An average office worker sits for about seven hours a day. If it is the wrong office chair, it will cause serious health problems. Researchers found that sitting at a desk for a long time causes physical and mental stress. As a result, some workplaces started to use standing desks.
However, it may still be challenging to stand for an entire day shift. Sitting or standing in the same position at work exerts pressure on your legs and spine.
To avoid acquiring back problems, look for an ergonomic office chair supporting the lower back and promoting good posture.
Technically, ergonomic chairs have an adjustable seat height, seat depth, and lumbar support. It should be very comfortable and should have flexible features to allow office workers to maintain the right posture while on the job.
Here are the top five benefits of an ergonomic chair:
- It improves posture: Traditional chairs are the reason why people have incorrect posture while sitting. An ergonomic chair corrects this problem. All ergonomic chairs have necessary features, including headrest and backrest, for posture support. You can also adjust the height to have your feet flat on the floor or lay them horizontally.
- It makes working easy: Ergonomic chairs are built with office workers in mind. Whether you are sitting the whole day or you are moving around with your chair, ergonomic chairs do not stop you from being productive. Its swivel feature enables the user to move around swiftly without having to get up from the seat.
- It is comfortable: Adjustability is the main selling point of ergonomic chairs. If you are the type of person who loves sitting with cross legs, then an ergonomic chair is a comfortable option. You can individually adjust all the features to fit your needs until you are entirely comfortable.
- It reduces the risk of neck problems: Neck supports help you avoid developing neck and shoulder stiffness. When left unchecked, this harmless stiffness can lead to further complications such as cervical spondylosis. There is a headrest in ergonomic chairs that supports your head and neck. This feature is perfect for people who spend much time answering the phone during work.
- It reduces the risk of back pain: Ergonomic chairs have backrests that support your spines’ natural curve. Some ergonomic chairs come with a reclining function that allows you to rest to up to 180 degrees.
- Fewer Worker Compensation Claims: Most companies have a budget set aside for their worker’s medical insurance. But because employees are more comfortable and have good posture, they wouldn’t have much to bother about their health. Overall, their stress is lessened, and their health and work outlook has improved.
Now that we know the benefits of an ergonomic chair, let us look at the basic functionality; you should check out before buying one.
How to choose the right ergonomic chair
- Lumbar support. The lumbar spine, at the lower back, has an inward curve. So, sitting for long periods without curve support leads to slouching (which flattens the natural curve) and strains the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar height and depth adjustment to get every user’s proper fit.
- Backrest. The backrest of an ergonomic office chair must measure 12 to 19 inches wide. Sometimes, some backrests are separated from the seat. If so, it should still be adjustable in height and angle. Backrests, like lumbar supports, should also hold up the natural curve of the spine. If the chair’s seat and the backrest are together as one piece, the backrest should be adjustable to forward and backward motions. It should also have locking mechanisms to make it more stable once the user determines the desired angle.
- Armrests. An ergonomic office chair should have armrests that are adjustable both in height and length. Armrests should be on the right height that allows the shoulders to be relaxed. It should also be on the right length (distance from the chair) so that people who frequently use keyboards can adjust them forwards.
- Seat material. A good ergonomic chair should have a well-padded seat and backrests. If possible, opt for the ones made with cloth fabric because of its breathability.
- Swivel. All office chairs, ergonomic or not, should have wheels and can easily rotate so the user won’t need to stand up or overextend their hands while reaching for something.