If you work in an office, chances are, you spend most of your day sitting down. This means 40 hours a week or up to 1,900 hours a year. Sitting for hours at a time adds stress to your spine, which can cause back problems or make existing ones worse.
A chair that is too stiff or does not offer a lot of support encourages bad posture, which in turn can strain your back and cause it to hurt later on. Apart from back strain, it can also lead to leg problems and a carpal tunnel, which are not just painful, they are also guaranteed productivity killers.
A good, supportive office chair prevents fatigue and discomfort that sitting in the same chair for hours on end can cause. It also increases productivity, thus maximizing the efficiency of the person sitting on it. When employees are comfortable, they are more productive and contribute to a positive work environment, plus they don’t need to take numerous breaks because they are uncomfortable. This is why when choosing an office chair, office managers and business owners should consider picking one with an ergonomic design.
Choosing the Right Office Chair
When choosing an office chair with an ergonomic design, whether you are buying from a local office furniture store or online. Here are some factors you should consider when buying one:
- The seat height must be easily adjustable, ranging from about 16 to 21 inches off the floor. This height allows users to have their feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk. Adjusted to the right height, it can promote good posture. A chair with a pneumatic adjustment lever is ideal.
- The width and depth of the seat should be enough to support its user comfortably, regardless of their height or weight. The depth from the front to the back of the seat needs to be adequate so users can sit with their backs against the backrest while leaving two to four inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The chair should also have an adjustable forward or backward tilt. Ideally, your chair should be 17 to 20 inches wide.
- Your chair should offer lower back support. The lumbar spine has an inward curve, so when you sit for a long period without adequate lumbar support can lead to slouching, flattening the natural curve and straining the lower spinal structure. A lumbar adjustment, both in height and depth, is a good feature to have in an ergonomic chair to allow users to get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back.
- The backrest should be between 12 to 19 inches wide, and as much as possible, adjustable in height and angle. It must support the natural curve of the spine, particularly the lumbar region. It is also recommended that it is adjustable both in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to prevent it from going too far back once the appropriate angle has been configured by the user.
An ergonomic chair is indeed a good investment as it takes care of your health and improves your overall productivity and work outlook.