There are many brands of ergonomic chairs on the market today, including Allseating, BOSS, ErgoFast, Eurotech, and many others. With so many different choices of ergonomic chairs and stools, many of which you can probably find in an office near you, it’s clear that ergonomics have become a popular trend in office furniture design. But how many people actually know what makes a chair, or any other piece of office furniture, “ergonomic”? Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about this revolution in seating and furniture design, and making the most of your health and workplace experience.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ergonomics, which is also known as human engineering or biotechnology, is a type of applied science that is centered on the design and arrangement of “things people use” so that those people and things “interact most efficiently and safely.” The term may also be used to describe the characteristics and design of an object as a consequence of the use of ergonomic science. This may all sound complicated, but at the end of the day, ergonomic furniture is designed to keep people comfortable and safe as they work, and most importantly, to help workers avoid stress-related injuries on the job. The following factors affect the ergonomic design of an office chair, which is the most important piece of furniture for a comfortable workplace.
A regular office chair can easily leave a person with pain in the back, neck, and shoulders after extended use. It really doesn’t take long to feel these effects if you are sitting in a poorly designed office chair day in and day out. With one of the available ergonomically designed products, such as the popular ergoCentric chairs, this is no longer a problem. An ergonomic chair is designed to provide optimal back support, including lumbar support in addition to a classic backrest with just the right amount of padding, to keep the spine in a healthy straight position. This ultimately limits stress, absorbs shocks, and reduces the likelihood of injury.
The height of a chair may seem inconsequential, but it can make a big difference when it’s wrong. If the height of your chair and/or armrests isn’t right, you will quickly become uncomfortable on the job. Ergonomically designed chairs have adjustable armrests and seats, and sometimes even adjustable backrests, so you can get the perfect match for your height and body type.
The overall size of a chair matters in ergonomics as well. The design of an office chair should not only consider the height of various parts, but also the width of the backrest, and the depth and width of the seat. The backrest should be at least 12 inches wide and the seat should be at least 18 inches wide, if not more, to provide adequate support for the worker.
At the end of the day, all these ergonomic factors can help contribute to a happier and healthier workforce, which makes an organization much more productive in the long run.
Being a larger sized person doesn’t always make things easy. In fact, I think most can agree it’s more of a hindrance than anything else. Whether you are larger because you are 7 ft. tall, or maybe you are just a little overweight, the question that plagues most of us always seems to rear it’s ugly head; am I going to fit in that chair? I’m a big guy (6’2″ 350lbs), and personally I can relate to this in so many ways. When you go over to a friend’s house and you decide to just stand for fear of breaking their furniture, or even worse when you go over to your grandma’s house and all she has is wicker furniture. All of these situations are embarrassing to say the least, but what about your workplace? When you have to sit in a chair for 8+ hours a day, finding the right chair is extremely important.
Speaking from experience, there is a lot to consider when purchasing a new chair when you are big and tall. We spend all the time in the world picking out a new car, or a new cell phone, but what about that thing you are sitting on day in and day out? I’m going to break down some of the more important things to look for when purchasing a chair.
First and foremost, you need to be comfortable.
Choosing your fabric and foam are essential. If you are not a leather or vinyl person, don’t get leather or vinyl. The last thing you want to do is buy something you’re not going to be comfortable with. When you’re spending $500+ on something, it’s not the best time to be adventurous. The same goes for the other options, don’t get a mesh or fabric chair if you know you are going to want something in leather or vinyl. The benefit to leather or vinyl is it has a classy look as well as being a little easier to clean. The benefit to mesh or fabric is they ‘breathe’ a little better, but may not be as easy to clean as a vinyl or leather.
You want to be confident when sitting in it.
This means you need to take a look at the weight rating. Just as I steer away from wicker furniture or cheap plastic lawn chairs, if you are bigger you should also stay away from chairs with a low weight rating. On Sitbetter we do our best to keep pertinent information on each product page. If you are 300 lb.s, don’t buy a chair that is rated for 200 lbs., you will wind up wearing the chair out far before you should. The last thing you want is to have to buy a new chair every 6 months or worse, you could end up breaking it and falling and hurting yourself, or at least your pride. Not that I have any experience with that .
Another really important feature when ordering a chair is the cylinder.
If you are 7 ft tall, you probably shouldn’t purchase a chair with a low cylinder. You want your feet firmly on the ground, but you don’t want to sit in the chair like it is a bean bag all day. This can be tricky when you are taller, because a lot of desks sit at a standard height, and sometimes getting your legs at the proper angle just isn’t possible with the current desk situation you have. Be sure to measure and measure again. Measure your desk from the floor to the underside of the desk. Also measure your current chair and where it sits from the floor to the top of the seat. The measurements for the seat range are posted on most, if not all of our chairs. If you can’t change your desk, do your best to cut the difference by ordering the proper cylinder.
For the most part, many of us sit in our chairs for 8+ hours a day. That is a lot of wear and tear, especially when you are bigger. Sure, you can buy a cheaper chair, that isn’t rated for your height or weight and you may save some money. But in the long-run, if you’re having to spend money on a new chair every 6 months, you will be spending a LOT more. The best thing to do is research, make a smart spending decision, and buy a chair that is going to last a couple of years, but more importantly, a chair that you will be happy with.
When you have to sit for hours on end in an office chair, the most important aspect is that the chair is comfortable and good for your health. However, not all office chairs are made to fit all types of people. If you are taller or bigger boned than the average person, you should not have to sacrifice your comfort just to do your job at a desk. Sitting at a desk can be particularly uncomfortable for taller individuals. Their legs might bend in a strange fashion in the wrong chair. Those who are bigger might experience back pain due to a lack of support from a standard chair. In order to find a chair to suit your needs, you have to shop for chairs with certain features and adjustments made especially for those who are big or tall.
If you are bigger and taller, you know that most office chairs are designed for a much shorter person. Chairs that don’t adjust height-wise can’t provide the user with the comfort that they need. Your office chair should be fully adjustable so that you don’t have to crouch down. Feet should rest flat on the floor and the lower legs should be straight and not bent. This allows for increased blood circulation. Every big and tall office chair should have a quick and easy way to adjust the height of the chair relative to the floor.
Each chair has a certain weight capacity. Standard office chairs can be quite limited in the weight that they can hold. You need to look for chairs that hold enough weight. These products can handle anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds. In order to handle extra weight, the chair might have a larger base and a stronger mechanism.
Seat Width and Sliders
One of the most common complaints about standard office chairs is that the seat is not wide enough for those who are big and tall. If you require an office chair that is taller and larger than the average size, you need to look for a chair with a greater seat width. This will lend additional comfort and help support your thighs. Chairs with wider seats will be easy to find if you pay attention to the seat dimensions. Many office chairs that are designed for those who are big and tall also include a seat slider. This feature allows the user to create more length in their chair seat. This is a particularly useful feature in an office chair for tall people. In addition to the seat slider feature and a wider seat, you should also notice the cushioning of the seat. It should provide enough comfort and support for those long days behind the desk.
Many big and tall office chairs come with a tilt tension feature. As not everyone is the same weight, height and strength, you need a chair that can cater to diverse users. The tilt tension feature makes it possible to control the rate and ease with which the chair reclines. This feature is important, as it allows the chair to adjust to different weights and strengths.
One of the most important features of any chair that you sit in for hours on end is back support. If a chair doesn’t support your back, you could experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain and pain in the lower back. For those who are taller and bigger, short backrests do not lend the proper support. You need to find a chair that has a high backrest. This feature will offer the proper lumbar support.