother rolling surface.
Staying productive throughout the work day is often a struggle that people experience on a daily basis especially when one is expected to work a set number of hours. Sometimes a day where you worked 3 or 4 hours may be more productive than trying to work 8-10 hours. When we lose the ability to focus on our work, we are no longer a valuable asset to our company and risk becoming a dispensable employee.
Lack of concentration is one of the greatest sources of decreased productivity. This is often experienced when unexpected distractions arise such as phone calls, mandatory meetings, additional tasks being delegated by a superior, among other potential nuances. These distractions lead to extra energy being exerted which then leads to fatigue and difficulty focusing on the important projects that need to be completed. It also makes it difficult to pick up where you had originally left off and may interrupt a great train of thought. If you find yourself experiencing the inability to concentrate or have a difficult time staying energized throughout the work day, perhaps it is time to consider our 8 tips for keeping your energy and be more productive throughout the work day.
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
The food we put into our bodies has a great impact on our work ethic and can help keep our energy levels up throughout the day. With the lack of time in our hectic work schedules, sometimes it can be difficult to remember the simple fact that we need to eat! Eating a balanced breakfast is recommended before each work day, so it is important to make the extra effort to wake up a little bit earlier to be certain we have breakfast before we leave for work. It is also essential that if you are feeling hungry throughout the work day to indulge that craving, with healthy snacks such as almonds, bananas, greek yogurt, etc. Feeling hungry leads to loss of concentration and causes you to focus on your need to feel full rather than the task at hand.
2. Get a Good Nights Rest
Most of us require a good 8 hours of sleep each night in order to function properly the next day. If you work a normal eight-hour work day, be certain to carve out time to sleep at least 8 hours each night. Schedule your after work activities accordingly to accommodate for your sleep schedule. Not only does lack of sleep negatively affect your overall health, it can also affects your clarity in thinking and clouds your judgement.
3. Sit in a Good Office Chair
This may seem like common sense, however most individuals sit in a chair that does not properly fit them which can lead to unnecessary aches and pains. If you begin to experience back pain or other health issues that occur from sitting in a cheap office chair, you will find yourself concentrating more of the pain than your actual work. Luckily, this can be easily solved by purchasing an ergonomic office chair. A good ergonomic office chair is at the tips of your fingers, literally, by simply searching for an online office chair retailer, you can order your new chair online and have it conveniently shipped to the front door of your home or business.
4. Take Short Breaks
Taking breaks during work is not only essential but actually encouraged by physicians. It is recommended to get up from your work station to stretch and walk around at least once every hour to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Breaks can also be utilized when working on a large time-consuming project to give your mind a quick break and give yourself a few minutes to recharge your batteries. You will find that breaks greatly aid in the ability to immerse yourself in even the most mundane tasks.
5. Create a Clutter-Free Work Station
The last distraction you need from work is your work station. With the amount of work and paperwork that gets thrown on us on a daily basis, our desks can easily become cluttered which can cause havoc when trying to search for a particular document for a meeting or phone call with a customer. By keeping your work station organized you will eliminate the unnecessary stress that can come from working in a messy environment. If necessary, purchase the office accessories needed to organize your desk such as a monitor arm, cable management, keyboard tray, file cabinet, and/or storage tubs.
6. Disconnect From Your Personal Life
Perhaps the greatest distraction of all that can keep us from remaining productive throughout the work day is our personal life. With the technology available to us, it is easy to keep in constant communication with our friends and family through our cell phones, e-mail, social network sites, and tablet devices. When you arrive at work, make a conscience effort to disconnect from your personal life. Turn your cell phone off, stay off your social networking sites, and only have your work e-mail accessible. If you are worried you are going to miss something significant, wait until lunch to catch up on anything that may have occurred earlier in the morning.
7. Create a To Do List
It is easy to forget what you need to accomplish for the day when you walk into the office, especially after having a night off to relax and forget about the troubles of your previous day. Taking a few minutes in the morning when you first get in to prioritize and look over the day’s tasks, review what you accomplished yesterday, and plan accordingly can help eliminate the feeling of stress and chaos. Once a task has been completed, be certain to check it off. This will not only help you remember it has been completed but provide positive reinforcement which drives us to work harder.
