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Cheap Office Chairs
There are some jobs in this country that seem like only a risk-taker could do. Firefighter, stuntman, soldier, and astronaut are a few occupation examples that might spring to mind. Sure, these jobs are dangerous, but none of them are among America's least healthy jobs. In fact, you could be surprised to learn that one of the least healthy jobs in America just might be yours.
The dangers vary from falls to respiratory illness to repetitive strain injuries, and much more. The most common occupational complaint, and one experienced in a number of the occupations on this list, is back pain. At least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain annually, and experts estimate 80% of the population will experience it throughout their lifetime.
America's Most Unhealthy Jobs
(With average number of illness and injury reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Construction Worker (125,120) - This one is not a huge surprise. Falls and repetitive injuries are common problems with construction workers.
- Office/Administrative Staff (83,320) - Did you know a desk job could be dangerous? Well, when you're sitting all day in a cheap office chair, it can be. Office workers can blame their office chairs for back pain, because without a lumbar pillow insert, a chair can result in back strain and poor posture. Also, inhaling toner and ink fumes all day doesn't help either.
- Sales Staff (76,210) - If they're not sitting in cheap office chairs all day, making sales over the phone, they're falling from ladders while gathering merchandise, straining to carry it to customers, or even being injured by malfunctioning displays.
- Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants (49,480) - These workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals and disease in hospitals and nursing homes, and also experience strains from lifting heavy patients.
- Janitors and Housekeepers (46,540) - The heavy carts that housekeepers push can cause back pain, and inhaling potent cleaning supplies can result in illness.
- Registered Nurses (20,500) - Lifting heavy patients, getting hit by gurneys, or even being attacked by patients' family members make this one of the most unhealthy jobs.
- Waiters (9,520) - Waiters are carrying trays weighing up to five pounds, all by themselves, often on one shoulder. So the next time you're worried about the weight you'll gain from a big meal, spare a thought for the person that had to carry that meal to your table.
- Computer Specialists (2,720) - These workers suffer a lot from repetitive injuries, but also from cramped workspaces.
If one of these jobs happens to be yours, don't panic. There are some simple steps you can take to prevent illness and injury in most professions.
The life of an office drone is not a glamorous one. Many people will find themselves trapped in a cubicle at one point in their lives, and office politics are so ridiculous, they made a whole television show about it. But when you're all alone in your cubicle, life begins and ends within the confines of those three short walls.
When you've done time as a cubicle-dweller, you know there are some absolute truths to life within the cube:
1. Even prison cells are bigger, and at least they have a bed.
2. Everywhere you look it's beige and grey, grey and beige.
3. These fabric walls may not go to the ceiling, but they are just high enough to make all your coworkers say, "What? Huh?" whenever you say something.
4. Those same walls are perfect for nosy coworkers, which means you will always feel like you're being watched.
5. It feels like you spend more time in your cubicle than you do in your own home.
6. Your boss wants you to "think outside of the box" while you are literally inside of the box.
7. If you need a little privacy to pick your nose, adjust your underwear, or maybe break wind, your cubicle will allow you none of that.
8. There are never, ever enough outlets.
9. Police interrogators try to get their suspects to "break" by sitting them in a small space at a table for long hours under the glare of fluorescent lighting. That is what you willingly subject yourself to everyday.
10. Your body is slowly turning into a bent and broken hunchback.
At least one of those problems have a potential solution. Many office workers do cause serious damage to their bodies by spending their days sitting in cheap office chairs without the proper lumbar support. The best office chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs.
What these quality office chairs have that cheap office chairs do not, is proper lumbar support and adjustable components to suit the user's body size. Upgrading your cheap office chair will prevent not only lower back pain, but everything from high blood pressure, to poor eyesight, to headaches.
When the threat of back pain looms, it's important to do all you can to prevent it before you are stricken. Back pain is the number one complaint doctors get, with an estimated 80% of people experiencing it throughout their lifetimes. 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain annually, and the primary cause of this is spending long hours seated in a cheap office chair. But there are steps to take both at work and at home to offset the harm sitting can do to the body.
- Get the Right Chair - The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These quality office chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting at work. They are designed with a lumbar pillow insert to support your lower back, and ergonomically-adjustable components for preventing back pain. These chairs will keep you sitting up straight, and alleviate the pressure on your lower back.
- Pay Attention to Ergonomics - A quality ergonomic office chair is not going to do any good unless the chair is appropriately adjusted. Make sure the chair's individual components are adjusted to suit the user's body, as most everyone's body dimensions are different. It's also important to make sure the entire workstation is ergonomically sound, meaning the computer monitor is just below eye level, the computer mouse is close enough to the user, and any regularly-used tools or utensils are within arm's reach.
- Take Breaks - Taking regular breaks from your cheap office chair will have a very healthy effect on your lower back and your circulation. If you can take a break every hour, even to walk across the office and back, you will find yourself feeling better and focusing more.
- Stretch - The muscles of your back spend long hours in a strained, uncomfortable position when you are seated all day at work. When you have the opportunity at home, it's important to stretch out these muscles, to offset the time they spend cramped in a cheap office chair. It may seem more natural to stretch your lower back muscles by bending over and touching your toes, but it's actually arching your back and sticking out your bottom that stretches your lower back muscles.
- Get Enough Sleep - While chronic back pain is the top cause of insomnia, lack of sleep paradoxically works to make lower back pain even worse. It's important to get enough restorative sleep to allow your body to work to heal itself, and to allow the muscles in your lower back to relax.
- Exercise -Keeping your muscles in action as much as possible is very important to your back health. It is particularly important to concentrate on strengthening your core, as a strong core will help support your spine when you are seated, thus avoiding lower back pain.
