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Millions of us spend on average six to ten hours a day sat on an office chair, and when there’s files to be filed and deadlines to meet, most spare little thought to the detrimental effect our office chairs can have on our bodies.
Lower back pain and neck pain caused by pressure mounting on the spinal discs are common maladies experienced by the office worker. But hours of sitting down can also increase your risk of dying an early death, as this recent study found. Apparently, spending 11 hours a day sitting can increase your chance of developing a cardiovascular condition by 50%, even if you take regular exercise. Experts who have read the findings of this study go on to recommend that office workings take a break and walk around a bit regularly (every 15 to thirty minutes) in order to counteract the negative effects of sitting down for prolonged periods. But short of setting reminders on your clock and dropping everything you’re doing to walk a lap of your office building every 15 minutes, having an ergonomic chair, measured to fit our body proportions perfectly, is the one of the only ways we can ensure that we do not suffer back pain as a result of our desk job.
Here are some qualities to look out for in a good ergonomic office chair.
Seat Height and Width
The seat height of your office chair should be fully adjustable and positioned so that your feet rest flat on the ground with your thighs resting horizontally. The width of the seat cushion should also allow you to sit with your back resting against the backrest with around four to eight centimetres of space between the backs of your knees and the seat.
Your back is designed to curve through the length of your spine, so a good ergonomic chair will have an adjustable back that shapes to the curves of your lower back perfectly, preventing you from slouching after prolonged periods of sitting down.
Soft, cushioned seat pads are recommended for office chairs rather than hard textured surfaces, this is to ensure comfort for the user.
The armrests of your seat should be adjustable allowing you to sit comfortably with your shoulders in a relaxed position. Your elbows should be able to rest on the armrest; however your lower arms and wrists should not be resting on the arms whilst you are typing.
The chair should be able to turn easily allowing the user to reach areas of their desk without straining themselves by trying to drag the chair along, for example.
So there you have some examples of qualities all good, ergonomic office chairs will have. If you are considering refitting your office, but don’t have the budget to splash out on all, new ergonomic seating, consider hiring your office furniture through our leasing service.
But remember, no matter what type of seating you opt for it is also important to, get up from your chair and walk around walk around at regular intervals as this will encourage stronger posture, relieve eye strain and combat fatigue.
If you have any comments on ergonomic seating options, leave them in comments below. Learn more about office partition specialists Applied Workplace and our services by calling 01202 577776.