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Tag Archives: ergonomics
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
View SitBetter.com's large collection of ergonomic office chairs.
So you are on a quest to find the ultimate ergonomic office chair, one that is going to keep you sitting comfortably throughout the day while keeping those unnecessary aches and pains away. Does such a chair even exist? Your first thought might be to get in your car and drive to the nearest Staples to find your new ergonomic chair, but then you remember that they only carry cheap office chairs that are not designed for all day sitting. Your next thought then may be to visit an online office chair retailer, but you are not sure where to even begin looking with the wide selection of chairs to choose from. If you are looking for the one universal ergonomic office chair that works for everyone, think again, because such a chair does not exist. To find the ultimate ergonomic office chair for yourself, you need to first figure out what is going to work best for your body and your needs rather than purchasing a chair just because everyone else has it or you have heard it is popular.
The first step towards finding your ultimate ergonomic office chair is to figure out the dimensions needed to accommodate your body size. First, determine the seat depth(length of the seat) that will be required for your new chair. This is a crucial step because a chair that is too long will put pressure on the back of your knees and a chair that is too short may not fully support your legs. A good way to determine your ideal seat depth is to turn towards your current office chair; if your current seat depth already works for you then make sure your new chair will have the same seat measurements. If it is too long, look for a chair with a smaller seat depth and vice versa if your chair's seat is too short. If you prefer a softer sit while working look for a chair that offers seat foam upgrades such as a gel seat or triple density foam otherwise some chairs come standard with an extra thick seat.
Next you will need to figure out the seat height range necessary for you to be able to keep your feet flat on the floor while working(or on a foot rest) and work with your height. You will also need to take into consideration the height of your desk to ensure your chair will fit underneath your desk if needed, especially if you would like a chair with armrests. Most standard desks are 29" measured from the floor to the top of the desk, however some have higher workstations or adjustable desks that can be lowered and raised if needed. If you are a shorter individual a standard cylinder that comes with most office chairs may be too tall for you causing your legs to be bent at an awkward angle. The same can be said for taller individuals who need a longer cylinder and higher seat height adjustment range. Certain specialty ergonomic office chairs offer different cylinder size options to accommodate individuals of any height from children 4' tall to adults that are 6'8".
Having the right back height for your office chair can be of particular importance for those who suffer from back pain and even for those who want to avoid back pain. A good way to determine the back height that will be needed for your chair is to look at your current office chair. If you currently suffer from upper back you will want to look for a chair that's back will come up high enough to support your shoulder blades. Have a friend measure your back in its entirety from the top of the seat on your current office chair up to your shoulder blades to calculate how tall you will need your back rest to be. If you experience neck pain look for a chair that comes with an adjustable headrest. Again you will need to measure your back to ensure you do not pick a chair that has a back that is too high or too low, otherwise your headrest may end up turning out to be detrimental rather than helpful. Many people suffer from lower back pain from having a chair that does not have proper lumbar support which is why it is crucial to find a chair that offers built-in lumbar support, adjustable lumbar support, or air lumbar support to prevent lower back pain.
The last factor to consider is how adjustable you will need your ultimate ergonomic chair to be. If you work for more 8 or more hours a day, you will likely need a highly adjustable chair that allows you to recline throughout the day with tilt lock and tilt tension control(allows the user to choose the amount of tension needed to recline back in their chair and to lock their chair in the upright position when typing then unlock when recline is desired). If you are a taller or shorter individual, it may be beneficial to have a seat slider adjustment that allows you to determine make your chair's seat depth either longer or shorter. If most of your day is spent hunched over typing it would be beneficial to have a chair with back and seat angle adjustment to allow you to lean your back rest and seat forward while doing extensive typing. A chair with an adjustable back rest can benefit just about anyone if the chair comes with built-in back support, then the individual using the chair can adjust the back to reach their lumbar region rather than having a chair that pre-determines it for you and risking having it not fit your back properly. The level of adjustability need will vary amongst individuals and will require some thinking to decide which adjustments are absolutely necessary and which you may be able to live without.
A new ergonomic chair does not come at a cheap price, which is why you need to do your research and make sure that you know exactly what you need to keep you sitting comfortably. Make sure to look at the chair's warranty, if the chair is warranted for only a few years this is a good indication of how long the chair will last you. Contrarily, if a chair has a ten year or lifetime guarantee this is a good indication that the chair is built to last and withstand tough working conditions. You may need to put a little extra money than you hoped to get your ultimate ergonomic chair but in the long run it will save you from visits to the chiropractor, money spent on having to replace a bad chair, and aches and pains caused by sitting in a poorly designed chairs.