The average worker will likely spend up to 40 hours a week sitting on their office chair. A large part of our lives might be spent sitting in an uncomfortable seat which doesn’t do any good for our bodies.
Studies have frequently shown that a good office chair can increase productivity and improve the efficiency of its occupant. Bad chairs, more often than not, lead to leg problems, back strain and RSI which can result in more time off and increased costs. So is it time to invest more in office chairs?
A Chair which looks good:
An office will include as many chairs as it has people so the chair must look good. Additionally, people sitting in the chair should look good – relaxed and comfortable. It’s obvious when someone is not comfortable in the chair they’re sat on – whether it be because of the materials used, height of the chair or lack of adequate lumbar support. Leather chairs may be more expensive but they can add a touch of class to a drab office environment.
a chair which is adjustable:
A users’ feet should rest flat on the floor without being uncomfortable so it’s important that the height be adjustable or a foot rest be used. Arm rest heights should also be adjustable to prevent shoulder strain.
The central spine of the chair ideally should be adjustable in addition to the tilt of the seat and the arm rests.
A Chair with Good wheels:
Most office chairs include the standard 5 wheels but this may not be necessary for some environments (carpets, for example). Good rolling wheels will help reduce strain when stretching for out of reach objects.
Take time to inspect the wheels to make sure they will be strong enough to support the user for many years to come. The wheels should freely move in each direction without too much effort.
A CHAIR WITH LUMBAR SUPPORT:
The lower back is very important and the best office chairs feature adjustable lumbar support which can help to prevent back strain. Back strain over a prolonged period of time can become sciatica.
While many office managers may opt for a lower priced chair without lumbar support, it should be seriously considered. Previously such chairs were often prohibitively expensive but as technologies have developed, prices have fallen.
A CHAIR which swivels easily:
In an office where we are constantly reaching for things it is important that chairs swivel freely to make this easier and reduce the likelihood of arm fatigue. Be sure that the locking mechanism is secure and easy to use.
a chair made from quality fabric:
It can get hot in a busy office on a summer’s day so breathable fabric will help prevent the chair from becoming too uncomfortable while a strong cushion to support the user is also necessary.
alternatives & extras:
As well as the typical office chair, you may also come across saddle chairs which can reduce spinal pressure and can encourage better posture. There are also kneeling chairs which also benefit backs but may be a problem for those prone to slouching. Some may even use an exercise ball to work from believing it to be similar to exercising at work as well as good for spinal posture though it is hard to work like this for extended periods.
Standing desks are also an alternative which is growing in popularity these days.
Depending on the user, extras may be necessary to ensure comfort. A headrest can provide better protection for head, neck and shoulders. Arm rests may be necessary if the user is taller or shorter than the chair can accommodate for. Cushions and footrests are also an option if the user is shorter or slimmer than the chair is designed for.
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