Benefits Of Using Ergonomic Office Chairs

Janine sits at her desk 8 hours a day. She suffered from frequent headaches and lower back pain. But what she did notice was the stiffness in her knees, legs and lower back each time she stood up. She always needed to take a few steps, stretch her back and shake her legs to loosen up before walking around. Getting older is tough, she’d tell herself. She never realized her office chair was a huge culprit in her discomfort.

Sitting at a desk hour after hour stresses and strains our bodies. Inadequate chairs compromise our posture. But ergonomic desk office chairs offer an investment in good health. Here are just a few of the benefits Janine realized with the use of a well-adjusted office chair.

In furthering the evaluation of factors that impact health, other initiatives have also come out of the national concern over wellness. This includes the examination of workplace conditions, both for physical and emotional stressors. In considering the dimensions of wellness, career and physical aspect can greatly overlap, so transitioning to workplaces that are ergonomically effective can not only support the wellness initiative but also provide greater productivity in the office.

Part of this focus on the workplace is the fact that people spend over a third of all their time in the work environment. While the office space may appear to hold lesser features that can negatively impact health, the ability to move freely and support correct posture is integral to long-term musculoskeletal wellness. From this perspective, individuals spend over a third of their time in possible physical stress that can negatively impact health.

The Idea of Movement and Ergonomic Chairs

Ergonomically designed office furniture can cover a scope of factors that impact mobility in the workplace. For many companies, keyboards and workstations are the most common components of the office that follow this concept of working. However, ergonomics directly relates to the efficiency and productivity that can be achieved through movements in the workplace that is more aligned with natural activities. Thus, the layout of an office can be considered ergonomic, just as the furniture and accessories can be considered the same.

Although the manner in which people move through a work setting is vital to enhancing productivity, it should also be remembered that many office employees spend much of their time sitting at a workstation. Keeping the legs perpendicular to the hips and the spine can induce great strain on the lower back, hamstrings, and even shoulders and neck. Further, hunching forward to access a keyboard can generate further physical strain, and over time, this can add up to debilitating aches and pains.

Stress-related absences and chronic back pain are responsible for close to a quarter of all lost time factors. However, companies should also note that these can be avoidable gaps in productivity and that the solutions can also encourage a greater culture of wellness and efficiency in the office.

The use of ergonomic chairs can address lifestyle changes that improve individual health, and in this manner, can also improve workplace productivity. By supporting physical wellness through the access to resources that can benefit structural alignment, companies are also indicating that an investment in human well-being is a part of the corporate reputation.

What Makes an Office Chair Ergonomic?

When companies are considering the benefits of promoting employee health in order to up productivity and lower downtime, it can also be important to understand what aspects of a chair can make it be considered ergonomic.

Structural design – ergonomic office chairs are first based on the principle that supporting natural muscular and postural function also reduced chronic stress disorders. This means that the chair itself will support a healthy posture, while also providing the freedom of movement that further encourages physical health.

Integration to existing furniture – another point that companies should consider is that ergonomic chairs can only function so well as they are able to be integrated with furniture that is already in use. Thus, a chair that can support natural posture may also become an impediment to movement if it is not scalable to work with existing equipment.

Integration to existing furniture – another point that companies should consider is that ergonomic chairs can only function so well as they are able to be integrated with furniture that is already in use. Thus, a chair that can support natural posture may also become an impediment to movement if it is not scalable to work with existing equipment.

Freedom of movement – this can apply to the structure of the chair, such as armrests versus no armrests, but it most often relates back to the ergonomic concept of flow within a workplace. To this end, good ergonomic chairs can allow employees to move about the office space easily, and without the need to strain posture.

The practicality of application – another important part of ergonomic office chairs is that they are able to accommodate a variety of workplace settings. This means that designs which are suitable for the cubicle can also be moved to the boardroom, with the same applicability. Thus, the idea of flow and movement further support a healthy workplace environment.

Small Changes, Big Impacts

One of the most difficult things for many companies to understand the benefits of ergonomic office chairs is how such a seemingly small change can improve individual health and office efficiency. While better postural alignment can immediately impact the causes of musculoskeletal pain, this alignment also influences other systems in the body.

Circulation is improved, resulting in greater vitality and stronger energy throughout the day.

Digestion is aided through better posture, which means that the body is able to more efficiently process nutrients into energy, and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal distress.

Stress levels are lowered since physical discomfort is the second greatest cause of an emotional stress reaction.

The mood is stabilized, both through more even blood sugar levels from proper digestion, but also through the natural release of serotonin in accordance with proper body rhythms.

Poor posture can do more than cause aches and pains, as it can also impact other dimensions of wellness. By supporting employee health with ergonomic office chairs, companies can not only renew their investment in human resources but can also set a benchmark for greater efficiency.

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