One of the most pervasive trends in home and office furniture, ergonomic chairs and office fixtures can go a long way in making your workspace a more comfortable and relaxing environment for all of your employees. But what exactly is ergonomic furniture or, rather, what is it that makes furniture ergonomic? Whether you’re beginning to shop for your office furniture needs or simply have an interest in broadening your knowledge of various furniture types and styles, take a look at some of the basic principles and purposes of ergonomic chairs.
Reduces Back Injuries
One of the primary purposes of ergonomic chairs is to reduce injury. Still, when we think of workplace injuries, our minds tend to turn relatively immediately to labor-driven jobs in which individuals have to operate around heavy machinery or in dangerous environments on a daily basis. While this makes sense, as these sorts of careers do pose a heightened risk for dramatic injury, traditional office jobs can also be the source of painful body problems, particularly those affecting the back. For example, individuals who spend vast amounts of time seated and working on a computer are likely contorting or stressing their back to find the ideal working position. As ergonomics consultant Dan MacLeod has pointed out, ergonomic furniture tends to build around the natural design of the human body to provide support where it is needed most. With this in mind, when you shop for ergonomic furniture for your office, finding chairs that mimic the ‘S’ curve of the human spine may help prevent gradual back injury in your employees.
Increasing Comfort While Seated
As an employer, you want your employees to be as comfortable as possible while they go about their daily work and duties. Ergonomic chairs are a relatively simple way to increase your employees’ comfort in the workplace, but many companies still shy away from ergonomic furniture due to its slightly heightened price point. While it is true that ergonomic furniture tends to cost slightly more than its alternatives, it’s worth noting that the investment being made in these chairs may actually pay itself back and then some over time. According to Haworth, a design company, an increase in productivity by an astounding 17.5 percent was shown by subjects who were provided with ergonomically ideal settings in which to complete their work. While there are other factors to consider here (chiefly: How non-ideal the office setting and furniture were before the introduction of ergonomic chairs and the nature of the work being done), this could mean huge savings for many businesses. Even if the increase in productivity for most businesses averaged out at around 10 percent across the company, that would mean at least a 10 percent increase in bottom line earnings at the end of the year. This sort of potential for success should offset most concerns about the slightly elevated cost of ergonomic furniture.
One of the hallmarks of ergonomic furniture is that it tends to be designed to allow for maximum adjustment and adaptability to different employees. More simply put, any employee in your office should ideally be able to take an ergonomic chair or piece of furniture and adjust it to match his or her body type, potential injury or source of pain and specific work activity or task. With this in mind, be sure to discuss what you intend to use your ergonomic office furniture for with the individual marketing it to you. If you’re slightly unsure of exactly what it is that you need, our space planning service can help you get started on the right track by delivering you personal suggestions of the best furniture.