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Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • How to Choose the Proper Office Chair for Your Frame

    Chair TypeFinding the best office chair is important, since you’ll spend many hours working from it. Unless you have an ergonomist on call, it may be difficult to find a proper fitting chair for your body. The right office chair for you should:

    • Support your body uniformly
    • Allow for ease of movement
    • Be easily adjustable
    • Provide comfort in the long term
    • Help you in maintaining your posture

    Office chairs are available in many sizes and shapes. Consider these tips before you buy your new office chair.

    Depth of Seat

    Seat depth is essential to your overall comfort. If the seat is not large enough, it won’t give you enough support. If it’s too big, it will place pressure on the backs of your knees, causing discomfort. While sitting, measure the distance from the backrest to the back of your knee. There should be 2-3 fingers or roughly 1.5 inches between your knee back and the edge of the seat.

    Height of Seat

    Your new chair should let you sit comfortably with your feet flat against the floor, with a 90-degree knee bend angle. Proper seat height will achieve this. Measure the height from the crease at the back of your knee to the floor. Consider the types of footwear you usually wear to work. You will have about four inches of adjustment in a cylinder. Special ergonomic chairs may have an option for different cylinder height, which is helpful if you’re short or tall.

    Armrests

    Computer users today often experience shoulder and neck pain if their arms are unsupported and elevated. Armrests support your shoulder and neck muscles, but they can also limit your access to the desk or keyboard. Armrests work best when they are at the same height as your resting elbow height.

    Backrest

    The backrest shape should follow your back’s natural curve. Office chairs with “S” shaped backs do this well. Adjustable back rests or those with lumbar support will allow you to position the backrest to support your spine. A taller back will fully support your neck and shoulders.

    Width of Seat

    The seat cushions must support your frame in width and depth. A cushion that’s too small won’t give full support. One that’s too large will not allow comfortable use of your armrests. Check to be sure that the distance between the armrests isn’t too wide or too narrow.

  • Four Things You Don't Know About Desk Hunch That Could Terrify You

    best ergonomic chairsChances are that you already know that the best ergonomic chairs can keep you from feeling sore and achey, but you might be shocked to find out all of the medical issues that these chairs prevent. The best ergonomic chairs can protect you against organ problems, muscle degeneration and leg issues, amongst several other horrifying medical conditions. If you're not already aware, here are some of the medical reasons why you should consider investing in the best ergonomic chairs.

    Heart Disease
    When you sit at your desk for long periods of time, your blood flows more slowly and your muscles don't end up burning as much fat as they should. This creates a situation where fatty acids can clog your heart easily, increasing your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease to more than twice the amount as those who are more active.

    Hyperlordosis
    When you sit hunched over a desk all day, you don't use your abdominal muscles, which makes them go soft. This posture also makes your back muscles go taut. This is a deadly combination that can ruin your posture over time, causing a medical condition called hyperlordosis, which exaggerates the spine's natural arch. The best ergonomic chairs help eliminate this risk by correcting your posture as you sit, distributing weight evenly across the appropriate muscles.

    Weak Bones
    Running, walking, and other weight-bearing activities help the hips and bones in the lower body to grow more dense, which makes them stronger. Naturally, a lack of such activities would cause bones to weaken.

    Spinal Conditions
    The vertebrae have soft, spongelike discs between them that absorb nutrients and fresh blood as we move around. However, sitting hunched over causes these discs to flatten, making it impossible for them to get these vital nutrients. When this happens, collagen coagulates and dries around the supporting ligaments and tendons. The best ergonomic chairs allow these discs to expand more easily, preventing collagen from hardening.

    To think that these are only some of the problems that could be prevented. Who would've thought that the best ergonomic office chairs for back pain can help with more than spinal troubles? If you have any questions about the best ergonomic chairs, feel free to ask in the comments.

  • How to Find the Perfect Headrest

    office chair headrestsObviously, most cheap office chairs don't come with a headrest, but surprisingly, even though they offer several benefits, neither do many of the best ergonomic office chairs. Headrests allow you to take small breaks to rest your neck and head, which can prevent tension headaches. What's more, office chair headrests also increase the amount of seating postures and positions one can take.

    However, most people's working positions don't often require a headrest for office chairs, which is why many manufacturers choose not to offer office chair headrests with their seats. Of course, that doesn't mean you couldn't use one. You just usually have to buy an office chair headrest separately.

    Of course, this means you have to go out and look for one. So, here are a few tips on how to find the perfect headrest!

    It Should Be Adjustable
    An office chair headrest needs to have height adjustability, as well as in and out adjustability -- meaning it should be able to lean forward or back with you. Your office chair headrest shouldn't be designed for constant contact, but rather should be there for when you need it or want it. If it pushes your head forward, then it's going to cause problems and stain your neck and back.

