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Who would have thought there was a wrong way to sit in an office chair? I guess there is a wrong way to do just about everything, but when it becomes detrimental to your health, that is when a real problem arises. In fact, sitting is harder on your back than standing. Studies have actually proven that sitting in a properly adjusted chair that encourages motion reduces cumulative trauma disorders to nerves, tendons, and the neuromuscular system. I, of all people, am extremely guilty of sitting in my office chair the wrong way, which is a very bad habit I am working on fixing. Over time, I have come up with about 3 strange, bad habit sitting positions I can’t seem to shake.
The first is my favorite, which is sitting cross legged/indian style while sitting in my chair. Overtime, I have learned that knee problems can develop from sitting in this position, as comfortable as it. Especially if one sits like this over the span of many years. Although I am still getting back support from my chair, I’m losing blood flow to my legs which can cause them to cramp up. This tends to happen a lot, forcing me to switch to another bad position.
Normally I then switch to putting my feet on a footrest. Now, I know you are thinking, what is wrong with using a footrest? Normally footrests are very effective...except when you are using another chair as a footrest. Footrests are supposed to make it so that your knees are at about a 90 degree angle because this position promotes the best circulation. My legs are completely straight when I use my chair/footrest which promotes VERy bad circulation!
The last bad position I tend to sit in, is with my back far away from my chair, slumped over on my desk. While this does help me read my computer monitor better, it also is causing cumulative trauma to my back. The best solution for this, is increasing the size of the font on the screen you are reading or getting a larger monitor with a monitor arm that will allow you to adjust how close the computer is to your face.
After reviewing all my bad habits, clearly it is time to break them and start sitting better in my office chair. Some tips I learned to prevent myself from sitting incorrectly are get up and move, keep the body in alignment while sitting in an office chair, choose ergonomic office chairs when sitting, and use posture friendly props. It is best to take a break from sitting in an office chair every half an hour or so for a few minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk. When sitting in an office chair, take advantage of the chairs features. Also if you are sitting in an ergonomic office chair, you are able to adjust the back for lumbar support. Footrests, portable lumbar back supports, or even a small pillow can be used while sitting in an office chair. And of course, posture is important! The proper way to sit in a chair is to keep both feet on the ground, sitting up straight, with your back firmly rested against the seat. Follow this advice and you will be sitting better in no time :)
If you are anything like me, then you are bound to spill something on your office chair especially if you are using it 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. You could just leave the spill and let it stain. Unfortunately with that solution, you will constantly have to look at the stain everyday and will be reminded of that one time you spilled your cup of coffee all over your perfect looking office chair, or that time you ate butterfingers and were too lazy to wash your hands so instead you used your office chair as a napkin. Or perhaps the best solution, you could use one of my five tips I have compiled on how to effectively remove a stain from a chair for a relatively cheap price and what preventative action to take against stains.
Before trying to clean your office chair, it is important to find out what kind of material the chair is made of. Generally chairs have a manufacturers cleanability code found beneath the seat which refers to what material/s the chair is made of. If there is no cleaning instructions, a good rule of thumb to follow is the upholstery is made of at least 50% polyester. Most office chairs are made of synthetic materials (such as polyester). If your chair is made of a leather or vinyl material you will not have to worry as much about cleanliness because those materials do not stain as easily, and most of the time you are able to wipe the spill right off. It is important to prevent stains as they do not fall under manufacturer's warranties.
Here are our five ways we get rid of stains and prevent them from happening:
- Foam Upholstery Cleaner: A general foam upholstery cleaner will clean, deodorize, and freshen soiled fabrics. Woolite is a great product for cleaning chairs and removing bad odors. To use a foam upholstery cleaner, first dampen the fabric with a rag, making sure not to soak the material. Spray the chair with the cleaner, and wipe gently with a clean, damp rag. Blot out the excess moisture with a dry towel and repeat the steps until the chair is clean.
- Home made shampoo: A little bit of a cheaper option is making your own home made shampoo alternative. Most stains should come right off if cleaned immediately. A little bit of Dawn dish detergent mixed in a small bowl of warm water, diluted about 20 parts water to 1 part soap. Instead of scrubbing up and down, it is best to apply the shampoo in a blotting, circular motion. Blot up the soap with a clean, but damp rag. Continue rinsing in this method until all the soap has been removed. Pat the area dry with a towel.
- To prevent stains on chairs you will be spending a lot of time sitting on it is best to choose a vinyl upholstery option instead of fabric. It may cost a little bit of money to upgrade to this option, but it will save you the hassle of having to clean a fabric office chair . If you do choose a fabric chair, apply Scotch Guard prior to sitting in the chair because it will make it much easier to clean stains when they do occur.
