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They say that sitting is the new smoking. Sitting for long periods of time -- especially if you aren't using one of the best ergonomic chairs -- can cause back and joint pain, hyperlordosis, heart disease, and spinal conditions. There are things that you can do try to alleviate some of the problems that come with sitting for long hours during the work day. Experts recommend having a more ergonomic workspace with the right keyboard, mouse, and mousepad, sitting with good posture, and taking a few moments to stretch and walk around every few hours, but you may also want to look into alternative furniture options for your workspace.
A standing desk is one popular alternative option to even the best ergonomic chairs. These desks are more adjustable than traditional desks, so you can keep it at a lower level for sitting and a higher level for standing. The versatility of this design allows users to switch between sitting and standing if they choose to, which is better for a person's health than being limited to sitting. A standing desk does not have to be adjusted to a sitting level, so if you prefer to stand all day you can.
The best thing to pair with a standing desk is a standing chair. This may sound counter intuitive (how is it possible to sit and stand at the same time?) but standing chairs are task chairs without arms that can be adjusted to a standing height. This allows the legs to be straightened which improves circulation, without putting a significant amount of additional pressure on the hip and knee joints.
Another alternative option for your office furniture is a treadmill desk, which is exactly what it sounds like. One of the biggest problems that people experience from sitting in a cheap office chair for too long is leg and joint pain. A treadmill desk allows users to stay in constant motion while working. The pace is as slow as one mile per hour, so it isn't as if you're training for a marathon while using your computer. It may take some getting used to, but treadmill desks can stave off the pains of sitting all day and the associated maladies.
If you aren't keen on standing or walking while you're trying to work, you can always look for one of the best ergonomic desk chairs. The best ergonomic chairs will be adjustable to fit your unique size and have good lumbar support. If you're not sure which of these options are best for you, you should consult with an expert in ergonomics to help you find the perfect office furniture for you.
Work can be a pain, but it doesn't have to be physically painful. Office workers report a number of aches and pains as a result of their working conditions, but there are steps you can take to avoid some basic injuries, so that you can have a more comfortable working experience.
- Repetitive Stress Injury/Disorder - The most-common repetitive stress disorders or RSDs, like carpal tunnel, are are a result of constant typing. These injuries affect hands, elbows, and wrists, and are becoming increasingly common, due to the growing reliance on computers in the workplace. If you arrange your work space based on ergonomic guidelines, and take regular breaks to rest and change positions, you can help avoid RSD. Ergonomic computer chairs with adjustable arms are particularly important, because office chairs without arms do not provide the proper support for your hands and arms.
- Back Pain - At least 50% of workers admit to having back pain symptoms annually. This can vary from just a temporary ache, to a more serious problem: In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 650,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The best office chair for back pain is an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic computer chairs can be adjusted for your body and needs, and provide the best lower back support.
- Eye Strain - Work-related eye strain can affect your eyesight and productivity, but can also cause unpleasant headaches. Regulating the lighting in your work space, keeping screen glares to a minimum, and adjusting your computer screen and settings can help reduce the problem. However, it's also important to make sure you are positioned at the right height and distance from your computer screen. Ergonomic computer chairs with adjustable height settings make this an easy task, so you can position yourself 20 to 24 inches from the screen, with the screen positioned about 10 to 15 degrees below your eye line. These are the ideal specifications to avoid eye strain.
There are a number of steps you can take to make a more comfortable workplace environment for yourself, as well as avoiding common workplace injury and discomfort. Adjusting a few simple settings in your office, and adjusting your workstation to suit ergonomic guidelines (Especially ergonomic computer chairs!), can make a world of difference in your day-to-day experience.
Everyone knows that injuries can happen at work. What more people should know is that work-related injuries don't just happen at places like construction sites or because of heavy machinery. Back pain is one of the most commonly reported work-related injuries, but it isn't just caused by trauma or heavy lifting. Back pain and injuries also occur in the office.
Back pain is one of the results of sitting in a cheap office chair that has poor ergonomics. What is most alarming about this is that many jobs require us to sit for extended periods of time and for many days of the week. Without ergonomic computer chairs, a large portion of the American working population is at risk for back pain. Consider the amount of time we spend sitting in the car for a commute and sitting on the couch watching Netflix at home, and it figures that we spend the majority of our time sitting down. It can be tough to avoid sitting at work, though, and not using ergonomic computer chairs can cause more than just back pain.
