Here’s an old saying most of us are familiar with, “what we don’t know can’t hurt us.” But when it comes to sitting all day, ignorance is far from bliss. The chair you’re sitting in right now might have a detrimental impact on your health and you’re probably not aware of it. Using a poorly designed chair can cause harm to the body over the long term and reduce your productivity.
There have been numerous studies showing how the human body didn’t evolve to sit for 8+ hours a day. They often come with flashy headlines that tell us how sitting is killing us. The reality is that our sedative work lives do have a detrimental effect on our bodies. However, it’s not all that dramatic. There are lots of office chairs designed to better support the body while seated and they often come with a lot of ergonomic adjustments.
So is your chair helping or hurting you? Here are some key questions to ask yourself about your existing office chair:
Does It Have Lumbar Support?
Lumbar support refers to features on the chair that aid in the positioning of your lower back where the lumbosacral discs are located. According to Spine-health, these discs bear three times more load while sitting than standing, which can make poor posture and spinal tissue damage all the more likely. If you’re one of the 80 percent of adults who experienced lower back pain, per data from the National Institutes of Health, your task chair may be to blame.
A chair with lumbar support, like the Herman Miller Aeron chair, has a small hump near the bottom of the chair’s back that aligns with the spine’s natural curve. It also ensures you maintain the proper posture by taking pressure off of the spine. As a result, the muscles do not become tired, and you’re not tempted to slouch.
Does It Have Adjustable Arms?
You’d be hard-pressed to find two people with the exact same arm length in your workplace. Why shouldn’t a chair accommodate these difference? Designers who make task chairs with non-adjustable arms try to create a one-size-fits-all piece of furniture, and there’s simply no place for that in the office.
According to the University of New Hampshire, the arms should rest comfortably on the armrests at a 90-degree angle. To ensure this is possible while maintaining proper posture with the rest of your body, adjustable armrests are necessary.
Even better, though are arm rests that can accommodate for different tasks. Employees are no longer just typing at a computer. Many individuals use mobile devices, which means their postures are different than ever before. Adjustable chairs, like the Steelcase Gesture chair, are ideal for this.
Does It Have a Head Rest?
Every part of our body matters when it comes to posture, from your head to your feet. A headrest can help ensure the shoulders are relaxed, which is vital per posture guidelines from the Mayo Clinic.
Does the Seat Adjust to Support Your Body?
As noted, task chairs are not one-size-fits-all, which means the chair you buy must have adjustable features to fit the curvatures of your body as well as your unique height. Take the Steelcase Leap chair, for example. The chair changes its shape to adjust to your body thanks to features like its LiveBack™ technology.
This is important not only because everyone has a unique body shape but also because employees switch positions throughout the day. Whether you’re talking on the phone, typing on the computer or texting on a smartphone, the chair should support your body to avoid discomfort and long-term damage.
Whatever your office furniture needs are, turn to Office Designs. We have task chairs that meet employee posture and health needs.