Everything You Need to Know About Ergonomic Office Chairs
Written by Andrew | Last Updated 2020-09-02
Not only a home designer, Andrew is also the founder of BFA. He always have full enthusiasm for the industry and his job, and he enjoys to share some new ideas to others. His professional advice can help you choose furniture better and home style which fits you.
What is an Ergonomic Office Chair?
An ergonomic office chair is a chair designed to offer maximum support and comfort to the spine, arms, neck, and back. The unique features of these chairs offer the best support to overall posture and are widely recommended by healthcare professionals.
Ergonomics is the science of how human systems interact with things needed in those systems to improve user satisfaction and the overall performance of the system. Put simply, this means that an ergonomic seat is a chair that allows people to sit more efficiently and safely.
Types of Ergonomic Chairs
Currently, there are several models of ergonomic chairs on the market, both for adults and children, ranging from the classic office chair to the gaming chair and ending with active ergonomic chairs such as kneeling seats, gymnastic balls, or stools. These are all ergonomic furniture types that are ideal for dynamic office work.
Advantages of an Ergonomic Office Chair
The advantages of an ergonomic chair are evident the moment you sit in one of them, as the chair will immediately begin to take the pressure off the four areas of the body listed above. Think about the end of a long day at work that required you to sit for hours in a chair in front of a desk; at the end of the day, you will likely find yourself with a bit of a stiff neck and a dull pain in the spine.
With an ergonomic seat, pain caused by poor posture will be a thing of the past. An ergonomic chair also offers long-term benefits, as it helps reduce carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal curvature, and spinal disc injuries. Even if you already suffer from some of these problems, an ergonomic chair can help minimize any future damage to your body. It is never too late to start reaping the benefits of an ergonomic office chair.
Where to Buy Ergonomic Chairs
If you have some free time and you want to take a stroll, you can find specialized ergonomic chair shops in your city or buy an ergonomic chair in an Ikea store. In our opinion, the best choice, considering the most competitive market prices and the wide choice, is undoubtedly buying from an online store such as Amazon or Wayfair.
The Internet is the best way to help us find everything we like. Since e-commerce every year has a strong boom in most countries, many people decide to buy everything they want without having to get up from the sofa at home. Without a doubt, buying in comfort is what we have always dreamed of.
Why Buy an Ergonomic Chair
Believe it or not, sitting is a position that causes tension in the back, especially in the lower part. Having a sedentary lifestyle, as well as spending many hours sitting in the same position, affects the spine in the long term. That is why if you have an office job or where you cannot avoid static positions you should consider purchasing an ergonomic chair.
These sessions will give you lumbar support and promote a proper position on your back, greatly reducing pain and discomfort. A comfortable position in an ergonomic chair reduces pressure in the intervertebral discs, reducing the possibility of spinal injury.
At the company level, the use of ergonomic chairs is positive as it can be considered as a measure to protect the health of their workers, which results in a decrease in sick days and increases their productivity.
Tips for Preventing Back Pain
We currently spend many hours in front of a computer, either because we work from home or in the office, or maybe because we spend whole days playing video games.
In any case, there are some tips or suggestions that you can put into practice to prevent back pain.
The first thing we recommend is to exercise. Being in good physical shape, leaving aside a sedentary lifestyle, will strengthen the bones and muscles of our back. Exercises are also practiced in physiotherapy sessions that attest to how useful they are to improve our resistance.
It is also recommended to lose weight, as this will reduce the impact on the intervertebral discs, which cause cervical and lumbar problems.
Posture is also vital. A correct sitting posture, with the head and shoulders in an upright position, will reduce possible problems with the spine.
Also, keep in mind that the chair provides support to the lumbar vertebra and keeps the back in a slightly arched shape that follows its natural curve.
You should take active breaks at least every hour and a half. When you get up, do a little stretching, walk a little, and sit down again. This will give the spinal cord some rest.
The Ergonomic Design of an Office Chair
Numerous ergonomic studies have been conducted and an ergonomic chair has been shown to increase productivity and maximize the efficiency of the person sitting on it.
A good office chair with support prevents the tiredness and discomfort that can result from sitting in the same chair for hours on end. A bad office chair, on the other hand, can lead to back strain, leg problems, and carpal tunnel problems, which in turn can cause discomfort and absences due to workplace injuries at the expense of productivity. But is an ergonomic chair the best office chair there is?
The purpose of an ergonomic postural chair is to keep the body in a good neutral position. That is to have both feet on the ground, the hips a little above the knees, the spine balanced on the pelvis, the backrest that gives support in the lower back, the armrests that allow the arms to move freely. The ergonomic chairs are designed to be fully adjustable so that they can adapt perfectly to different bodies.
Ideally, an ergonomic office chair is designed so that you can adjust not only the height of the chair, but also the seat angle position and the height of the backrest and be able to slide the seat forward. and back. The more adjustability the chair offers, the more likely you will be able to remain in that neutral position that does not burden your body and does not cause back, neck, and leg discomfort.
Characteristics of Ergonomic Office Chairs
Before you spend your money on an ergonomic chair, you need to know the main characteristics of an ergonomic chair.
