If you have ever stepped into an office or place of business that values just where its employees sit, you probably did a few double takes about just what constitutes a chair these days. Ergonomic chair shapes have never been confused for the common and ordinary. Many are designed to look a little weird so that your back doesn’t feel awkward or strange. Here are just a few of the most unusual shapes that you might find in these ergonomically designed forms of seating.
The Ball Chair
When most people think of an ergonomic chair shape, they might picture various backrest heights and wave-like seating. However, there are even more unique-looking options, such as the ball chair, popular in newer workspaces and on the startup scene. The idea behind such a sitting implement is to lend the user better balance and posture, along with improved core strength. As there is no backrest on a ball chair, the user has to stay balanced. The result is decreased back pain compared to other places to sit around the office. The ball chair looks very much like an exercise ball. In fact, some models permit you to remove the ball from the wheelbase and use it for exercises.
The Pseudo Spine Chair
In terms of strange-looking seating, chairs designed with a pseudo spine tend to take the cake. These spine replicas could be mistaken for an insect’s exoskeleton. They are designed to replicate and cradle the spine and the back. The user can customize the pressure and support by adjusting the “ribs” of the chair. The main reason that a company might shell out for such an odd-looking chair is for its proven assistance with chronic back pain. For example, the RFM Verte Executive Ergonomic Chair, designed with a pseudo spine, has been known to help back pain sufferers. This form of seating looks strange with its spine replicator, wide lower portion of the backrest and narrower upper half. However, it gets the job done, even if the user looks like some sort of exoskeleton-possessing insect in it.
The Extra-High Back Chair
Some ergonomically designed chairs look like they could touch the moon with their extra-high backs. The extra-high back chair is one of the more unusual-looking types of ergonomic seating. Generally, the shape features a wing curvature of the back to allow for maximum comfort. That wing is also extremely high. You might not see your employees working at their desks; the back is just that tall. Generally, this type of seating is recommend for taller people or those with neck pain. One example of this odd-looking seat is the Ergocentric Geocentric Extra High-Back Synchro Ergonomic Office Chair.
The Kneeling Chair
When you think of ergonomically designed seating, you probably envision crazy backs and strange seats. However, some chairs don’t even look like chairs at all. Ergonomically designed kneeling chairs help put the back in a more natural position. While you might require a manual on how to actually sit down in these devices, the kneeling option is not supposed to look like a traditional form of sitting. Generally, people use this type of seating for shorter periods of time to lend temporary relief to the back.
Shopping for an ergonomically designed form of seating can take some getting used to for businesses and corporations. If you are obsessed with pretty pieces of furniture, such a look will be a shock to the system. From chairs designed to look like the spine of a human to bouncy balls for sitting, there are a fair number of shapes and forms to this health-conscious mode of design.
Ergonomic chairs have become an essential part of the workplace. Chairs designed with proper ergonomics promote good health and comfort. They enforce the idea that the chair should adjust for you and not the other way around. However, ergonomic chairs can be quite expensive, especially the top-of-the-line, best ergonomic chairs. At the same time, you don’t necessarily have to look for a chair that brands itself as being ergonomic. You merely need to look for a few components that promote ergonomic design. By keeping an eye out for these features, you might find a chair with ergonomic features but at a price your pocketbook can appreciate.
Begin by looking for chairs with height adjustment
If you are confused as to what makes a chair ergonomic and why many of these chairs cost an arm and leg, you merely need to think of these seats as loaded with adjustments, especially height adjustment. Even if you see a chair in your price range that doesn’t say it is ergonomic, check to see if it features height adjustment. Height and backrest adjustment are key components of ergonomic design. They allow the user to adjust the chair to suit their lower back needs and their height. In the process, the back is happier and the legs can enjoy proper circulation.
Seek out chair mechanisms
A chair mechanism might be a foreign feature to you. However, if you look closely at the description of those fancy ergonomic office chairs, you will probably see this term mentioned. The chair mechanism controls how the seat and backrest move. It allows the chair to lock into any number of positions. Even if you can’t afford the most expensive ergonomic chairs, you can still look for cheaper options with this feature. Many ergonomic chairs come with a multi-function mechanism. This allows you to adjust the backrest to multiple angles, along with the pitch of the seat pan. You might also see chairs with a knee tilt mechanism. This helps you to keep your feet on the ground and thighs parallel to the floor when you do lean back in your chair. In the process, you experience better blood flow, which leads to less fatigue and discomfort.
Check to see if the seat slides
Another ergonomic component to chairs is the seat slider. You might only be looking for a chair in the $100 to $200 range. Even at this price point, you should be able to find chairs that have a seat slider. The seat slider allows you to adjust the seat to fit your height and width, rather than you having to try and fit into a chair that doesn’t exactly suit your dimensions. You can fit more comfortably into the contours of the seat as a result. The ergonomic feature of a seat slider adds more comfort and customization than a basic chair.
You might not have the budget to shop in the top-of-the-line ergonomic chair section. However, there are ergonomic chairs to suit all budgets. Even if you can’t afford the priciest chair, you can still seek out features in more affordable office chairs that promote ergonomic design.
For most of us, our office workspace is what it is. You deal with the desk, chair, office layout/cubicle space and computer workstation that you were given. However, even those of us not allowed to choose our own chairs and desks can reconstruct our office space to enhance ergonomics. If you’re not familiar with the concept, ergonomics is the science of applied design to protect the human body, prevent strain and stress on joints and muscles, while maximizing productivity. The CDC highlights numerous serious health disorders stemming from poor workplace ergonomics, but you can take matters into your own hands and reconstruct that space to protect yourself.
