A study by OSHA (United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration) on ergonomics revealed that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for approximately 34% of all lost workday illnesses and injuries. Furthermore, the study outlined that MSDs are responsible for a third of all costs incurred in meeting worker’s compensation. Is this linked to office chairs?

A close up of a chair

Notably, one of the conditions likely to activate MSDs is unsupported positions or awkward postures that stretch a person’s physical limit. Thus, compressing the nerves or irritating the tendons. Additionally, when maintained for long, positions or static postures can limit blood flow and injure the muscles. In a bid to fend for themselves while at the same time contributing to the economy, office workers spend at least 7 hours seated at their work stations. A bad chair can therefore place them in awkward positions or posture, consequently leading to ergonomic injuries. 

What is an ergonomic office chair?

Ergonomic, also referred to as biotechnology or human engineering, is a science that entails the study of how objects can be best designed to facilitate safe and seamless human interaction. An ergonomic office chair is, therefore, an office chair that has been engineered to best support a person’s body. Its design factors in various attributes including posture, support, health, and comfort. 

What makes a good ergonomic office chair?

There are many types of ergonomic office chairs in the market. Notably, some key pointers that will help you identify a chair that will best serve your office needs include:

  1. Adjustable seat height: According to lakeland furniture, to enable yourself or staff to place their thighs horizontal to the desk and feet flat on the floor, opt for a chair with an adjustable seat height; ranging between 16 and 21 inches from the floor. 
  2. Seat tilt, width, and depth: To correctly position the pelvis, a tilting seat allows one to place it in a neutral position while sitting. On the other hand, proper width and depth, promote user comfortability. A depth of between 2 and 4 inches between the seat and the back of the knee prevents the latter from experiencing any undue pressure. 
  3. Lumbar support and backrest: An ergonomic chair should support the spine’s natural ‘S’ shape, thus preventing slumping that reduces stress on the pelvis and the spine. A seat with an adjustable backrest allows one to align the curve of his or her spine with the chair’s curve. 

Other factors to consider while choosing a good ergonomic office chair include armrests, swivel, headrest, material, and wheels. 

Ergonomic office chairs and efficiency

According to statistics, 74% of workers regularly encounter pain at their office desks. An experience that results in not only decreased productivity from distraction but also health issues. Ergonomic office chairs are engineered to prevent users from experiencing any discomfort while sitting. Consequently, by reducing stress on the body that results in distraction, the chairs make it easier for office workers to stay focused on their assignments. A focused employee is a more efficient and productive employee. To ensure that your staff maximally benefit from the investment, they should learn how to sit properly.

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