Posts Tagged ‘back pain’

What Makes an Office Chair Ergonomic?

There are many brands of ergonomic chairs on the market today, including Allseating, BOSS, ErgoFast, Eurotech, and many others. With so many different choices of ergonomic chairs and stools, many of which you can probably find in an office near you, it’s clear that ergonomics have become a popular trend in office furniture design. But how many people actually know what makes a chair, or any other piece of office furniture, “ergonomic”? Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about this revolution in seating and furniture design, and making the most of your health and workplace experience.

 

Defining Ergonomics

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ergonomics, which is also known as human engineering or biotechnology, is a type of applied science that is centered on the design and arrangement of “things people use” so that those people and things “interact most efficiently and safely.” The term may also be used to describe the characteristics and design of an object as a consequence of the use of ergonomic science. This may all sound complicated, but at the end of the day, ergonomic furniture is designed to keep people comfortable and safe as they work, and most importantly, to help workers avoid stress-related injuries on the job. The following factors affect the ergonomic design of an office chair, which is the most important piece of furniture for a comfortable workplace.

 

Back Support

A regular office chair can easily leave a person with pain in the back, neck, and shoulders after extended use. It really doesn’t take long to feel these effects if you are sitting in a poorly designed office chair day in and day out. With one of the available ergonomically designed products, such as the popular ergoCentric chairs, this is no longer a problem. An ergonomic chair is designed to provide optimal back support, including lumbar support in addition to a classic backrest with just the right amount of padding, to keep the spine in a healthy straight position. This ultimately limits stress, absorbs shocks, and reduces the likelihood of injury.

Eurotech Ergohuman - Mesh Office Chair with Leather Seat and Headrest

Height

The height of a chair may seem inconsequential, but it can make a big difference when it’s wrong. If the height of your chair and/or armrests isn’t right, you will quickly become uncomfortable on the job. Ergonomically designed chairs have adjustable armrests and seats, and sometimes even adjustable backrests, so you can get the perfect match for your height and body type.

Kadet Mid Back Drafting Chair

Overall Size

The overall size of a chair matters in ergonomics as well. The design of an office chair should not only consider the height of various parts, but also the width of the backrest, and the depth and width of the seat. The backrest should be at least 12 inches wide and the seat should be at least 18 inches wide, if not more, to provide adequate support for the worker.

At the end of the day, all these ergonomic factors can help contribute to a happier and healthier workforce, which makes an organization much more productive in the long run.

 

 

Desk Job Dangers – How You Can Be Healthier at Work

Monday mornings for many professionals who sit behind a desk each day at work fill their hearts with dread. This dread does not necessarily come from the disappointment of the weekend being over, but instead, it may come from the uncomfortable day t

hey know they have ahead of them. If this sounds like you, you are far from alone. Desk jobs are some of the most silent torturers on the human body, and yet many people do not realize how dangerous they actually are because they seem so sedentary and safe. However, the long hours of not moving, sitting in unhealthy postures and slaving over a keyboard are some of the worst things that you can do for your body.

If you are ready to take your desk job and recreate it so that you can work with more energy and treat your body better while on the job, here are a few simple updates to make you healthier at work.

Change postures frequently
While you work, make a conscious effort to change your posture frequently. Get up and walk to the next room to ask a question instead of sending an instant message, or take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. The human body was not designed to sit for extended periods of time, so changing your posture on a regular basis will help keep your blood moving and take strain off your joints that can become stiff when sedentary.

Fight the bulge
When you become stressed at work your body craves sugars that can help rejuvenate your energy levels and help you fight against the very thing that is bothering you. In this case, many people reach for the hidden candy bar they keep stashed for emergencies. Instead, cut the sugar spikes and take a walk to a drinking fountain instead. Simple water can rehydrate you, which can calm the body and allow you to take on stress without packing on the pounds.

Reduce stress to your back
One of the top complaints people make about sitting all day is their back pain from office chairs. Sitting in a way that does not support your lumbar curve or provide you with enough movement and flexibility while seated can cause your lower back to take on excess pressure that ultimately builds up over the course of your 9 to 5 workday. Instead, find a chair that can support you and make you feel not only more comfortable but also more aligned so that you can sit with better posture and take the strain off your spine.

Avoid breakouts
Even as an adult you may get frequent breakouts due to stress and leaning your head in your hands while you try to stay awake during the last few hours of your workday. When you do this, it’s important to remember that your hands have dirt and bacteria on them from the keyboard and space around you. As you lean your head into your hands or rub your face and eyes to try to wake up from the fog you are in, you rub these bacteria into the sensitive pores on your face. By sitting up taller and getting more energy, you can avoid this natural tendency and avoid breakouts.

