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.
As we are all well aware, Valentine’s Day is coming up this Sunday and the gift giving season is beginning to start up again. With all the love in the air and presents in mind, we felt it is appropriate to give a gift of our own for Valentine’s Day, that gift being a free ergonomic neck support pillow with the purchase of any office chair on our website. Our logic behind all this: we love giving back to our customers, and what better way to show our appreciation than to give a gift of our own!
The comfortable neck support pillow offers pain relief and rest while cradling the neck, whether sitting up or laying down. It comes in a navy blue color and will easily inflate in a minutes time. The neck support pillow also comes with a convenient carrying pouch to store when traveling.
With neck, shoulder, and back pain becoming more prevalent in the work environment people need affordable options to help relieve their pain. For relieving mild pain, it could be as simple as getting an ergonomic support pillow to add on to your chair or wearing a neck support pillow when sitting down for long periods of time. And what better time to get a neck support pillow then when they are free!
The ergonomic neck support pillow will be given away with all chair purchases beginning on February 8, 2010 and ending on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2010. There is a limit of one neck pillow per order and all pillows are non returnable/non refundable. The offer is not valid with purchases of office accessories, ergonomic accessories, eco-friendly accessories, and any other items that would not be classified as an office chair. Free neck support pillows are available while supplies last.
Get your free neck support pillow today by clicking here!
Most would think it is common sense when talking about the subject of how to sit in an office chair considering most of us sit in one for hours on end everyday. While office chairs certainly are easy to use with a little bit of knowledge, most of us are not familiar with how to properly adjust and sit in our chairs in order to avoid pain and injury. When even starting to consider purchasing an office chair it is important to pick out a chair that will allow you to adjust your body and posture to conform ergonomically to you. An ergonomic chair will come with adjustable seat height, back/lumbar adjustments, armrest adjustments, and a tilt lock. While most are not familiar with chair adjustments it is essential to learn about your chair and become properly educated on how to use it before using it just as you would for say a car or bike. However, an office chair will not take nearly as long to figure out as either of the aforementioned.
When sitting in an office chair the first area of the chair to focus on is the part you sit on all day, the seat. With your back against the backrest, the seat should support most of the length of your thighs without applying pressure to the back of your knees. Waterfall seats (which most chairs now come with) are ideal for allowing you to sit comfortably and properly. Your seat height should be set so that your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground when your heels are firmly planted on the ground. If it is not possible to have your feet flat on the ground because your work station is too high and not adjustable, a footrest is a good addition to keep your feet flat and body in proper posture. Movement throughout the day is encouraged, so do not feel as if you always need your feet to be planted on the ground. There is generally a lever on the right side if not the left that when pulled up allows you to move either up if your taller or down if you are of shorter stature. A tip for adjustment is to start with your seat at its highest and lower it gradually until it is at a comfortable height. as you cannot usually raise your seat while you are sitting in it.
The backrest of a chair is an important feature, especially if you suffer from mild to severe back pain. A chair that comes with adjustable lumbar support is recommended for those that suffer from back pain. If your backrest does come with built-in lumbar support, its height should be such that you feel firm support over the lumbar curve of your lower back. Chairs that are S shaped also provide natural back support that will fit to the natural curvature of your spine. If your chair lacks lumbar support, adding a lumbar cushion or lumbar pillow can help aid your back. Lumbar support products should only be added if your seat has sufficient depth in order to avoid pushing yourself up to far that your upper legs are not properly supported. While sitting in your chair, it is usually easier to lower the backrest than raise it. So begin with the back rest as high as it goes, then sit in your chair and gradually lower the backrest until it fits comfortably.
Another feature that is crucial for a good chair to have is adjustable armrests. Most chairs that have adjustable armrests can easily be lowered or raised by pushing a button in and manually pulling the armrests up or pushing them down. Armrests have to be at the right height for your body, if they are too high it will force you to position your arms awkwardly. If armrests are too long you might find yourself to be slouching or sitting in an awkward position which might start to cause a back ache. While typing, your arms should be able to swing freely. Armrests should be positioned about half an inch below your elbows, with your elbows hanging comfortably at your side. If your arms are resting on the armrest while you are typing, you will be inhibiting the normal arm movement which will cause extra strain on your fingers and their supporting structures.
