You probably may or may not know the severe health implications of sitting for prolonged periods and why this is a major cause for concern for each of us who spend over 30 hours every week sitting at our work desks.
Sitting causes a myriad range of stresses in the human body, especially the spine, and this phenomenon has only recently begun to be more recognized by health professionals, paving the way for ergonomic chairs.
What does “Ergonomic” Means?
Ergonomics is essentially a science, which is also known as human engineering or, alternatively, biotechnology. The discipline primarily involves seeking ways to how objects can be efficiently designed or arranged to optimally complement safe and easy human interaction.
Ergonomic chairs are chairs that have been designed to optimally support the human body, including major considerations such as comfort, posture, support, and overall health.
What Factors Make a Chair Ergonomic?
An excellent ergonomic chair will be highly adjustable, allowing for better control as well as customized settings. Adjustability is particularly important if you are purchasing chairs that will eventually be used by different users.
If you are purchasing a chair for your home office or specifically for a single person, you must consider making use of their bodily dimensions for an optimum fit. For instance, taller individuals will have different needs in comparison with those who are shorter.
Now, let’s look at the features of an ergonomic chair.
The best seat height should permit you to place your feet flatly on the floor, which is why selecting a chair with adjustable seat height is paramount because each individual is unique. Moreover, because most work desks remain at a fixed height, it is essential that the height of the seat can be altered. A seat height that typically ranges anywhere between 16 and 21 inches off the floor works for most individuals.
Seat Width and Depth
The right seat depth should leave around 2-4 inches between the seat’s edge and the back of your knees. If the seat is too far forward, it may lead to undue pressure on the back of the knees.
An adjustable backrest permits greater tailored positioning for the eventual user because they can easily move the backrest to support the natural position of the spine. Making use of this feature throughout the sitting hours permits the backrest to take weight from your upper body, thus reducing pressure on your spinal disks as well as muscles.
When it comes to ergonomic chairs, the swivel assists users with their ability to maneuver, thus making it simpler to reach diverse points of their work desks, without needing to strain too much.
Armrests assist in reducing tension in the upper body and allowing the shoulders to relax. That said, armrests must not be used while typing because this will impede overall arm movement, which, in turn, causes an increase in wrist movement, thus leading to potential strain in the muscles of the forearms.
A good headrest supports the back of the head as well as the upper neck, thereby drastically reducing tension in the upper torso and shoulders.
An excellent ergonomic chair is crafted from comfortable materials. The chosen material must not cause the back to sweat. That said, the materials chosen will eventually depend on the budget. Cutting-edge ergonomic chairs will make use of velvet or leather.
If you need a chair for use on a hard surface, choose a chair with soft rubber wheels. Conversely, if your workplace or home office is carpeted, opting for hard wheels will help in optimum navigation.
The BottomlineWhile choosing an ergonomic office chair, you must consider the duration that you will be sitting in it daily. This is because the longer the duration, the more adjustable options you would want to consider.