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.
If you want to make your home office comfortable, you might want to read our guide on making your home workspace more ergonomic.
Benefits of an Ergonomic Chair
1. 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 a headrest and backrest, for posture support. You can also adjust the height to have your feet flat on the floor or lay them horizontally.
2. Makes Working Easy
Ergonomic chairs are built with office workers in mind. Whether sitting the whole day or 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 getting up from the seat.
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.
4. Reduces the Risk of Neck Problems
The neck supports help you avoid developing neck and shoulder stiffness. This harmless stiffness can lead to further complications such as cervical spondylosis when left unchecked. There is a headrest in ergonomic chairs that supports your head and neck. This feature is perfect for people who spend a lot of time answering the phone during work.
5. Reduces the Risk of Back Pain
Accounting, programming, and other jobs requiring computer use for most of the day have been the major cause of chronic back pain and cases of repetitive strain injury in back muscles. It is caused because the spine is curved inward, and sitting straight on a hard chair bends it abnormally.
Thankfully, ergonomic chairs are specially made to blend exactly the way our spine curves, giving us a comfortable sitting position. This way, we can stay in that sitting position for a prolonged period without facing serious consequences.
6. Fits Pretty Much All Sizes
No two human bodies are the same. Everyone is unique, and makers of these ergonomic chairs know that. That is why normally, an ergonomic chair has practically endless possibilities of adjustments to fit your spine’s natural arch, body size, and torso length. You can adjust anything from the armrest to the lumbar support to best fit your needs. It gives you various options for different works, even depending on whether you are looking up to a higher placed monitor or at the notes on your table.
7. 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 it out before buying one.
How to Choose the Right Ergonomic Chair
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 fit every user properly.
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.
An ergonomic office chair should have adjustable armrests both in height and length. Armrests should be at the right height to relax the shoulders. It should also be on the right length (distance from the chair) so that people who frequently use keyboards can adjust them forwards.
Good ergonomics have always been about how comfortable and natural the chair feels. Work chairs come in a variety of paddings from mesh to memory form, depending on how expensive it is, but there is always a sweet spot. People who work jobs that they like tend to sit for as long as 8 hours at a time because it is easy to lose track of time while working on something you love.
Sadly, your body still takes a hit for staying in the same position for hours. So, it is important to have comfortable padding and a very sturdy chair material. If you are looking for the best bang for the buck while still being in the more premium feeling area, it is a good idea to go with leather-coated cushion chairs. But if you are looking for a top-of-the-line chair with no compromises, it will cost you a little more, but memory foam is the way to go.
Work chairs, ergonomic or not, have some swivel to them as it increases productivity and help the user turn around in a congested environment without the chair coming in the way. But the story doesn’t end here.
A good chair does not have kinks, rough rotation, or wear and tear just after a few months of use because it has high-quality bearings with minimal friction to maximize linear rotation, smooth rotation, and the least amount of wear and tear after constant use. Therefore, make sure to check the rotation of the chair before you buy it, as it might just skyrocket your productivity.
Ergonomic chairs are always a good idea for people who need to sit for hours at a time. Ergonomic chairs are more than just comfortable; they are also made with care, making them, most often than not, stylish to appeal to all demographics. Apart from getting an ergonomic chair, you can also go one step ahead and buy yourself an ergonomic desk for your home office.