The backrest angle should be set so that you feel the backrest while you are in your preferred sitting position. You should not have to lean back to feel it, nor should it force you farther forward when you are sitting. Your back rest angle should allow, however, to move forward and backward with added pressure while still providing you with lumbar/back support. Usually, underneath your chair there is a knob that allows you to adjust the backrest to the amount of pressure you want. After finding that perfect spot make sure to lock your backrest angle to ensure it stays in place. Usually by pulling the lever up you can unlock the back angle and pushing down locks it into place.
It is important to remember that not all chairs are built the same, meaning that some levers and knobs may be in different places or may be used differently depending on the chair. Also, some chairs may not come with all the features mentioned above and may only possess one or two. What is the key takeaway is take some time to get to know your chair and how to use it when purchasing a chair or even if you already have an office chair you like. In the long run, it can save you from hours, days, or years of suffering from common work related injuries that occur from not sitting properly. If you are not happy with your current chair and its features, look into a chair that has all the adjustments mentioned in order to ensure that it is ergonomically correct.
Experiencing neck pain is unpleasant, to say the least, to have to endure especially if experiencing it for long periods of time throughout the day. Your neck is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, responsible for holding up the bottom of y
our skull and providing the brain with nutrients. Spending countless hours in front of a computer everyday is going to change your body and unfortunately there is not much you can do to avoid sitting for extended periods of time especially if it is part of your job description. Your front neck muscles are slowly growing shorter and tighter, while the muscles in the back of your neck are growing longer and weaker. Not to mention it must not be an easy task to hold up a ten pound head for hours at a time. From prior experience, I know what it feels like to have pain in your neck all throughout the day and how much harder it makes it to work under that kind of condition. But what I did not realize is that your office chair can actually be the reason why people experience neck pain.
The spine requires essential movement throughout the day, unfortunately for most workers that are confined to sitting in an office chair all day this seems to be nearly impossible. This is even more the case when workers are using standard office chairs and office furniture which leaves the body confined during the day, and puts high pressure loadings on the spine. Chairs that have stiff backs meaning that they do not have back and height adjustments, restrict the body and do not conform to your body which can lead to back pain as well.
It is estimated that each year, 11 million days of absence from work occur due to neck pain. This medical condition costs industries upwards of $5 billion per year. 800,000 hospital in-patients and 12 million consultations are needed for neck pain every year. In most of the cases, the main culprit was extensive sitting in a poorly designed chair. Research in cellular biology has shown that the cartilage cells of our intervertebral discs undergo intense pressure and are therefore unable to receive nourishment from normal blood supply due to immobility. The discs will gradually lose and may lead to acute neck pain, if this much needed movement ceases to happen. In worst cases scenarios, this turned out to be fatal or even caused temporary mobility.
In a study published in the European Spine Journal and conducted by Dr. Julia Hush of the Back Pain Research Group at the University of Sydney, found that 15 to 44% of people suffer pain in any one year, but recent studies suggest that office-workers are at higher risk of neck pain than others. Another interesting finding was that female workers were 3 times more likely to develop neck pain than their male counterparts. Also people who suffered high levels of personal psychological stress were over one and a half more times likely to suffer neck pain than others.
While the most extreme cases of neck pain may have to be seen by a chiropractor in order to help alleviate the pain, their is one solution that is much simpler and easier to do when you start experiencing neck pain so it does not get any worse. That solution is to purchase a new ergonomic office chair. An ergonomic office chair is a tool that, when used properly, can help one maximize back support and maintain good posture while sitting. However simply owning the ergonomic chair is not enough, it also needs to be adjusted to the proportions of the individual’s body to improve comfort and reduce aggravation to the low back and neck while sitting. An ergonomic chair that has a headrest can also greatly improve your neck comfort. With proper posture and a better ergonomic chair that will be able to adjust to the user’s body, your neck will certainly have reduced pain and work will be less painful all together.