Poor office ergonomics can also cause pains, injuries, and muscle strain in other parts of our bodies like the neck and legs. Many office workers perform repetitive tasks for many consecutive hours, which can cause rigidity and pain without the proper ergonomic precautions. Strained and rigid muscles are also more prone to further injury. Ergonomic computer chairs can help remedy back pain from sitting for long periods of time because they ease sitting with proper posture.
The best ergonomic chairs have a five point base with casters to prevent tipping and ease movement. Because good posture is essential for avoiding back pain, lower back support is also necessary. The National Institute of Health recommends using a properly placed cushion or lumbar pillow insert. Quality office chairs should also have adjustable features to fit the user's specific and unique size. A sliding seat pan allows the user to adjust the distance from the back rest. Adjustable armrests allow the user to raise or lower them to the perfect height to avoid slouching or straining to use them, and a height adjustable chair allows the user to sit with their feet flat on the floor.
Experts estimate that about 80% of the population will experience back pain at one point in their lives. If you're someone who suffers with back pain, relief may come by simply changing your office chair.
Did you know that leaning forward 30 degrees in an attempt to get closer to a computer screen puts three to four times more strain on the back? If not, you likely aren't alone: at least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms every year. More importantly, these Americans spend at least an estimated $50 billion treating their back pain each year. While there are many things that can cause back pain, if you find yourself shifting positions while sitting in your cheap office chair, and feeling tension and pain in your back at the end of the day, it may be time to switch to a chair better designed to support your body, such as mesh back office chairs.
There are currently an estimated 3,805 office furniture manufacturing businesses located in the United States. Between them, they employ an estimated 109,081 people and are continuing to grow: from 2009 to 2014, the office manufacturing industry grew by an estimated 2.0% every year. However, out of the many products these companies produce, most of their offices stools and chairs are not sufficiently supportive to ease or prevent a person from developing back pain. For example, most office chairs have armrests, which encourage a person to adopt a slouching position, whereas an office chair without arms naturally encourages a person to sit upright. According to the National Institute of Health, if the chair has armrests, office chairs for back pain treatment need to have an adjustable height and width. Likewise, the NIH recommends that a lumbar support cushion be properly placed behind the small of the back to help accentuate lumbar support.
Because adequate lumbar support is the most important factor in ergonomic chairs for back pain treatment, mesh back office chairs are also a great way to help support your body during your work day. Because the mesh is a yielding rather than a flat surface, it helps cradle your body and creates support for your lower back without creating tension. So if you have back pain, don't suffer through another day at work: search for a better office chair with adequate back support today.
The modern world has changed significantly in the past few decades. We’ve gone from having a mostly active lifestyle to a sedentary one. Even those who work out of the home spend the majority of their time sitting down. According to OSHA, 33% of all workplace accidents in 2011 were due to musculoskeletal problems stemming from poor ergonomics, and if you have a home office, that applies to you. Your office chair is the first line of defense against these dangerous health problems. How do you choose a good home office chair?
Pony Up the Cash
If you’ve taken a look at ergonomic office chairs recently, you know they’re not cheap. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality chair. With that being said, you can’t really get a bargain-basement chair and expect it to hold up. You get what you pay for in many cases. Be prepared to pay a little more for a decent chair (say, up to about $300).
Adjustability Is Paramount
The number one rule of ergonomics is that one size does not fit all. The more adjustments a home office chair features, the better it will be for you. Look for a chair with adjustable height and tilt so you can adjust it to fit your body perfectly. You should also look for models with adjustable armrests as well, particularly if you spend a good deal of your day typing at the keyboard. Adjustability is paramount – you must ensure that the chair you purchase can come as close as possible to a tailor-made position for your specific frame, height and weight.
As a note, the chair’s height adjustment should provide enough travel that you can leave your feet flat on the floor. If your feet are angled so your toes touch the floor but not your heels, or if they’re dangling in midair, you’ve got the wrong chair.
Comfort is an important consideration when buying a home office chair. Avoid thinly padded chairs and those without padding on the armrests. Mesh chairs are something of a different beast – the mesh features natural give to provide almost the same comfort as thick padding. In a padded chair, look for a model that features memory foam so it will mold to your body’s contours rather than flattening out across the entire seat through use.
There are two forms of lumbar support in the office chair world – thicker padding in the lumbar region and adjustable lumbar support (usually via a lever on the side of the chair’s back). Both can work well, but you’ll get better results out of a chair with adjustable lumbar support. Usually, extra padding will wear down and reduce the amount of support offered, even with a high quality chair. If possible, opt for a lumbar adjustable model.
With the right home office chair, you can ensure that you protect yourself from dangerous musculoskeletal injury, enhance your comfort and even work longer if necessary.