Here at SitBetter.com, we can help you to find the right type of support you need to sit taller, maintain excellent posture throughout the day and alleviate the pain and suffering that come from being behind a desk day in and day out. By buying yourself a new place to sit, you can rejuvenate your body and feel better while being productive at your desk job.

How to Choose the Right Backrest for Your Office Chair

You have come to the realization that it is time to purchase a new office chair, but with the large variety of options available it can become overwhelming to determine which chair will wor

k best for you. Although it may seem like a simple purchase to make, there are many components on an office chair that should be considered prior to purchasing. The four main parts of an office chair are the seat, the armrests, the mechanism, and the backrest. All of these parts combined can lead to a healthy and comfortable sitting experience, but if one is overlooked or ignored it can also lead to pain and discomfort. Perhaps the one part of an office chair that is most often overlooked is the backrest.

A good backrest will provide the support needed to keep you sitting comfortably for extended periods of time. When determining which backrest is best suited for you it is important to keep a few things in mind. The first aspect to consider is if you have any prior medical conditions that affect how you sit throughout the work day. Many workers in the United States have sat in a cheap office chair that does not properly fit them for most of their careers which inadvertently leads to experiencing back pain and aches throughout the work day. Others have suffered from injuries or accidents that also affect their sitting experience. Luckily, with the vast assortment of ergonomic chairs available there are may different models and designs specifically tailored for all different types of injuries and back pains.

Air Lumbar Support

For those that suffer from lower back pain, it is best to find a backrest that is going to provide lumbar support. The most common type of lumbar support found on many different office chair models is a contoured backrest. The back forms an “S” shape which molds to the natural shape of the spine. It is crucial to find a backrest that can be adjusted in height in order to properly position the lumbar support to meet your body’s specific needs. Another unique option that is available for lower back pain sufferers is an inflatable lumbar support, which is a small air pump inserted into the lower part of the backrest that can be inflated or deflated depending on the level of support that is needed. This option is available in high-end ergonomic chairs.

For those that suffer from upper back pain and shoulder pain it is advisable to find a backrest that is going to provide full back support. An office chair that is considered to have a high back will support both the upper back and shoulders. Chairs that are deemed to have a mid back or low back are a good option for those that do not suffer from upper back pain but should be avoided by those that do. Another option for those that need extra neck support and like to lean back in their chairs is a headrest.

Whether you suffer from upper back pain, lower back pain, or no back pain at all, the backrest is one of the most important aspects of any office chair and should be taken into consideration when searching for your next new office chair.
To view SitBetter’s wide selection of ergonomic office chairs please click here!


ergonomic-chairs


How to Avoid Leg Pain at Work

Let’s face the facts, work typically takes up the majority of most people’s days with some of us spending up to 12 hours a day in a seated position. Whether you work 4 hours a day seated or 10, chances are you have experienced some form of discomfort while working. While sometimes it can be expensive to relieve work related injuries pertaining to back pain as most of the time this can only be remedied with the use of an ergonomic office chair, leg discomfort is an easier and less costly problem to fix.

Do you ever feel your legs start to feel uncomfortable while sitting in your office chair? Maybe they start to feel heavy or maybe you begin to experience the irritating feeling of your legs falling asleep. This pain can eventually turn to numbness and move into your thighs creating a distracting and uncomfortable work environment. Luckily most leg related pain experienced on the job can be easily relieved by simply adjusting your current office chair.

Big and Tall Chair

Leg pain can be attributed to a number of different factors related to your office chair, which is why it is important to determine which pertains to your circumstances. The first common culprit may be that your chair is not adjusted at the right height for your legs. This is a common problem that shorter or taller people experience, however it can affect anyone who does not have their chair height adjusted properly. You should be able to keep your feet firmly placed on the ground or on a foot rest, with your knees bent at a 90° angle. If your chair can not be properly adjusted to you, consider looking for a petite office chair if you are shorter or a big and tall office chair if you are taller. These speciality chairs are specifically designed for users that do not fit the typical office chair mold. High quality and more ergonomic manufacturers will offer alternative size gas lifts allowing users who find that a standard gas lift is not advisable for them to obtain the correct seat height setting.

In order to determine the seat height needed for you to sit comfortably without experiencing leg pain you will need to take a few simple measurements. First, measure from the floor to the inside of your knee joint without shoes on. Once you have this measurement, check to see if your chair will adjust a little up or down from this measurement, measuring from the floor to the top of the seat. If your chair is capable of reaching this height, then you should be able to find your ideal setting. If your chair is too short or too tall, you may want to consider purchasing a different office chair that will allow for this height adjustment.

