Ergonomics

Ergonomics and Office Chairs, Explained

Ergonomics and Office Chairs, Explained

If you’ve searched for any kind of office furniture, you’ve probably seen the word “ergonomic chair” at some point. But how much do you know about what this selling point means and how important it really is? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about ergonomics, and how they should influence your office chair decision:

Ergonomics Defined

“Ergonomics” is the study of work. Broadly speaking, this can cover any and everything from what kind of lighting an office space uses, to the ambient noises nearby to, yes, the kind of chair you’re seated in. These may seem like small details, but all of the little factors of your work environment can add up to seriously help (or harm) productivity. Some companies perform ergonomic evaluations of workspaces to ensure their employees have the best possible setting in which to work. If you’re in charge of choosing office chairs for an entire office – or even if you’re simply picking up a new chair for your own desk – you should use ergonomic principles to guide your decision.

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Ergonomics are an important aspect of working comfortably and productively. (Photo via Steelcase)

The value of ergonomic seating

The most straightforward benefit of ergonomic office chairs is comfort and productivity. Ergonomic office chairs work to reduce the amount of stress put on a worker’s body. When physical stress is decreased, distractions from tension are fewer. This allows employees to be more focused, productive and consistent.

However, you’ll also see a benefit when it comes to medical costs in the long run. Employees with ergonomic work environments are less likely to develop posture or tension issues, such as back strains or carpal tunnel. As a result, an individual’s bills will be smaller, and a company’s health costs will be fewer. Not only will you gain a net benefit in productivity, but you’ll also save money down the line.

Not Investing in the Right Ergonomic Furniture Could Cost You

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Consider the kind of support you need for the working environment. (Photo via Herman Miller)

The difference an ergonomic chair makes

Non-ergonomic chairs typically offer little back support, which can cause problems in a number of ways. Without proper support, it’s difficult to maintain good posture for long periods of time. Even those who try to focus on keeping their backs straight while they work can find themselves slumping or slouching as the day goes by.

An ergonomic chair will help prevent this. In addition to back support that makes long-term posture possible, ergonomic chairs also have a range of highly adjustable features to support the body. For example, they have features like arm pivot and height adjustments, back tilt adjustments, lumbar supports, seat and height adjustments, and more. This means they’re great for a full office, since workers of all shapes and sizes can customize the chair to suit their needs.

Who benefits from ergonomics?

Even if you don’t currently experience any work- or posture-related back or neck strain, you can still benefit from having an ergonomic chair. Anyone who works seated at a desk for hours during the day can gain positive results from switching to a more body-friendly chair.

However, people who do experience pain or tension due to their workspace have the most to gain from the change. When you have a chair designed to keep you healthy while you work, you’ll reduce the strain your daily tasks have on your body. This will help you feel better and do a great job at work. A chair may seem like a small step, but the effects of taking better care of your posture at work can be far-reaching.

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5 ergonomic chairs worth considering:

Ready to settle down into a chair designed with productivity in mind? Here are five ergonomic chair options we’d highly recommend:

  1. Herman Miller Embody – This chair is designed to reduce pressure on your body while keeping your posture in check. With armed and armless models, it’s highly customizable to match your needs.
  2. Herman Miller Aeron – The Aeron chair was created with adjustability in mind. Its mesh support system keeps you comfortable all day long.
  3. Steelcase Leap – This is a simple, stylish option for anyone who needs long-term daily seating. It comes in a wide variety of colors so it can match any office’s look.
  4. Haworth Zody Task – The Zody Task chair is highly adjustable. Everything from chair height to pelvic tilt can be customized with this option.
  5. Office Star SPACE AirGrid Task – Perfect for the worker on a budget, the Office Star SPACE AirGrid Task Chair gives you basic ergonomic support without breaking the bank.
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