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Ergonomic chairs are essential in any office setting to help reduce the risk of developing back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. Even if you have a desk job, you can still feel those long work hours creep up on you, especially when you’re stuck sitting for so many of them. If you work from home or telecommute frequently, investing in an ergonomic chair is even more important, as this is the majority of your day. An ergonomic desk chair will support your back and help prevent long-term damage to your body. There are many things to consider when buying an ergonomic office chair. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most important factors when it comes to choosing an ergonomic office chair with an ideal balance of comfort and support.
The Importance of Ergonomic Chairs in the Workplace
When it comes to office furniture, we often think of desks, chairs, and tables, but we often overlook the most important piece of equipment in the workplace: the chair. A regular chair is meant to give you support, but an ergonomic chair goes above and beyond in order to help reduce the strain you experience throughout the day. Ergonomic chairs are meant for people who work in offices, behind a computer, at a cashier stand, in transportation, construction, healthcare, etc. They are specially designed to fit the user’s body type, so that the weight is evenly distributed and the user is able to sit in one position for an extended period of time without feeling any pain or discomfort. Many people don’t think twice about the importance of having an ergonomic chair. It may seem like a luxury item, but when you consider that sitting in an uncomfortable or poorly-designed chair can cause back pain, carpal tunnel, sciatica, herniated discs, leg swelling, and other health issues, it becomes clear that ergonomic chairs are a necessity.
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) and Office Chairs
When it comes to preventing long-term damage to your body, posture is key. Poor posture, whether due to bad positioning or a poorly designed chair, can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as sprains, strains, and muscle spasms. When sitting, the pressure on your spine and other muscles is increased, which can lead to serious discomfort and pain in the long run. Having to sit in the same position for extended periods of time can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, herniated discs, and other painful conditions. MSDs can occur in any profession and affect people of all ages, although certain people (such as those who are pregnant, overweight, or have bad posture) are at a greater risk. Office workers in particular are at a high risk of developing an MSD, since they spend a lot of time sitting at a desk with little to no movement.
Design Features of Ergonomic Chairs
There are a few key features to look for when shopping for an ergonomic office chair. First and foremost, it should have a good lumbar support. The back of the chair should be contoured to fit the natural curve of your back, so that you’re sitting in a natural position. A well-designed ergonomic chair will have a pneumatic lift, armrests, and a locking knee tilt. The pneumatic lift comes with a cylinder that allows you to easily adjust the height of the chair to your liking. Armrests should be adjustable, so that you can position them in a way that feels most comfortable for you. Locking knee tilt helps reduce the strain on your lower back, as does a reclining backrest. An adjustable backrest allows you to find your most comfortable position when sitting, which can go a long way in preventing long-term damage.
What to Look for When Buying an Ergonomic Chair
The best way to find the best ergonomic office chair for you is to understand the benefits of each design feature and then find a chair that has them all. Once you know what to look for in an ergonomic office chair, shopping for one will be much easier. Below are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for an ergonomic chair. – Full-back support – As we’ve discussed, having good lumbar support is important for good posture, so look for a chair with a full-back design. – Seat depth – Your seat should allow for your thighs to rest at a 90-degree angle. If it doesn’t, you may have a hard time getting comfortable. – Seat width – You should be able to sit with your legs crossed comfortably. Your knees should not be wider than your hips. – Seat height – The ideal seat height is when your knees are slightly higher than your hips. – Seat cushion – Make sure the seat cushion is well-padded, especially where your thighs rest.
The Bottom Line
Ergonomic chairs are an important investment in your health, and investing in a quality chair can prevent long-term damage to your body. Keep in mind that while an ergonomic chair can help prevent MSDs, it can’t treat them. If you experience pain, consult a medical professional. Choosing the right chair can make a huge difference in your comfort and productivity, so be sure to choose a chair that’s designed to keep you comfortable for long periods of time. Follow these tips when shopping for an ergonomic chair, and you can rest assured that you’ll be comfortable as you work. From there, you can tackle any task with ease.