When you start looking for a new chair for your office, you are faced with a number of choices to make. From the style of the chair to the way it compliments your office décor to the ergonomic and comfort factors that you require, there are many t
hings to consider as you find the right one for your body type.
One of the biggest factors that people look for in an office chair is the amount of support it gives your back. Back pain is a common ailment of desk job workers because of the lack of cushioning and flexibility that their spine receives throughout the day in conjunction with sitting for long periods of time. If you have pain in your back, hips and lower body, you need lumbar support for your chair. This comes in two different forms: active and passive.
There is one basic difference between active and passive reinforcement when it comes to your sitting posture. With active, you have a standalone approach that can be added or is built separately onto your backrest, for example an air lumbar support is considered to be active. Passive, on the other hand, has this extra reinforcement already built into the frame. While both ultimately have a goal to provide the same benefit, there are a few questions you must answer before determining which option is right for you.
Can you adjust your sitting patterns throughout the day?
Being able to adjust your body throughout the day is one of the most important parts of being ergonomically correct. Your body needs the flexibility to move around and avoid putting long periods of stress in one particular area. Where you sit must adjust to your body type and put you in a position that encourages good posture. This way, your body can be supported throughout the day, and you can maintain a healthier sitting position.
How much time are you sitting each day?
If you sit for long periods at a time, the support you get from your office furniture is crucial. While you sit, you are putting more pressure on your spine. This is especially true when you do not have any cushioning for your lumbar curve. This will catch up with your body quickly and may lead to back problems over time.
Do you have any previous back problems?
If you have pre-existing back conditions from before your desk job, you will need extra assistance to sit comfortably throughout the day. Your spine is already damaged and more sensitive, so this type of care is important to your overall health. This may require a combination of both active and passive care.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to determine whether you need active or passive care.
For the vast majority of people, active care will be the best. This will not only allow you to adjust your body position more throughout the day, but it will also give you extra reinforcement along your lower spine so that when you sit for long periods you will get an added boost that will keep you sitting up straighter and with far better posture.
Passive reinforcement already built-in can also be beneficial for some people. If you have not had any previous back conditions and do not sit for long periods of time, using a chair with passive care can still deliver the ergonomic benefits that your body needs. If you do choose a passive style, make sure that you also find one that is easily adjustable so that you can position it correctly.
The way you sit can have a profound impact on your overall health. Choosing ergonomically friendly office furniture with lumbar support will help you to feel better and work more efficiently.
To view Sitbetter’s large variety of affordable back support cushions please click here!
When a person enters your place of business, one thing they likely notice is how you are sitting. If you are slumped over, you may give the impression of being tired or unapproachable. This can be offsetting to customers and fellow co-workers, and
even worse, it can put a strain on your back that can cause you significant amounts of pain over the long-haul. Now, people are turning to modern chairs for the office to help sit in a more welcoming way while also delivering some much-needed relief to their spine and hips.
Here are a few examples of odd-looking seating solutions that work to help people feel better when they sit.
For some businesses that have designated eating areas or those that serve food, bar stools provide a unique way to ease the strain during breakfast meetings or lunch hour. When a person is eating, they extend their arms and wrists in a way that can put pressure on the wrist and elbows. By adding adjustable bar stools, people are able to adjust their seating to be more ergonomically friendly and encourage them to sit better while they are eating. This also allows people to move more freely while they are eating, which is an important part of helping to reduce strain on the spine from sitting in the same posture for extended periods of time.
This can be one of the most interesting sights in a place of business, but kneeling-down seating options have some of the best effects when used for small periods of time. The simple and highly ergonomically friendly designed kneeling chair is perfect for people who want to change the way they sit. It works by opening up the thigh from the upper part of the body. This in turn helps the back hold onto its natural curvature reducing the temptation to slouch or hunch over. It also helps the person kneeling to sit more actively, which can boost the flow of energy.
Saddle type seating is similar to the kneeling solution. When you sit on this odd-looking saddle stool, your legs are encouraged to open just slightly and your thighs are naturally lowered. This helps your back by putting the spine in a curvature that will eliminate pain-causing pressure and allow you to maintain good posture. The height is adjustable, so it is easy to find the best fit for any body type. The saddle stool is perfect for people who move around frequently from room to room, such as in a doctor or dentist office.
While high-backed leather chairs are not uncommon in a corporate building, ones that are designed ergonomically can turn heads at their unique but sleek shape. For people who suffer from chronic back pain, having a chair that can support the various parts of the back and the natural lumbar curve in the spine can be hugely beneficial—so much so that some insurance companies have actually paid for these types of seating solutions as medically certified necessities. The Verte, for example, works by supporting 11 different spots along the spine with its unique back adjusters that allow individuals to get the specific support they need. The arms and height are also adjustable, making this a fully customizable solution for anyone with chronic pain.
If you are looking for a way to feel better at work, it may be a good idea to try one of these oddly shaped chairs. They not only work as a conversation starter, but they can also help promote better posture. Over time, they will deliver health benefits that will help reduce your pain and make you feel more energized.
For more information on ergonomic chairs and to view SitBetter’s extensive collection of ergonomic chairs, please click here!
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.