- Rug Doctor:If you have a little bit more money to spare on cleaning your office chair, it may be worthwhile to invest in a Rug Doctor which you can find at your local grocery store or Home Depot, especially if you are cleaning multiple chairs in an office setting. It will be cheaper than hiring a steam cleaning company, yet it will give you the same results. Generally Rug Doctors cost anywhere between $25-$40 to rent for 24 hours and come equipped with furniture attachments.
- Cleaning Solvent:Cleaning solvents work well on office chairs if you take swift action after the stain has been made. First you will need to apply the cleaning solvent directly to the stain. Use a toothbrush or scrubber to work the paste into the stain. Allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes. Then come back with a damp cloth towel to buff the stain out. A few good cleaning solvents are Quick and Brite as well as Resolve.
Follow these tips and your office chair will look spotless for year to come!
Do you ever find yourself wondering how you could improve the space you work in at home? We found ourselves wondering the same and decided to do some research to find out how to make your home office healthier. After all you are going to be spending a lot of your day there so it is important to set up a design that works for you. There is nothing worse than working in an office you hate, especially when you are in the comfort of your own home. We have compiled some tips and tricks to make working at home or even just sitting in your home office space better. They worked for us; hopefully they will work for you too!
The first most important thing we learned is not to forget about making your office as ergonomic as possible in order to avoid a variety of health issues including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Syndrome, eye strain, and headaches. Ergonomics defined according to Wikipedia is a science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work. It seeks to ensure that tasks, equipment, information, and the environment suit each worker. People use their computers a large majority of the day making it important to use your computer ergonomically. Many experts recommend that the monitor is at least 20 inches away and that the top line of your screen is at or below your eye level. The monitor should be centered in front of the user and positioned to minimize glare. You may also need to adjust the angle of the screen, which can be easily accomplished with a computer monitor arm.
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment everyone should have is an ergonomic chair. After all most people spend a great majority of the day sitting in a chair whether they are at home or at work. The chair height must be adjustable. The user should be able to sit comfortably with their feet resting flat on the floor or on a footrest. The backrest should conform to the natural curvature of the user’s spine and provide adequate lumbar support. In addition, a good chair offers the appropriate seat width and depth to support each user’s unique body shape and size. Armrests should be padded and adjustable so the user can rest their arms comfortably, close to their body, with their shoulders relaxed. A chair on wheels/casters, that swivels and allows easy movement on the floor is also recommended.
Having good posture when you are sitting in your office chair is also essential and what many people don’t know is there is actually a correct way to sit in a chair. Far too many people sit incorrectly, by either slumping forward or slumping backward in their chair during the day, which can cause back pain. Feet are supposed to be flat on the floor and elbows should be at a right angle when typing. Keep wrists straight when typing, relax your shoulders, and keep your back in contact with lumbar support of your chair. Make sure to avoid leaning forward or backwards; keep your head and neck straight in order to prevent straining them.
Although it may cost a little extra to have ergonomic office supplies and equipment, but in the long run it is well worth the investment. It will save you from major health concerns and making your home office environment exceedingly more pleasant to work in. Position yourself and your equipment correctly to ensure a quality-working environment. Healthy working to you!
For more information, updates, and news check us out on www.twitter.com/sitbetter, http://www.facebook.com/pages/SitBettercom-Office-Chairs/98040686695, or www.sitbetter.com/blog.
What are ergonomic accessories, and how do we assess their value in an era when the "hot" term in the office is ergonomics? Everyone wants a piece of them, and everyone wants to charge a lot for them, but before you dive headfirst into "ergonomicafying" your office, let's get a deeper understanding of what will and what can work for your work environment.
Ergonomic accessories can be classified into 3 general categories: Monitor Arms, Keyboard Trays, and Footrests. Some mice are included in this conversation, but only a few. Anything else is really an office accessory, including CPU holders, glare filters and task lights. While not disputing the fact that these office accessories are valuable, they are not focused at providing the same benefits to one's body at work like the aforementioned 3 ergonomic categories.
Monitor arms became increasingly popular with the decrease in price of flat screen monitors - at first a tool for the hip, now a tool for comfort. Not only do they allow for more desk tabletop space by freeing up valuable real estate, but the true ergonomic benefit comes in the ability to position the monitor at the right height for the computer's user. Ideally, the top of the monitor should be level to users line of sight - this dissuades slouching or leaning to read the screen. If you use two monitors, a dual monitor arm may be employed, and the second monitor should be aligned an arms length in front of you and to the right of the main monitor. If you have a laptop, you can still use a monitor arm - you'll just need a monitor. By using a laptop tray, you can use your laptop monitor effectively without using a monitor arm.
