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Sitting is something that the average person does all too frequently. From work (where many of us sit for eight or more hours daily) to driving to eating to watching television, far more time each day is commonly spent seated than not.
Being Sedentary – The Effects
Most of us know that spending too much time seated isn’t great for our health. Recent studies have even shown that sitting for 11 hours daily (including leisure time) can actually increase the risk of premature death.
Even for those who are physically fit, too much time in a seated position can lead to difficulty with metabolic functions, increased HDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels, higher triglycerides, and insulin desensitization. This translates to potential heart, stomach, and vascular issues.
Ways to Be Healthier
Luckily, there are things we can do to offset the effects of spending so much time sitting on our behinds. If your job requires you to be sitting all the time, you can reduce the time you spend in this position by participating in leisure activities before and after work.
For instance, if your job is within a short distance from your home, consider walking or biking to your place of employment. If you take public transportation, even getting off a few stops before the one closest to your home/office can get you some extra exercise.
Also, consider eating standing up for some meals. Many people have breakfast and/or lunch on the go, so these can be good times to munch and stand.
Another thing you can do is invest in an elliptical or treadmill for your home. This means that you can still watch the shows and movies you love without crashing on the couch for hours. Can’t afford this equipment? Think about joining a gym and getting your TV fix there, while also getting a workout.
Ways to Make Time Spent Seated More Comfortable
A lot of people suffer from additional side effects of being stationary, especially at the office. Common complaints are back, neck, and/or shoulder pain. If you use a computer a lot, wrist and hand aches are also prevalent.
While it may be inevitable that you need to park yourself permanently during work hours, there are things you can do to make that time more comfortable. Using seating that has special features to offset these discomforts can really help.
Ergonomic chairs for back pain have numerous adjustments to help you feel more at ease.
One of these is lumbar support. Lumbar support pushes out part of the chair’s backrest in order to support your lower back in the form of the shape of the backrest or with specialty devices such as an air lumbar support.
Arm, foot, and headrests are also great options that many ergonomically designed chairs implement. Typically, you can adjust the height of foot and headrests to correspond to a level where they feel most natural when you’re in the chair. Sometimes armrests can be adjusted in terms of height, too, and/or removed for when they aren’t necessary or practical.
SitBetter.com carries a range of seating that fulfills these prerequisites. If you follow these tips, sitting can feel more comfortable.
Finding an office chair that properly fits an individual in every aspect can be a tough task considering most chairs are designed to fit what many manufacturers consider to be the norm, individuals that are 5'5"-5'10" and weigh less than 250 po
s. Unfortunately that leaves many sitting in a chair that does not fit them correctly or a chair that can not support their weight, especially when a business standardizes one chair model for their entire office. Even worse, a chair that is not properly fitted to the individual can lead to work related health issues such as back pain, lumbar pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and other aches and nuisances. If you do not have an ergonomist on hand, which most companies do not, the perfect fit chair can be achieved with a little research. When researching potential chairs it is essential to take a look at all of the features and adjustments the chair comes with.
Users should be able to sit with their feet comfortably on the floor or on a footrest without pressure on the underside of the thighs. The thigh-to-torso angle should not be less than 90°.
Users should be able to sit in the chair without undue pressure against the back of the knees, their back properly supported by the backrest and with adequate thigh and leg support.
Seat Pan Angle
This should allow users to support their feet on the floor or footrest. This should not cause the user's torso-to-thigh angle to be less than 90°. Forward seat pan angles should not cause users to shift excessive weight to their feet or experience the sensation of sliding out of the chair.
The seat should be wider than the hip breadth of the user with allowance for movement and clothing. The seat width should not limit the ability to use the armrests comfortably.
All backrests should provide adequate lumbar support and backside clearance. For tasks requiring upper body mobility, the backrest should not interfere with the user's movement; a mid or low back chair is would be recommend. For users who prefer reclining postures or greater upper back support, the back height should be tall enough to provide support for the shoulder blades.
The width of the backrest should provide adequate support for the curvature of the user's back without causing localized pressure points.
The height and shape of the lumbar support should coincide with the lumbar curve of the user's back. The support should be firm, but not cause localized pressure points. An adjustable backrest often helps the user achieve the correct positioning.