The human body is not designed to sit in a chair for eight hours straight. However, try telling that to your boss. Even though our bodies were designed to stand and walk, it's hard to do that when you have deadlines to meet and projects to do, all while sitting in a cheap office chair at your desk.
Back pain is one of the most common work-related injuries. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) estimates that 31 million Americans are experiencing back pain at any given time, and they spend at least $50 billion dollars each year treating it.
This discomfort is in large part due to sitting in cheap office chairs with no support. Blaming chairs for back pain may seem like blaming your car for a fender bender, but the truth is, quality office chairs can make a world of difference in your comfort level on a daily basis.
The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These chairs are designed for people who spend all day sitting at their desk, so the chairs have all the support and adjustments necessary to keep you comfortable. Cheap office chairs, it will not surprise you to know, usually have no such features.
When shopping for office chairs, you want to make a particular point to ensure that they are equipped with the following features:
- Lumbar Support
The single most important feature of any chair is its lower back support. A good office chair will be equipped with a pillow or cushion to support the lumbar region. The muscles and vertebrae take a lot of strain from long hours of sitting, and a good supportive chair can help to reduce a lot of that strain.
A lumbar support cushion will lift and stretch the muscles in the lower back, to relieve some of the strain. The vertebrae in the lower back bears much of your body weight when seated, so a lower back cushion will help to relieve some of that pressure.
Another important feature of a good quality office chair is that it adjusts to fit the user. A good office chair should have seat height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, armrest adjustment, and seat back adjustment.
When adjusted perfectly, your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. There should be a small space between the backs of your knees and the edge of the seat, and you should be sitting completely back in the chair. Tilting the back of the chair up to 30 degrees will also help to take some strain off of the back.
It's very important to keep in mind that just having an ergonomic chair does you no good unless it is adjusted to suit your specific body dimensions. In fact, an improperly aligned chair can actually cause discomfort, and even injury. No two people are the exact same size, so make sure you adjust your chair to fit you perfectly.
Have you found any tricks for staying comfortable and avoiding back pain at work? Let us know in the comments!
- Lumbar Support
At some point or another the search for new chairs for your office will ensue when your old chairs become torn and tattered. When it comes to searching for a new office chair, there are 3 criterion that most people and businesses search for: value, longevity, and price. Will the chair prove to be a worthwhile investment or will it fall apart after a year of use? How long can we expect this chair to last? Is the price too steep for our budget? These are common questions most furniture purchasers are faced with and can be easily answered with a little research into which office chairs will be the best choice for your business at the best price.
- Office Chairs: A good ergonomic office chair will typically fall within the price range of $250 to $1,000 depending upon how adjustable you want the chair to be. Having a chair with multiple adjustments is essential, particularly if you will be sharing the chair with other people, to ensure it fits to your body. A chair that is too big or too small for its user can lead to serious health issues including chronic back and neck pain. Owning a chair that fits the user correctly is especially crucial if you or your employees spend multiple consecutive hours a day sitting on an office chair. Most chairs within this price range, especially those on the higher end, will last 5 years or more dependent on how well you take care of the chair. Manufacturers of quality product will also warrant their chairs to last up to a lifetime, meaning if any part on your chair breaks, (mechanism, casters, adjustment levers, etc.) they will replace it free of cost up to the time specified in their warranty. A warranty usually says a lot about a manufacturer, so if you find one with a longer warranty this is a good guarantee that your chair investment will be worthwhile, as it shows the manufacturer is that confident with their product.
- Reception/Guest Chairs - Most reception and guest seating options are more affordable than an ergonomic office chair with the minimal need for adjustability. A good reception chair or guest chair may cost no more than $75, if you are searching for a sturdy chair that will fit the average person. Prices on reception chairs increase with more trendy designs and fabrics, however these chairs are not necessarily better. Keep in mind the client or customer that will be spending time in your guest chairs as most accommodate specific weight capacities of 250 lbs. or less. Specialty guest chairs that are more durable and constructed of stronger frames can be purchased to accommodate heavier users, but will be more expensive due to the high quality materials.
- Conference Chairs - Having a set of nice conference chairs is a key piece of furniture every office should acquire. Conference chair prices can vary from the low-end of around $100 to the high end-of up to $600. Conference chairs on the low-end of the price spectrum will have a basic look, last around 5 years, and will have a cheaper upholstery (vinyl, faux leather, etc.). Chairs with a higher price range will have a more modern appearance, more adjustments, a more expensive upholstery (leather), and will typically last a bit longer with their sturdier construction. Good conference chairs do not have to put a burden on your budget it really comes down to how nice you want the chairs to look, if guests will be sitting in your chairs or solely employees, if real leather upholstery is a staple in your purchasing decision, the level of adjustability, and how much time will be spent in these chairs on a regular basis.
Judging the value of an office chair usually can not be based on looks alone, sometimes it comes down to putting some research into your decision. It is first important to consider your business and what kind of furniture will fit in best with your pre-existing work environment or what you envision your new work environment to look like. Consider how much time will be spent in the chairs being sought after and how adjustable you will need the chairs to be to keep your employees comfortable. Do your research, if a chair has a one year warranty that means the manufacturer does not believe in their product enough to warrant it for longer than a year of use. Determine how long you want the chair to last, then look at how much you are willing to spend for those years of usage. A chair may appear to be very expensive and out of your price range, but consider all the costs associated with having to look for a new chair every few years to replace a cheaper chair. So are expensive chairs really worth the investment? Easily put, I would say yes.
To view our online catalog of over 1,000 different office chairs with varying price ranges click here!
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