    Consider the Chair You'll Be Attaching It To
    Even if you can adjust your office chair headrest every which way, if the back of your chair is too high on you, then you'll get no use out of it. A good way to tell if you can fit a headrest comfortably on your chair is to see if the backrest at least ends at your neck. Any higher, and you'll have some problems.



    Check the Product Description
    Checking the product description will allow you to see the headrest's measurements and whether or not it's adjustable. If the price seems like it's too good to be true, then chances are it is, since it likely lacks the adjustability you'll need.



    If you follow these tips, you'll be able to find a headrest that works perfectly for you, but if you ignore them, you may waste your money on something that only makes you more uncomfortable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

  • Three Ways a More Ergonomic Work Environment Can Make Employees Healthier

    best ergonomic chairsEveryone knows that the best ergonomic chairs are more comfortable -- that's the point -- but few people actually know why. These chairs are designed in a way that complements the human body's natural form. You see, a lot of people tend to hunch over their desk or sit in awkward positions that are both unnatural and unhealthy. The best ergonomic chairs allow people to sit how they'd like to, but keep their bodies naturally positioned.

    This, of course, also alleviates several health issues that can be caused by sitting in an unnatural position. What's surprising, though, is just how many health problems it solves. Here are some of the ways that the best ergonomic chairs and equipment make office workers healthier.

    Joint Pain
    Any kind of repetitive activity -- even typing on a keyboard -- can wear down a person's joints and cause pain, because it's not what the human body was designed for. An ergonomic mousepad and keyboard will align the user's arms and hands more naturally, to help alleviate some of the strain and fatigue that typing can cause on a person's wrists, elbows, and shoulders.

    Back Problems
    The best ergonomic office chairs for back pain have something called lumbar support, which fills in the lower half of a person's back -- the lumbar region. You see, in that area the spinal cord naturally curves inward, so those other cheap office chairs that have flat backs force the spine into an unnatural shape that strains the musculoskeletal system. As the best ergonomic chairs have lumbar support that supports this area, the spine can take its natural shape.



    Blood Circulation
    Believe it or not, non-ergonomic seats cause circulation problems. Not only do they suspend a person's legs in the air, but they also force a person's legs into a constrained position. The best ergonomic chairs have ways to adjust so that a person can sit more comfortably -- with their feet on the ground and in an unconstrained position, naturally eliminating these blood circulation issues.



    These are only a few of the best ergonomic chairs' health benefits. If you have any questions about how these seats can make offices healthier, feel free to ask in the comments.

  • How to Get the Most Out of Your Office Chair

    Get The Best From Your Office ChairIf you don’t build your office chair correctly, then obviously it’s not going to be very comfortable, nor will it last very long, either. It’s so important to construct the chair properly, in fact, that the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that people follow their instruction manuals to a T if they want to maintain their chairs’ safety and ergonomic effect.

    What’s not so obvious, though, is that office chairs need to be properly serviced, having all of their parts and equipment checked once every six months as recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    It might sound like a tricky chore, but don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Here are the things you need to check out to make sure that your office chair is just as ergonomic as it was the day you bought and assembled it.

    1. Tension.
    Office chairs typically come with a tension control that allows each user to adjust the chair to a position that better compensates for their body weight. For a smooth tilt motion that’s also controlled, it’s important to check and make sure that this control is properly adjusted. When someone sits down, the chair should smoothly tilt--so make sure that it still does during your inspection.

    2. Ideal Settings.
    Each person has their own settings that are ideal for them, because each person has a different height, weight, and build. What might be most comfortable for one person, isn’t nearly as comfortable for the next. To make sure a chair is still as ergonomic as it can be, make sure that each of the settings can still be adjusted.

    3. Positioning.
    If the chair is ergonomically correct, the person sitting should have their fit flat against the ground and their thighs parallel to the floor. To correct this during the check, just adjust the chair’s height until the settings are right.

    4. Height and Lumbar.
    The lumbar region of the back is the lower portion where the spine naturally curves out. Many office chairs lack lumbar support, making the spine lose its natural S-shape. This causes several issues. It puts undue stress on the lower back, while forcing the spine to take an unnatural shape, resulting in pain and discomfort. If the chair is in proper ergonomic condition, the lower back should will come into direct contact with the lumbar support.

    5. Casters.
    Casters are the small wheels on the end of each of the base’s feet. The best ergonomic chairs will have five different feet, complete with a caster on each. This ensures that weight is spread out proportionally, and also allows the user to move freely. If even one of the casters is broken or missing, it will throw the balance of the chair off, forcing its occupant to sit in an awkward, unnatural position.

    There’s a reason why the office furniture manufacturing industry generates over $23 billion a year in annual revenue. It’s because these ergonomic chairs effectively make offices more comfortable to work in, eliminating the aches and pains that result from sitting unnaturally. If you want your chair to remain as comfortable and ergonomic as possible--if you want to get the most out of it--then you’ve got to check it for these five things twice a year.

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