8. Exercise Daily
Exercising daily helps keep your stress level down and helps you unwind after a long day of work. Simply walking for 30 minutes three to four times a week can improve your brainpower. Exercise also promotes the growth of new cells in the learning center of your brain. New cell growth allows you to have the ability to learn faster and retain more information. If you can not find time with your busy work schedule to exercise, consider utilizing your lunch break as an opportunity to get a quick run or walk in. When you come back to work you will feel more refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the challenges that the day will bring.
To view SitBetter’s full line of ergonomic office chairs designed to help increase productivity, click here!
Finding the right office chair is not only an important task but is also becoming crucial as the time spent sitting in a sedentary position has increased with hectic work schedules and the demands careers in business fields bring. The problem is, unless you are an ergonomist or have one readily available at your dispense, it is difficult to determine how to find a chair that will properly fit your body. The right office chair should uniformly support the body, allow for easy movement, be easy to adjust, provide long-term comfort, and help to maintain proper posture. Just like people, office chairs come in varying shapes and sizes. The problem is not every person will fit into one uniform chair design, unless your proportions perfectly match up with the design of the chair. If your chair is not properly fitted to your proportions you will find overtime that you will begin to experience discomfort which can lead to more serious problems over time. Consider the following tips before purchasing your next office chair.
The depth of a seat is an essential component in the overall comfort of your office chair. If you have a seat that is too small you will not get the support necessary for your thighs to sit comfortably throughout the day. If your seat is too big, this will put pressure against the back of your knees which can also cause discomfort. While seated, measure the distance from the back of your knee to the back rest. You should have about an inch and a half or 2-3 fingers distance between the seat edge and back of the knee. If you are unsure of if a seat will be too short for you, consider finding a chair that has the option for a seat slider which allows for you to adjust the depth of your chair.
Your chair should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. This can be achieved with the proper seat height. Measure the height from the floor to the crease at the back of the knee. Take into consideration the type of footwear that you typically wear to work, heel for example may add a few inches onto the height of the seat needed. Most office chairs will only come with one cylinder size which allows for about a 4″ range of adjustment, however, some specialty ergonomic chairs have the option for different height cylinders which can be of use to individuals that are taller or shorter.
Many of today’s computer users experience neck/shoulder pain due to their arms being elevated and unsupported. Armrests are designed to support the neck and shoulder muscles, however if you are not careful in your selection they may limit access to the keyboard or your desk. Armrests should not restrict movement or access to a workstation. The armrest height should be the same as resting elbow height, they should not be higher or lower or this will cause discomfort. Look for armrests that can be width and height adjustable to properly align them to your body’s needs. Shoulders and upper arms should be in line with the torso generally about perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward).
The shape of the back rest should follow the natural curve of your back. This is why many office chairs are designed with an “S” shape curve in order to conform to the natural shape of one’s back. Often back rests are fixed in place making it difficult to properly support the natural shape of taller or shorter user’s backs. An adjustable back rest or lumbar support eliminates this problem and allows for the user position the back rest to meet the shape of their spine. The height of the back is another concern. For those that experience upper back pain, it is essential to find a taller back that will fully support their shoulders and neck.
The seat cushion should fully support your frame in both depth and width. A seat cushion that is too small will not provide full support and one that is too large will not allow for comfortable utilization of the armrests. Look at the distance between armrests to make sure they are not too wide where one needs to reach to use the armrest or too narrow where one is not able to sit.
To view SitBetter’s collection of ergonomic office chairs, please click here!
We hear the term thrown around a lot in discussions of office furniture, but just what is ergonomic seating? The definition isn’t always so easy to nail down, but experts, such as the team at SitBetter.com, have made it their business to acquire substantial knowledge about this issue and have developed a large body of data to their definition of the term.
According to the IEA, ergonomics is the study of human interactions and other elements within a system. The professional industry that applies those major theories utilizes data, principles and leading methodologies to design seating that optimizes the comfort, productivity and overall well being of the people with any system. Quite simply, this means that office seating should be an integral component of your healthy workplace.
Office seating is often woefully overlooked due to issues such as budget, time and convenience. The good news is that online furniture companies offer office seating solutions that can greatly improve your workplace without overstretching your budget. When people are comfortable, they are more likely to want to stay in the environment they are in, but office seating should be much more than comfortable. It should also provide adequate support and optimal positioning to reduce the likelihood of stress, injury and overuse. These factors all make for a happier, healthier and more productive place of business.