The chair tilt mechanism, seat depth adjustments, chair height, adjustable armrests, and lumbar support. These are some functions that allow the chair to be adjusted to suit your needs. But let us discuss them in detail.
By the term adaptable I mean the dimensions and heights that can be changed on the chair. For example, there are models on the market whose armrests can be adjusted, plus the chair can be positioned higher or lower depending on our height. There are even more exclusive models with a reclining backrest.
You should look for an ergonomic office chair that has an integrated reclining function, as a reclining chair will put less pressure on the spine. You will want to make sure you choose a reclining chair that still allows you to comfortably watch your monitor even in an inclined position. Additionally, you will want to make sure that when your ergonomic office chair is tilted, you can still comfortably reach the keyboard without straining your arms.
Height of the Chair
Most ergonomic chairs have an adjustable height. The correct height for an ergonomic chair is the height at which the feet are flat on the floor, the thighs are equal to the ground, and the forearms are level with the surface of the desk. If your chair is too high or too low, you will put pressure on your back and legs and negate the benefit of having an ergonomic office chair.
Some ergonomic office chairs can slide the seat forward or backward, which is ideal for work environments where multiple people use only one chair. Generally, we recommend that you keep three to four fingers between the back of your knees and the seat to ensure proper seat depth.
A chair with adjustable armrests allows you to place them to put your arms in the right position. The appropriate position for the armrests varies according to height and weight, but a general rule is that the shoulders must not be hunched when using the armrests.
Lumbar support is the first feature to look at when buying an ergonomic office chair. Having a chair with excellent lumbar support will save you back pain if you are sitting for long periods of time. An ergonomic chair with an adjustable lumbar system will allow you to sit correctly, eliminating pain and improving concentration and productivity.
Maximum Weight Supported
The more weight the chair supports, the better it fits anyone, but this depends on the type of chair.
The maximum weight supported by a kneeling chair is generally between 90 kg while in the case of standard ergonomic chairs it can be about 110 kg.
The materials used in an ergonomic chair can be very varied. As for the finishes, the chairs can be lined in breathable mesh, fabric, or synthetic leather. The latter is easier to clean. It is also recommended that the chair have a sturdy structure that can last longer over time.
Good wheels are essential in an ergonomic chair. The concept is that there is no need to get up to access nearby drawers or objects because the chair is equipped with wheels that facilitate its mobility. Choosing a model with a 5-leg base would be the best choice because it gives you more stability.
A good density of the padding will ensure greater comfort. This is an especially important factor to keep in mind especially if you will be sitting for many hours. The pillow should not press the back of the knees as it could cause circulation problems in the future.
Hours of Use
This depends on how long you plan to use the chair. If it is for a few hours a week, a simple, inexpensive model will suffice. If, on the other hand, you will spend most of the day sitting at the computer, you should think about an extremely comfortable ergonomic chair, as this will cause less lumbar discomfort.
Investing in a quality chair can be a particularly useful choice for you in the long run, especially to prevent any back pain or discomfort while doing your work. On average, the prices of some of these high-end chairs can vary from $500 to over $1,000. Or, if you are looking for a decent chair at an affordable price, you can find it for less than $100.
Sitting on an Ergonomic Chair
Even today, many ignore the importance of using a chair correctly when working.
For those who work in the office, or at home in front of the computer for many hours, it is especially important to keep in mind some minimum rules of ergonomics. Sitting in front of a PC for many hours can be torture if you maintain an incorrect posture, and even more so, it can cause lumbar and cervical injuries, some even of an irreversible nature, so we take this problem seriously.
Take your time to choose the ergonomic chair that best suits you. Remember that if you work in the office you will be sitting there for most of the day. So, you decide whether it is important to use a quality ergonomic chair.
In any case, we recommend that you follow these tips to work in comfort and above all to avoid serious back problems.
Your head must be leaned back, the chin inwards and the shoulders aligned and relaxed.
Your eyes should be approximately 45/70 cm from the computer screen in a straight line and centered on the top line of the screen.
Your elbows must be at right angles and attached to the body. It is recommended to use a chair with armrests (adjustable if possible).
Your mouse and keyboard should be at the same height as the elbows, the wrists should be slightly bent and the arms, and shoulders should be kept relaxed.
Your back should always remain straight and attached to the back of the seat. It should be accompanied by a chair with adjustable lumbar support for different parts of the body and some flexibility to ensure the correct position.
Your knees must be level with the hips and never lean directly on the seat to avoid circulatory problems.
Finally, your feet should be placed firmly on the ground. If you do not do so, or your legs are very bent, use a footrest, which will provide more stability for the correct back position.
The brands of the best-known manufacturers of ergonomic office chairs are as follows:
Varier, Stokke, HJH Office, Cinius, Herman Miller, Calligaris, SixBros, IntimaTe WM Heart are excellent. Others to consider are Ikea, Due-home, Viva Office, Songmics, CLP, and TecTake.
Do not hesitate and buy your perfect ergonomic office chair for working on the PC, for reading, for playing on the computer, or simply to enjoy what you like, but please be healthy.