This should allow users to sit in a variety of postures while supporting their forearms and/or elbows in a manner that avoids lifting the shoulders, this often results from armrests that are positioned too high, or leaning to the side to reach the armrest, this results from armrests that are positioned too low. The armrest height should allow accessibility to, and performance of, tasks.
The length of the armrest should allow users to sit close enough to the work surface to perform their tasks while maintaining contact with the backrest.
Inside Distance Between Armrests
Armrests should allow users to sit in a variety of postures while supporting their forearms in a manner that avoids lifting the shoulders and/or excessive outward positioning of the elbows. Armrests should allow accessibility to, and performance of tasks. The inside distance between the armrests should allow the user to enter and exit the chair easily. The hips should comfortably fit between the armrests or supports.
To view Sitbetter's full line of ergonomic office chairs, please click here.
Article credit: Office Master.
Finding the right office chair is not only an important task but is also becoming crucial as the time spent sitting in a sedentary position has increased with hectic work schedules and the demands careers in business fields bring. The problem is, unless you are an ergonomist or have one readily available at your dispense, it is difficult to determine how to find a chair that will properly fit your body. The right office chair should uniformly support the body, allow for easy movement, be easy to adjust, provide long-term comfort, and help to maintain proper posture. Just like people, office chairs come in varying shapes and sizes. The problem is not every person will fit into one uniform chair design, unless your proportions perfectly match up with the design of the chair. If your chair is not properly fitted to your proportions you will find overtime that you will begin to experience discomfort which can lead to more serious problems over time. Consider the following tips before purchasing your next office chair.
The depth of a seat is an essential component in the overall comfort of your office chair. If you have a seat that is too small you will not get the support necessary for your thighs to sit comfortably throughout the day. If your seat is too big, this will put pressure against the back of your knees which can also cause discomfort. While seated, measure the distance from the back of your knee to the back rest. You should have about an inch and a half or 2-3 fingers distance between the seat edge and back of the knee. If you are unsure of if a seat will be too short for you, consider finding a chair that has the option for a seat slider which allows for you to adjust the depth of your chair.
Your chair should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. This can be achieved with the proper seat height. Measure the height from the floor to the crease at the back of the knee. Take into consideration the type of footwear that you typically wear to work, heel for example may add a few inches onto the height of the seat needed. Most office chairs will only come with one cylinder size which allows for about a 4" range of adjustment, however, some specialty ergonomic chairs have the option for different height cylinders which can be of use to individuals that are taller or shorter.
Many of today's computer users experience neck/shoulder pain due to their arms being elevated and unsupported. Armrests are designed to support the neck and shoulder muscles, however if you are not careful in your selection they may limit access to the keyboard or your desk. Armrests should not restrict movement or access to a workstation. The armrest height should be the same as resting elbow height, they should not be higher or lower or this will cause discomfort. Look for armrests that can be width and height adjustable to properly align them to your body's needs. Shoulders and upper arms should be in line with the torso generally about perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward).
The shape of the back rest should follow the natural curve of your back. This is why many office chairs are designed with an "S" shape curve in order to conform to the natural shape of one's back. Often back rests are fixed in place making it difficult to properly support the natural shape of taller or shorter user's backs. An adjustable back rest or lumbar support eliminates this problem and allows for the user position the back rest to meet the shape of their spine. The height of the back is another concern. For those that experience upper back pain, it is essential to find a taller back that will fully support their shoulders and neck.
The seat cushion should fully support your frame in both depth and width. A seat cushion that is too small will not provide full support and one that is too large will not allow for comfortable utilization of the armrests. Look at the distance between armrests to make sure they are not too wide where one needs to reach to use the armrest or too narrow where one is not able to sit.
To view SitBetter's collection of ergonomic office chairs, please click here!
We hear the term thrown around a lot in discussions of office furniture, but just what is ergonomic seating? The definition isn’t always so easy to nail down, but experts, such as the team at SitBetter.com, have made it their business to acquire substantial knowledge about this issue and have developed a large body of data to their definition of the term.
