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Did you know that leaning forward 30 degrees in an attempt to get closer to a computer screen puts three to four times more strain on the back? If not, you likely aren't alone: at least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms every year. More importantly, these Americans spend at least an estimated $50 billion treating their back pain each year. While there are many things that can cause back pain, if you find yourself shifting positions while sitting in your cheap office chair, and feeling tension and pain in your back at the end of the day, it may be time to switch to a chair better designed to support your body, such as mesh back office chairs.
There are currently an estimated 3,805 office furniture manufacturing businesses located in the United States. Between them, they employ an estimated 109,081 people and are continuing to grow: from 2009 to 2014, the office manufacturing industry grew by an estimated 2.0% every year. However, out of the many products these companies produce, most of their offices stools and chairs are not sufficiently supportive to ease or prevent a person from developing back pain. For example, most office chairs have armrests, which encourage a person to adopt a slouching position, whereas an office chair without arms naturally encourages a person to sit upright. According to the National Institute of Health, if the chair has armrests, office chairs for back pain treatment need to have an adjustable height and width. Likewise, the NIH recommends that a lumbar support cushion be properly placed behind the small of the back to help accentuate lumbar support.
Because adequate lumbar support is the most important factor in ergonomic chairs for back pain treatment, mesh back office chairs are also a great way to help support your body during your work day. Because the mesh is a yielding rather than a flat surface, it helps cradle your body and creates support for your lower back without creating tension. So if you have back pain, don't suffer through another day at work: search for a better office chair with adequate back support today.
If 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.
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.
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.
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.
In Sitbetter's first contest of the new year 2010, we asked contestants to write about how a new EMC2 Concept Series High Back Mesh Executive Chair with Top Grain Leather would help them accomplish their New Year's Resolution. There were many interesting and unique reasons why people believed a brand new office chair would help them accomplish their new year's resolution. Many believed that this chair would help them lose weight and exercise more by being comfortable throughout the day and more likely to want to hit the gym after a day of sitting in comfort. Others wanted this chair for medical reasons, such as relieving their back pain and sitting in a chair that would be beneficial to their health. But our most surprising entry of all was contestant number 20, Diane, who did not want this chair for herself but rather wanted to give this chair to her friend who needed it more than she did.
Diane wrote: I think this chair would be the perfect way to accomplish my new year's resolution of helping those in need! My co-worker, Pat, has been through a lot the last couple years with her husband losing his leg in a farming accident and her boss being absent from work for several months on medical leave. Pat complains of back pain often, which is most likely caused by a combination of her old office chair and loads of stress. She wouldn't think of burdening her boss by asking for a new chair though. In the candid photo I uploaded of her, you can see how badly Pat needs this chair. Her husband is due to have another surgery in a few days, and I would love for her to come back to work and find a comfortable new chair behind her desk! Thank you so much, Diane.
After reading her heartfelt and compelling entry, and being astounded by the fact that she would rather give her chair she won away to her friend because she needed it more, our panel of three office chair experts came to a unanimous decision that Diane deserved to be the winner of our contest. On behalf of all of Sitbetter we want to congratulate Diane on being selected as the winner of Sitbetter's New Year, New Chair contest and for beating out over 80 other entries! We also want to take the time to thank all the other contestants who participated for entering our contest as well, there were many great entries to choose from and all the pictures we received were amazing as well! To read all of the other entries submitted click here.
Look out in the very beginning of February for our next contest which will take place on AnyLuckyDay.com where we will be giving away an Emc Advantage Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair! The winner will get to decide between violet blue mesh or burgundy mesh. The Advantage Series Ergonomic Mesh Chair provides complete ergonomics with 4 way adjustable lumbar and padded seat, 4 way adjustable adjustable arms, breathable Mesh; 2:1 syncro tilt knee tilt infinite locking mechanism, satin nickel base with footguards and smooth roll casters. For details on how to enter our next contest visit AnyLuckyDay.com.
Also if you weren't chosen to win our contest but are still interested in the C20 Concept Chair, we have just put that chair on sale for only $119 while they last! Find out more about the Concept Chair here!
Keep entering our contests, and maybe you will be selected as our next big winner!
With the first decade of the millennium coming to an end and 2010 just around the corner, we found it appropriate to give acknowledgement to the top ten chairs and accessories sold on the Sitbetter website the past decade. It was stiff competition to come out on top amongst hundreds of items sold on site but these ten prevailed over all others, and for that we think they deserve a little extra attention and recognition for obviously having quality, style, comfort, and of course appeal.
10. Ergonomic Knee Sit Chair
Another hot item that everyone seemed to want along with their office chair was the Office Star Ergonomic Knee Sit Chair with Dual Knee Pads. A way to work for those who prefer a different way of sitting. Designed for short periods of time, the knee sit chair puts the back into a more natural position.
The Knee Sit Chair is made for people who want break from traditional sitting, and want some temporary relief on their back. Featuring the comfort of Memory Foam on the Seat and knee cushion!
Perfect to use alongside your regular office chair and for a low price of $89!
Find out more about Knee Sit Chairs by clicking here!
9. Under-desk Pencil Drawer
These have been a huge hit recently and at only $50, anyone could use and under-desk pencil drawer to stow away all those unnecessary items that clutter the desk.
Click here to find out more about under-desk pencil drawers!
8. Humanscale - Switch Mouse
The Switch Mouse is an innovative mousing solution that boosts comfort and reduces the risk of injury. This groundbreaking peripheral device integrates two major innovations- a V-shaped base, which puts the wrist and forearm into a natural position, and size adjust ability to provide a perfect fit for any computer user.
Click here to find out more about the Switch Mouse!
7. Big and Tall Bariatric Chair With Caressoft
The Boss Big and Tall Bariatric Chair with Caressoft vinyl is designed exclusively for our big and tall customers' needs.
