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With so many different ergonomic chairs on the market today, from Office Star and Jobri to BOSS and ergoCentric chairs, finding the right seating choice for your specific needs can be difficult. Ergonomics are certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach. An ergonomically designed work chair should be able to conform to your height, weight, and body type, and also be appropriate for your line of work and professional environment. A tall and heavyset man will probably need a different ergonomic design than a short and petite woman, just as an IT professional will probably need a different office chair than a laboratory technician. With so many different factors to consider, how does one find the right work chair? The following information should help.
Why are Ergonomics so Important?
Ergonomic design is a multidisciplinary field of science that considers various human factors with the goal of designing furniture, equipment, and tools that complement the human body and mind, ideally resulting in more productive workplaces and happier, healthier workers. The way people sit is a very important part of this. Sitting is not as sedentary of a position as one may assume. When a worker in any given field sits in a chair all day (or for a large chunk of their workday), they are also engaging in activities in that chair, which are all influenced by the way that worker engages with their surroundings – especially their chair. The following video is by Allseating a chair manufacturer that describes the cores needs in building your ergonomic workstation.
What Makes a Suitable Work Chair?
If you’re shopping for ergonomic chairs, the most important human factors to consider are the body dimensions of the individual who will be sitting in each chair. And this means all the body dimensions. An ill-fitting chair might be ideal for someone’s height, but not appropriate for their weight and body type, for example. This can lead to stress and strain, and ultimately injury, which could in turn leave a worker unable to work and an employer in hot water. There are other factors to consider, such as the costs of repairs and maintenance, in addition to the initial costs of purchasing the chairs. Avoiding repetitive stress injuries is worth the investment, but not if the company goes into the red from the costs of owning the chairs. Luckily, many manufacturers make some very affordable models that are also high in quality. The following video is for the ergoCentric Geocentric petite ready chair.
It All Comes Down to Body Type
Make sure to gather information about the heights of employees before purchasing new ergonomic chairs for the whole office. An ideal work chair will be roughly a quarter of the user’s height. While most employees doing similar jobs will probably be comfortable in similar or identical chairs as long as the seat and armrests are adjustable, there will also probably be a few outliers who will have special ergonomic needs and require somewhat different chairs. No one should be punished for being uncommonly short or tall, having a long torso or unusually sized limbs, or being otherwise out of the norm. To avoid repetitive stress injuries and find the ergonomic chairs with the best value, consider body type first.
Finding the right ergonomic stool for your work environment may seem like an arduous and overwhelming task, especially if you do not know where to begin looking or even worse do not know what to look for. Unfortunately there is not one universal ergonomic stool that will work for everyone as each individual has their own unique work set up and each requires its own specialized seating solution. The first step towards finding the right ergonomic stool for your work station is to recognize need for one, whether you work at a higher work station and standard office chairs do not meet your height requirements, or you are simply looking for an alternative seating solution to relieve back pain. Anyone who works at a desk station should feel comfortable while they are sitting in order to stay focused and stay productive; when your chair starts making you feel uncomfortable, it is crucial to find an ergonomic solution that will ease your pain and more importantly keep you comfortable while working. Ergonomic stools are a good place to start looking, but first it is important to understand the different types of ergonomic stools available to determine which will work best for your work environment.
Sit Stand Stools
Ergonomic sit stand stools offer a flexible design that provides a surface to sit down when necessary or as a surface to lean against when standing. They permit the ease of transfer from a sitting to a standing position in a quick fashion. They come with an extended seat height that is higher than most standard office chairs and can be adjusted to meet your specific height requirements. Sit stand stools come standard with seat height adjustment while more ergonomic versions come with seat angle adjustment as well to allow for people to lean against while standing. Sit stand stools are most effectively used in environments and professions that require standing most of the day such as labs, pharmacies, production lines, for architects, for artists, for painters, for bank tellers, or for anyone that sits at a counter.
Saddle stools are a unique stool option that are designed to help alleviate lower back pain, reduce pain in the shoulders and neck, minimize headaches, prevent muscular tension fatigue, and help correct bad posture. Sitting in a similar position as one would while sitting on an equestrian saddle enables the user to sit in a widened stance that helps improve blood circulation and corrects you from sitting with bad posture. They are typically used in conjunction with your current office chair but can also be used as your primary seating solution once you get accustomed to the stool. These ergonomic stools are best used in a fast paced environment where there is a frequent need to move and stretch. Some professions that best benefit from saddle stools include dentists, nurses, lab assistants, vets, therapists, hair dressers, technicians, and musicians.
Drafting stools are the perfect addition to any work environment with a raised work station where a normal office chair would not be able to be raised high enough to meet the height requirements. There are many different drafting stools available to choose from, which is why you need to know exactly what you are looking for before making any purchasing decisions. If you suffer from back pain, you will want to find an ergonomic drafting stool that offers built-in lumbar support and preferably an adjustable back rest that will allow you to properly position the support to your lower back. It is also best to have more adjustability than less, so look for a drafting stool that offers multiple adjustments such as back angle adjustment, seat angle adjustment, and back height adjustment. Also keep in mind most drafting chairs will not allow you to lean back and recline like a typical office chair would for safety concerns.
Motion stools are both rare and scarce in design option available, however the few that are available are becoming a popular choice for many offices and homes across the world. A motion stool does exactly what its name implies, provides continual motion while sitting. It allows the user to move from side to side or front to back with little effort keeping you moving all throughout the day without falling over or leaving your seat. They are an ideal choice for exercising your legs, back, and abdominal muscles while also relieving and preventing soreness or stiffness caused by sitting in the same position for extended periods of time. With their backless design, they are also remind the user to sit up straight with correct posture. Just like a saddle stool, they can also be used alongside your current office chair when you need a break from conventional seating or can be used independently for all day sitting.
Ergonomic stools are beneficial for anyone looking to sit healthier and with better posture while relieving back pain at the same time. With the multiple stool options available, it is important to take the time to fully understand the benefits of each to figure out which will work best for your work environment. You will also want to take into consideration where the stool will be used, for example, will it be used at a raised work station? Are you looking for a stool to replace your current office chair? Do you need a stool that will allow you to move around quickly and efficiently?
Because these are specialty items, they often can not be found at typical office furniture retail locations and can usually only be found online. Online retailers have many different ergonomic stool choices available and if you are still apprehensive about which stool to choose, their customer service can walk you through each of the options available to help you make sure it will work for your home or work environment. Any reputable website will take the time to ensure you are going to be happy with your purchase and fully understand what you are looking for.
If you need help finding the right ergonomic stool for your office visit our website, SitBetter.com or give us a call at our toll free number 1-866-311-9421 where any of our knowledgeable chair experts will be able to help you.