What Features You Should Consider
Ergonomic chairs share several features that separate them from average seating options, including the following:
- Adequate cushioning for long periods of sitting
- Adjustable height and incline for different body types
- Allows full range of motion for legs and arms when necessary
- Designed to support the spine, neck and shoulders
When you have this type of furniture in your workplace, there is less chance for injuries, workplace compensation and even lawsuits. But more importantly, there are more opportunities for productivity and increased morale. People are better able to work long hours, when they are without pain and stress and when they have the proper place to sit and work along with periodic breaks to stretch and walk around for a minute or two.
To view Sitbetter’s large collection of ergonomic office chairs please click here!
Sitting in an office chair at work is almost inevitable with the growing number of desk jobs and steady increase in office related positions. If you are going to be sitting for the majority of the work day, it is important to be sitting in a chair that is going to be adjustable enough to allow you to sit comfortably for hours a day. While most of us search for chairs with functionality, one area of the chair we often overlook is the armrests. Almost every chair has armrests of some sort or the option to add armrests as an upgrade to the chair. Armrests are an important component of any ergonomic office chair. Proper armrest design allows a place to rest your arms while working, relieving the pressure from your upper back and shoulders which sometimes is experienced when using an armless chair. There are a number of different types of armrests available which is why it is important to determine which will work best for your needs and keep you sitting comfortably throughout the day.
Fixed Armrests – Fixed armrests are the most affordable but also the least adjustable option available. They are fixed in height and are not adjustable. While these type of armrests are certainly an economical choice, they are not a very ergonomic option. They lack the adjustability needed to place the arms at the correct height for your body and can cause back pain because of this. If armrests are too high, this will raise the shoulders, causing tension in the shoulders and upper back muscles. Too low and they may cause you to lean forward which also puts pressure on your upper back. While fixed armrests are not the best choice for ergonomic chairs, they are a good choice for desk chairs that are only used for a few hours a day or conference room chairs.
Height Adjustable Armrests – At the very minimum, armrests should be able to adjust in height to enable your arms to rest in a comfortable working position for your everyday tasks. Height adjustable arms can be found as an option or included on most office chairs and is among the most popular armrest available. If it is not included in the price of the chair, adjustable armrests are generally reasonably priced to add-on as an option.
Some height adjustable armrests are also width adjustable, allowing the user to move the armrests out further from their seat if they are wider or bring them in closer to the body if they have a smaller frame. If you do have width adjustable armrests be certain not to put the armrests too close together as this can interfere with relaxed typing and restrict the ability to rest your hands in your lap when you are not typing, creating a confined environment. Armrests which are too far apart may cause shoulders to over-extend, causing upper back strain. Width adjustment is not as common as height adjustment in armrests and can only be found on certain models by select manufacturers.
Multi-Function Armrests – Multi-function armrests are highly adjustable and allow for the arms to be adjusted in height, width, and the arm pad has the ability to pivot. These highly adjustable armrests are a great option for shorter or wider individuals that need their arms closer to their body or farther away. The independent pivoting action helps accommodate sideways arm postures that are commonly found among computer users.
With the large range of adjustments available in multi-function arms, it is important to make sure that they do not interfere with your work surface. Poorly designed armrests may constrain postures, causing users to hunch forward and work with elevated arms. Specific work stations set ups may interfere with armrests, contributing to poor posture while working. Pivoting armrests allow the arm pad to be angled inward to prevent problems with narrow diameter corner work surfaces which can be obstructive.
Lateral Adjustable Armrests – Perhaps one of the most advanced armrests to emerge on the market to date, lateral adjustable armrests are an ergonomist’s dream come true especially in the petite market. They are both height and width adjustable and perhaps the best feature of all, can telescope up to 3″ inwards. They are a great choice for petite users that have a difficult time finding an armrest that allows them to rest their arms at the correct position close enough to their body without having to use a children’s chair. These advanced armrests are expensive in price but also among the most ergonomic/adjustable option out there.
Designing good armrests is not an easy task. Not only do people come in a broad range of sizes; they also develop their own ways of sitting over the years. Women tend to sit upright whereas men tend to lean back in their chairs and lounge. Armrests also must accommodate users’ different workstation configurations, including ergonomic accessories such as keyboard trays and mouse pads. Finding the right armrests luckily is not as difficult of a task. With the research and technology being developed in the field of ergonomics, armrests are now able to fit a larger range of users than ever before. When deciding which arms will work best for your work environment, remember the more adjustable the better.