The 2 paddle spring tilt mechanism can be locked in any position and there is a 5-inch thick padded seat for comfort.
Contoured cushions improve posture with built-in lumbar support. Pneumatic seat height adjustment with adjustable tilt tension and tilt-lock is another feature of the big and tall chair.
Big and Tall Chairs generally cost upwards of $400-$600 for all of the features mentioned above. For the low price of $239 you will definitely get your bang for your buck for this chair, which is why these flew out the door all last year!
Find out more about the Boss Big and Tall Chair!
6. Heavy Duty Stacking Chairs
The durable design is what made this chair so sought after, and it comes in a pack of 4 for only $389.
If you need to seat a large event or gathering the Essential is perfect for you.
Find out more about the Essential here!
5. Kore Rocking Stool
The Kore rocking stool was a surprise hit this decade and has taken off in popularity just in the last year.
Taking stool technology to another level, the Kore Stool embodies an ergonomic feature long touted by ergonomists as a bedrock of proper ergonomics: Continual motion of your body while at work.
The Kore™ Stool allows the user to flex side to side and front to back - with its patented anti-tip system and gently rounded ergonomic base.
The stool allows you to move and flex without falling or leaving your seat.
The Kore™ Stool great for exercising your legs, back, and abdominal muscles, while also relieving and preventing soreness and stiffness!
Find out more about the Kore Stool!
4. Boss Deluxe Posture Office Task Chair
The Boss Deluxe Posture - Office Task Chair with Loop Arms has a thick padded seat and back with built-in lumbar support.
The waterfall seat reduces stress to te legs and the back heigh and seat depth are fully adjustable.
The 5 star nylon base allows smooth movement and stability along with the loop arms. Available in four colors: Grey, Burgundy, Blue and Black tweed; complete with a Six-Year Limited Manufacturer's Warranty.
The best part about the chair and what makes it so popular is that you can work a full day in this chair comfortably for $66.
Available with or without arms, both were just as popular.
Find out more about the Boss Deluxe Poster here!
3. Emc2 Advantage
The Emc2 Advantage placing in the top 3 chairs of the decade doesn't come as a surprise.
The Advantage Series Ergonomic Mesh Chair provides complete ergonomics with 4 way adjustable lumbar and padded, 4 way adjustable arms, breathable mesh, 2:1 syncro tilt knee, satin nickel base with foot-guards, and smooth roll casters.
Not only is this chair great quality but it also comes at a great price of $189. In my opinion, one of the best deals you can find for an office chair anywhere because the price definitely is less than it is worth in reality.
I personally spend 8 hours a day sitting in this chair and it has given me no problems so far, only guaranteed comfort daily! With the growing popularity of this chair, they are nearly out of stock so get them while you still can!
Find out more about the Emc2 Advantage here!
2. Mid-Back Guest Chair with Mahogany Finish
Coming in strong at second place is the Boss Mid-back Guest Chair with Mahogany Finish.
Most purchases of this chair were in bulk, an ideal use for lobbies or reception areas with its classic retro styling. Although most were purchased in bulk, also perfect if used as a guest chair for offices.
The chair is comfortable, made of durable black caressoft vinyl and molded polyurethane armrests.
Be sure to impress your guests, and at only $119, these are perfect to buy in large quantities at an affordable price.
Find out more about the Boss Mid-back Guest Chair here!
1. Allseating Inertia
Our best selling chair of the year was the Allseating Inertia, and for good reason. The Allseating Inertia High-back is both comfortable and affordable. It also fits in with practically any office environment - not to mention any budget. At only $321 it comes as no surprise that the Inertia landed our number one selling chair of the year.
Also available in a midback version, mesh conference room chair, mid-back mesh drafting stool, mesh back side chair, mesh back bar stool, and leather conference chair.
Are you ready for another batch of strange chairs for the month of November? Most designs are still in the prototype phase, but some are actually on the market right now. Would you want to sit in any of these? Not sure if I'd be willing to give up my office chair for one of these inventions but they are definitely very creative to say the least.
Volcanic Rock Chair
Ian Blasco's Metamorphosis chair looks like a left over piece of furniture from a volcanic eruption. But in reality, the chair is sliced by hand out of 16 layers of expanded polypropylene foam. (Source)
Made from 10,000 drinking straws, the Clutch Chair is an exploratory research piece created by Scott Jarvie. The development process of this piece was from an observation of the structural characteristics of trees.
The Klaps Stool by design studio Malafor. Klaps Stool is a stool by placing magazines between the wooden pieces. It has small wheels attached to the bottom pice, so it is easily movable. Hopefully you have a lot of extra magazines lying around for this invention!
The Waltz Lounge by Miso Soup Design, includes a winged chair plus ottoman, which can be hiden underneath the lounge when not in use. Pretty clever idea for storage if you ask me.
Two For One
Never thought the day would come when two chairs become one. The Silla Guara inside-out collection by Danic Design does just that. Created in Mexico city, it is only in the Prototype phase. The materials that make up this chair are red wood for the inner core and corian for the outer shell.
Sheetseat designed by Ufuk Keskin. Produced from a sheet of plywood and can be folded back to its flat form with only 3/4" thickness. It was exhibited at IDSA's Equilateral during New York Design Week. "Produced by cutting a sheet of plywood, the chair can be folded flat with 3/4" thickness. Easy production and minimal assembled volumes saves labor and energy for production and transportation."
"The Flux Chair combines design with the practical advantages of foldable furniture in an innovative way. Folded in, the Flux Chair can be easily carried as a case and stored completely flat, without giving away its final shape. Within 10 seconds the case transforms into a fullfledged design chair. It will be delivered mid 2009."