These days, most of us spend the majority of our time on the computer while at work. This means that your computer system’s setup and layout are of paramount importance in terms of ergonomics. You need to be most concerned with two elements here:
The computer monitor should be at or just below eye level, and it should be angled so that you can see the screen clearly despite the glare of those ubiquitous fluorescents overhead. If you have to squint, hunch, tilt your head or otherwise adjust your body to see the screen clearly, it’s not set up correctly.
The primary means of interaction between humans and computers is through the keyboard and mouse. Make sure that the keyboard is at or just below the level of your arms when in a seated position. Have a wrist rest in front of the keyboard to support your wrists. The mouse should be located on the same level as the keyboard and usable without any unnecessary twisting or readjusting of your body.
You might not think a footrest is an appropriate piece of office furniture, but it is. Adding a footrest under your desk can help decrease stress and strain on your legs, knees and hips, and it can also help enhance blood flow. Not all workplaces will happily let you add a footrest to your office, but it should be considered to help protect you.
All of your frequently used items should be kept within easy reach of your office chair. Ideally, you’ll have a document holder next to your monitor, so you can reach it while keeping your elbows near your sides. This also applies to your phone. As a note, if you spend a considerable amount of time on the phone during the day, consider investing in a good headset, rather than using the uncomfortable handset. This will prevent you from trying to type and talk or listen at the same time while crunching your head to your shoulder (to hold the handset in place). A headset can make an enormous difference in your comfort and alleviate phone call-related neck, shoulder and back pain.
Follow these tips and reconstruct your office workspace for better comfort and ergonomics. Your body will thank you.
When purchasing any kind of computer, most people would generally only be concerned about having a monitor and some sort of stand for their monitor. As long as you have the computer, monitor, and stand you should be good to go, right? What people sometimes do not even think to consider is that a monitor arm can be extremely beneficial to add to your new or existing computer setup. Many might speculate how much added advantage there is in purchasing a computer monitor arm which is why we can take a look at some of the benefits to help you decide if it is worth the investment.
Perhaps the most vital reason to have a computer monitor arm is the importance of working in an ergonomic environment. By working in an ergonomic environment every piece of equipment used, whether it be your office chair or in this case the monitor which you use, is tailored to be adjustable to fit the unique individual’s body. Monitor arms are specifically designed to easily adjust the height of your computer screen and can be brought closer or farther away from your face to find the optimum reading position. A good rule of thumb to correctly position your monitor is to make sure that the top of the viewable area of your display should be approximately at eye level, or in a position that is comfortable for you and does not cause you to strain your eyes in order to read what is on the screen. Ergonomic experts say that an arms length away is a good indication to a correct viewing distance, but this may vary from user to user. This type of movement and flexibility is impossible to achieve without the use of a monitor arm.
Another added benefit of monitor arms, is that they can be used by virtually anyone with any kind of computer. First and foremost, those with a desktop computer will always need to have purchased a monitor to begin with. But even lap
top users, like myself, can benefit from a monitor arm as well. A few months ago I found myself straining my eyes to read the tiny print on my 13” laptop monitor and knew I needed to find a solution before I compromised my vision. With the purchase of a large monitor and a monitor arm, I could easily attach the monitor through a port in my computer to make viewing text much less strenuous on my eyes. Increasingly workstations are shared between more than one user, especially for jobs that stay open all day with multiple shifts. If you share your station at work with another colleague, with a few simple movements the monitor can be easily adjusted to the height and depth suitable for that individual
Monitor arms are especially advantageous when trying to make room or save space on a desk. Most stands provided by manufacturers consume a lot of room on a desk, whereas an ergonomically designed monitor arm will typically clamp to the back of a desk or be attached directly to a slat-wall leaving the desk space completely clear. An office space or work place will look much less cluttered, more stylish, and more organized with the addition of a computer monitor arm. Some even come in stylish designer colors, such as white and silver, to further enhance the modern design.
In the long run, the monitor arm will not only add style and design to any work space, but it may also reduce work related injuries such as repetitive strain injury and chronic back pain if used ergonomically correct. Monitor arms are also built to withstand the test of time; generally if monitor arms are used 5 days a week for 8 hours a day you can expect it to last at the very least 5 years. While the move to a monitor arm may seem like a risk, the benefits vastly outweigh any disadvantages.
Ergonomic seating is becoming more prominent than ever before and more people are searching around forchairs that are going to contour to their body type. It is essential to find a chair that is going to fit you properly in order to sit ergonomically correct. Sitting in a chair which is too large for you can cause posture problems, pain, or discomfort, so choosing a chair with the right dimensions is important whether you are of average build or bigger and taller than the average.
Most ergonomic chairs are built to adjust to a typical body height and weight, but what about those of us that are smaller than the average user? Some indications that a chair is too tall are that it prevents the user’s feet from resting flat on the ground, arms of the chair are too high, has a lumbar support or headrest that does not sit in the right position, or the seat is too deep. I myself, am 5’2” and always have a difficult time finding things that will fit me properly whether it be jeans or even office chairs. I’ve come to find the solution to this problem is simple- a petite office chair.
A petite chair is an ergonomic chair that is specifically designed to meet the needs of people under 5’4” and weighing less than 300 pounds. Petite chairs come fully equipped with a seat depth up to 18”, a smaller back size, and have a good amount of ergonomic adjustments to ensure proper comfort, no matter your stature. Petite users will be able to sit ergonomically correct and have adjustments tailored to smaller users with an adequate seat depth.
Unfortunately for those of us with smaller stature most petite office chairs are not readily available at a typical office furniture store or computer supply store. Most need to be specially ordered, and can easily be done so by ordering online through an office chair retailer.