Sit stand desks are slowly beginning to make their way into businesses across the world as more people become educated on the benefits of standing at work as opposed to sitting. The first and perhaps most obvious benefit that comes from standing as
opposed to sitting is movement. When you are standing you are able to move about freely and not confined within the constraints of an office chair, allowing you to burn more calories and stretch easier. The second, and perhaps not as obvious but equally as important benefit that is achieved from a sit stand desk is better overall health. Those who sit for 8-10 hours a day are at twice the risk of suffering from health related issues such as back pain, repetitive stress disorder, carpal tunnel, and even more serious ailments such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer. With more businesses making the switch over to sit stand desks, there comes a need to find furniture that will compliment these desks.
Two key pieces of furniture that are recommended to accompany a sit stand desk are drafting chairs and anti-fatigue mats. Most individuals require a break from standing the majority of the day, which is why it is advisable to have a chair to sit in when a seating break is needed. However, not just any regular office chair will do.
Most office chairs are only suitable for desks that are up to 29-30″ tall with their limited range of height adjustment. Chairs that can extend taller than this can cause safety concerns which is why manufacturers try to steer clear of extended height cylinders when manufacturing their office chairs. The problem with this is that sit stand desks are designed to be high enough for individuals to work comfortably while in a standing position, greater than the average 29-30″ high desk. The perfect office chair solution for this is a drafting stool, which is essentially an extended height office chair. These taller office chairs feature a foot ring or some sort of platform for users to comfortably rest their feet on while seated. In the past, they mainly served as a solution for extended height work stations such as in labs, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, drafting tables, and other places that require individuals to work at higher counter tops. They also work well for use at sit stand work stations with their ability to be adjusted to the right height for a taller work station.
Another advisable piece of office furniture to purchase with a sit stand desk is an anti-fatigue mat. With the goal of standing more than sitting throughout the work day at your sit stand station, your employees will need a comfortable surface to stand on in order to avoid fatigue and loss of productivity. Standing in the same spot on a hard surface such as concrete or carpet will create pressure points and will reduce circulation throughout the lower part of the body. Anti-fatigue mats have fatigue fighting properties that allow for a more comfortable standing experience with their thick cushion designed to promote proper circulation. They also are beneficial in that they reduce back pain and stress, reduce slipping and falling injuries, and provide comfort. These mats can be used in conjunction with a drafting stool, however the drafting stool should not be used on top of the anti-fatigue mat. A smaller size anti-fatigue mat such as a 2′ x 3′ mat will suffice and can be easily moved out of the way with its lightweight design when a sitting break is needed.
Anti-fatigue mats and drafting stools paired together make a complete office solution for a sit stand environment. Neglect one piece of the sit stand set up and you may experience the same work aches and pains experienced from staying seated all day. If you combine all three and you will have the ideal ergonomic office set up.
With many struggling to make ends meet and businesses closing on a daily basis, the need for more affordable products is at an all time high. Both home customers and business customers are looking for ways to cut corners to save money at any expen
se, even if it compromises their health and well-being. Many companies have capitalized on this need, selling sub-par products that they are able to sell at a discounted price due to the inexpensive materials used in construction. An office chair is a piece of furniture every home office and business office can not do without and unfortunately, in order to save money many sacrifice their comfort by purchasing cheap office chairs. While you may save money in the short-term, in the long-term your chair is likely to last a year to a year and a half before you will find yourself having to spend the same amount of money again on a brand new chair. It is advisable to look at what features and qualities of an office chair will ensure that it will last for years to come.
The manufacturer’s warranty is the number one indication of how long you can expect your office chair to last. A good office chair should last you up to six years, any warranty that covers the chair for less than six years in length is probably worth passing over. The warranty is a guarantee made by the manufacturer and shows how confident they are in their product. No manufacturer wants to continue to deal with issues customers may experience from a poorly designed office chair, and will only warrant their products for the period of time that most of their previous chairs have lasted. Be certain to read the fine print of warranties prior to purchasing as some manufacturers claim to have a lifetime guarantee but then in the fine print point out that this only covers one part and the rest of the parts are only warranted for a year. This can be deceiving but is a tactic that is often used to make their warranty look more appealing.
In the office furniture industry you truly get what you pay for. If you see an office chair that looks like a deal that is too good to be true, most likely it probably is. Cheap office chairs will lack in adjustability, not allowing the user to fully adjust the chair to meet their body’s needs and will instead lead to unnecessary aches and pains throughout the work day. They will also be constructed of cheaper materials that are likely to break over time which will constantly need to be replaced in order to have a functional office chair. Unfortunately, when one part of an office chair stops functioning correctly or breaks, the whole entire chair is comprised and essentially useless.
Chair Features and Adjustments
There are a few common features that will indicate a cheap office chair. If it is deemed to be upholstered in caressoft or faux leather, this is essentially a plastic mixed with vinyl upholstery, less comfortable and much less softness to the touch than real leather. Another part of the chair to look at is the base. Most cheap office chairs will have a plastic base which is much more likely to crack or break over time than an aluminum or chrome base. It is also crucial to look at the features and adjustments a chair has prior to purchasing. If the chair only allows for seat height adjustment, there is no guarantee that the seat will fit your legs correctly and the back may be set at an awkward position that leads to back pain rather than helping to alleviate back pain.
The next time you or your company is in the market for a new office chair or chairs be certain not to skip on quality to save money, you could compromise your health as well as others. Most spend more time at work than sleeping, it is best to make the investment on creating a comfortable and productive work environment.
To view SitBetter’s extensive selection of office chairs, please click here!