According to the IEA, ergonomics is the study of human interactions and other elements within a system. The professional industry that applies those major theories utilizes data, principles and leading methodologies to design seating that optimizes the comfort, productivity and overall well being of the people with any system. Quite simply, this means that office seating should be an integral component of your healthy workplace.
Office seating is often woefully overlooked due to issues such as budget, time and convenience. The good news is that online furniture companies offer office seating solutions that can greatly improve your workplace without overstretching your budget. When people are comfortable, they are more likely to want to stay in the environment they are in, but office seating should be much more than comfortable. It should also provide adequate support and optimal positioning to reduce the likelihood of stress, injury and overuse. These factors all make for a happier, healthier and more productive place of business.
What Features You Should Consider
Ergonomic chairs share several features that separate them from average seating options, including the following:
- Adequate cushioning for long periods of sitting
- Adjustable height and incline for different body types
- Allows full range of motion for legs and arms when necessary
- Designed to support the spine, neck and shoulders
When you have this type of furniture in your workplace, there is less chance for injuries, workplace compensation and even lawsuits. But more importantly, there are more opportunities for productivity and increased morale. People are better able to work long hours, when they are without pain and stress and when they have the proper place to sit and work along with periodic breaks to stretch and walk around for a minute or two.
To view Sitbetter's large collection of ergonomic office chairs please click here!
Do you ever find yourself falling asleep at your desk while working even though you got a good full night of rest? Do you find yourself switching positions often while sitting on your office chair, trying to find one that will make you comfortable and productive throughout the day? Ever find yourself coming home from work with nagging back or neck pain that is only relieved while you sleep or during the weekends when you are away from work? While all these issues may not seem to have one simple solution, in this case they do. Most of the time the best way to effectively solve all of these problems, is simply by purchasing an ergonomic office chair that will be tailored to meet your needs and requirements. Some may feel skeptical thinking this is too good to be true, however, many who have experienced the same aforementioned symptoms have gotten quick relief just by getting a new ergonomic chair for their office. If you are sitting in a $30 Ikea chair with no adjustability and are finding yourself experiencing unnecessary pain, consider the following reasons why you should own an ergonomic office chair.
1. Proper Circulation: More often than not, people who sit in chairs that are not ergonomically correct find themselves shifting positions frequently trying to find the most comfortable way to sit. With any ergonomic chair, you will be able to adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are laying flat on the floor with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With proper position, you will allow blood to flow properly through the body thus avoiding fatigue. Sitting correctly gets rid of the tired feeling many experience around 2:00 p.m. even with a full nights sleep the night before.
2. Pain Relief: Ergonomic chairs are designed to meet the needs of the user rather than the user meeting the needs of the chair. A good ergonomic chair also offers support where needed, many come with the option to upgrade to only the features that you specifically might need. For example, if you have a chronic neck pain issue as well as lower back pain, you will want to search for a chair that has a headrest option as well as a chair that offers adequate lumbar support. Ergonomic chairs already come standard with mechanisms and adjustments that all users will need, with the option to upgrade for features not everyone may need which is great because it can save you money over getting a feature that is unnecessary to you.
3. Support: The main components of ergonomic chairs, namely the back and seat, are always designed to provide the user with maximum support. They are designed to fit the unique curves of the body as well as provide extra support for the back, spine, and legs. An S-shaped curve can be found on most ergonomic chairs, as this is the natural shape of the spine and provides needed support. A waterfall seat can also be found on an ergonomic chair, as this helps reduce the amount of pressure on the back of the knees.
4. Concentration: Having a chair that keeps you comfortable throughout the day will in turn lead to increased concentration. When you feel uncomfortable with your sitting situation, you may often find yourself fidgeting and not fully paying attention to the current task at hand. With a chair that provides maximum comfort, you will find that both you and/or your employees will become much more productive throughout the day.
5. Comfort: The best part of having an ergonomic chair is the comfort factor. Ergonomic office chairs are designed to provide the user with the upmost comfort and sometimes offer upgrades such as memory foam seats or gel seats for additional comfort. They also sculpt to fit your body, keeping you comfortable from the time you sit down to the time you stand up to take a break.
With so many benefits for both your body and health, it is difficult to think of any reason not to own an ergonomic chair.