What does "not slouching" do? Basically, your mother was right. (Funny how we always hear that as we grow older). The monitor arm prevents slouching, which means you are going to be in the optimal sitting position most of your work hours. Your back is going to be where it should be - leaning against the backrest. Why is leaning against the backrest good, aside from feeling good? Let's look at the shape of the chair to the shape of your spine. Notice the S shape of your spine and how it rests against the S shaped backrest? Most ergonomic chairs will have such a shaped backrest, so leaning all the way back allows your back to appropriately meet the backrest.
Keyboard trays also encourage proper ergonomics by keeping your arms at an even level. This posture of your arms will reduce the strain on the wrists that is commonly associated with constant and repetitive typing. Keyboard Trays are becoming more popular and are usually a more commonly bought accessory - installation requires only a few screws and the benefits are immediate. There are many different types of keyboard trays - they all pretty much function the sames so quality is where the price differences arise.
So getting a keyboard tray is effective in relieving wrist related stress while typing, but like the monitor arm, it has a practical use as well - it frees up valuable desk space. While the paperless office has been attempted, lets face it, paper will always be around. Might as well have more room to spread your clutter!
You may be one of the many people that employ a laptop. As I write this from a laptop, I can tell you that having a laptop is no excuse to eschew ergonomics. There are utilities available to take advantage of a keyboard tray and monitor arm with a laptop, such as this nifty Laptop Docking Station (which is the one I use, by the way):
Lastly, the ergonomic footrests. What is the benefit of that? None if you don't use it right. (Like anything). An ergonomic footrests is generally made for two purposes - one, to give users a place to rest their feet on high chairs or seating areas or two, as an accessory to encourage movement of the feet while sitting. This constant motion won't burn many calories, but it will promote bloodflow, which in turn reduces fatigue. And that's always nice. They even have some with massage balls - so you can get a nice massage in the workplace, provided your feet don't, well, smell.
The idea behind ergonomic accessories is to add overall comfort to the user's workplace atmosphere, and that is a goal that is not to be overlooked nor understated. The modern work lifestyle has evolved to the point where these items are not a luxury anymore- with people spending more and more time on a computer and on the Internet these days, being comfortable for a prolonged period of time is critical to overall well being.
Just think of how many hours a day you'd spend working in front of your computer, slouching forward and trying to make sense of the small text on the screen. (Make the font bigger, if you keep squinting!) A good monitor arm/keyboard tray/footrest combo will quickly and, if chosen right, inexpensively make your or your employees work days more efficient and better over the long run. All of the accessories sold at Sitbetter are quality items - nothing that will fail within a week or even a year, and if it does, it is a good thing you bought it here, because we have your back. It's ok to drink our ergonomic kool-aid - we do.
What if you're just starting our your business and need to outfit your office/guest/reception area, but need to do it on the cheap, without being cheap? We feel you. It's never a bad thing to save a few bucks.
Luckily, we were able to dig up some nice guest/reception chair options in both leather and vinyl that can keep your place looking good, clean and for a good price. Here are some of the best options:
It's nice because it's nice. While that MAY sound redundant, it's true. It has a clean contemporary look, as you can see, and it is relatively comfortable. Not the plush marshmallow, but still sits well. It is upholstered in LeatherPlus, and I'll give you $100.00 if someone calls you out the fact that it isn't solid leather. (It's reconstituted leather, combined with vinyl. See the differences on our Caressoft FAQ).
The Boss B9540 Guest Chair is Old Reliable. Old because the design has been around for a while, and reliable because the design has held up nicely over years of use and implementing. It's just a classic traditional style, and maintains all the charactiristcs of a timeless piece of furniture without the antique price. The rivets are a nice copper. What I like most about this chair is the fact that it makes the room its in seem just a little more important...I mean, you have to be important to rock the "old school" furniture right? Classic traditional look with this traditional office vinyl chair.
The Boss B7509 Leather Plus Guest/Reception Chair embodies the general look of a value oriented guest/reception chair. There are no frills or thrills here - just simple, straightforward comfort. It's seat is thick and cushy, the frame is solid metal, and the chair is inexpensive. Combining that with it's LeatherPlus upholstery and it's price point, and really, this is good enough for any of your guests to sit in.
The bottom line is that your bottom line is important too. While these may not be leather office chairs, they feel like leather, and last like vinyl. When you're trying to get the most bang for your buck in that new office or office remodel, these options are a very loud bang.