Office workers spend a lot of time in their chairs. According to one estimate, a 40 hour week can equate to 1,900 hours a year sat at a desk! Many people sit in chairs which are wrong for their size and shape, with seats that are either too large or too small. This can cause a multitude of health problems, including poor posture and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
Fortunately it is now easier than even to find a chair to suit your needs. A supportive chair is essential; these ergonomically designed chairs will ensure that you are sitting in the most comfortable and healthy position, encouraging optimum productivity.
Dangers of using the wrong Chair
Sitting in the wrong chair can cause some surprising side effects, mainly as a result of bad posture. Firstly, it can cause problems with digestion, as organs can be compressed and fail to function at full efficiency. It can also have an impact on mood, with those who sit for longer being more susceptible to depression.
This also encourages lethargy, which hampers the mood. Unsurprisingly, these side effects have real potential to harm your productivity and motivation. It is not just psychological, however. Poor posture as a result of seating can also cause varicose veins and RSI.
What to look for in a good Chair?
So what should you look for in a good chair? A supportive chair should have the following features:
This will ensure that you sit comfortably, reducing pressure on your spine whilst maintaining its natural S-shape. Lumbar support is key to avoiding lower-back pain; an ailment which affects very many office workers.
This will allow you to sit comfortably, whilst also reducing tension in your shoulders and arms. You should be able to rest your arms comfortably on your work surface.
This will ensure that the circulation in your thighs is not restricted. Your feet should be comfortably flat on the floor, or else you could use a foot rest.
A seat which has an adjustable recline will enable you to sit where you can see your work comfortably. It will also reduce pressure on your spine.
Adjustable seat depth
If a seat is too long or deep, you will be inclined to lean forward, encouraging poor posture.
A swivel chair and wheels will enable you to reach for things without straining your back.
Suitable Chair for your Body type
Those who are especially large or petite could benefit from chairs designed specifically for their body type. Chairs for large and tall people offer greater support and wider seats, whilst chairs for petite people are designed to adequately support a smaller body.
And remember! An adjustable seat is a good investment, as it can be tailored to fit whoever is using it. Select a comfortable material, as coarser materials could be uncomfortable in the hot summer weather. Leather is a good choice for executive chairs, as it offers great comfort and is easy to clean.
Patrick Boland is the CEO of H&M Ergo Seating, who supply heavy-duty office seating. Patrick believes that comfortable employees are happier and more productive.