Chair with Seat Slider

After adjusting your seat height, if you still find that the pain persists other culprits could be an inadequate seat depth or poor quality foam on the seat cushion. The depth of the seat is crucial as this determines how much coverage your thighs will receive when sitting. A chair with a seat depth that is too short will not provide the support needed to sit comfortably for hours on end. If a seat depth is too long, it can cut off the circulation to your legs and jut into the back of your knee caps. You also may find yourself scooting forward and sitting in an unnatural position which will lead to back pain. Unfortunately, if your seat depth is not where you need it to be and you do not have a seat slider to pull out your seat if a longer depth is needed, your only option may be to purchase a new office chair. The same can be said for a cheap office chair that’s seat foam has been flattened or deteriorated from use.

ErgoCentric Chairs - 10 Year Warranties

If you find you are in the market for a new chair, make sure to take the proper measurements as aforementioned to ensure that your chair will meet your needs. Most online retailers provide all the information needed to ensure that you choose the correct chair including the chair’s seat depth and seat height range. If you can not locate this information, be sure to ask a customer service representative prior to ordering. When trying to determine the quality of a chair’s seat foam, a good place to start looking is at the manufacturer’s warranty. Most high quality manufacturers will have at least a 5 year warranty on their chair’s seat foam. And above all else, be certain not to sit in a chair that is fixed in height such as a dining room chair or meeting chair as not only will you experience leg pain but you may experience back pain as well.

To view SitBetter.com’s large collection of ergonomic office chairs please click here.

Office Chairs – Is Yours a Distraction?

Sitting in an office chair is a necessary part of most job positions, with some of us spending upwards of 7-9 hours a day seated in one. While sitting down is an unavoidable part of your job (for the most part), the type of chair you are sitting in should not be. With the long hours most of us are required to work everyday seated in front of a computer screen, it is important that the chair we are sitting in does not become a distraction. Do you often find yourself becoming unproductive throughout the work day or easily distracted and are wondering what is the cause of this? You may not have to look any further than down at the chair you are currently sitting on to solve this problem.

When an Office Chair Becomes a Distraction
Workers are expected to remain productive throughout the work day to earn their salary and help grow their company, however sometimes it is the company itself that is preventing employees to exercise their full potential. Curious as to how this is possible? A poorly designed/cheap office chair can dramatically decrease worker productivity in a number of ways. The first and most common reason for workers becoming unproductive is experiencing pain associated with sitting in a bad office chair. An office chair that does not offer support can be the culprit behind a number of work related injuries such as lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, repetitive stress syndrome, carpal tunnel, or even leg pain. When experiencing work-related pain, it is easy to become distracted and more focused on the pain you are experiencing rather than the work you should be concentrating on. Experiencing pain for hours on end can also lead to migraines and headaches that make it near impossible to concentrate on your tasks. A bad office chair can go so far as preventing employees from coming to work and being forced to take sick days if their pain is severe enough.

Limited Adjustability
Another way an office chair can cause distractions is if it has a limited amount of adjustability. If you or your employees will be spending 4 or more hours a day sitting in a chair, it is important to have a chair that will be able to adjust to the user, not the other way around. Sitting for less than 4 hours a day, you could probably get away with minimal adjustments such as seat height adjustment and fixed arms, however long-term sitting requires more advanced adjustments. An ergonomic office chair will come with the adjustments needed to properly fit the chair to the user and the level of support necessary to provide a comfortable all day sitting experience.

A chair that is too large or too small can lead to unnecessary aches and pains that, as aforementioned, can become very distracting to your work. For example, if you are a shorter individual, sitting in a standard size office chair would not be plausible as the larger seat size alone would cut off circulation to your legs. The same goes for taller individuals who would not get the seat support necessary to accommodate their longer legs and the back height to provide support for their entire back. The lack of adjustability will make it difficult to stay in one position or even worse, stay comfortable at all.

Ergonomic Office Chair

How to Avoid a Distracting Office Chair

The best and most efficient way to avoid becoming distracted by your office chair is to simply invest in a good ergonomic office chair. While a good ergonomic chair may set you back at least $300, the benefits you and your employees will receive from it will far outweigh the purchasing cost. Not only will the chair last for many years to come, you will also find work will become more pleasant and increased concentration and focus. Just like cars, not all office chairs are created equal and if you are looking to spend the least amount of money possible you can expect to get what you pay for. So the next time you are wondering why your employees are not as productive as they could be consider taking a look at their office chair.