With the increase in back and neck problems being experienced by office workers who spend hours at their desk an ergonomic office, the chair is a valuable piece of office furniture that is designed to help you sit correctly by providing support for the body and by keeping the spine in the correct position. Most people are able to feel the difference between a standard chair and an ergonomic chair as soon as they spend some time working in one. Having a correctly fitted chair can make all the difference to staff productivity and creativity as they provide the correct support to the user, allowing them to focus on the job at hand.
Ergonomic Office Chairs are usually more expensive than their regular counterparts, however, this cost can be explained through additional functionality provided by these types of chairs. As many Ergonomic Chairs also come with long warranties for many of the components the cost can sometimes work out to as little as 50 pence per day or less over the warranty period of the chair; most of us would agree that this is a worthwhile daily cost to keep you or your staff productive for longer whilst also helping maintain a healthy back.
Ergonomic Office Chairs in the UK are governed by the Health & Safety Standard BS EN ISO 9241-5. The standard states that "office chairs should encourage dynamic sitting". While this may be the case another set of standards EN 1335-1 states that "some supposedly Ergonomic Office Chairs designs do not meet the requirement of the standard". In many cases, this is due to manufacturers labeling their chair as "Ergonomic" without referring or conforming to the relevant guidelines. Anyone looking to purchase an Ergonomic Office Chair should always look to the reputable dealer prior to making any purchase. Below are some things to lookout for when thinking about purchasing an Ergonomic Office Chair:
Using a Headrest or Neckrest allows the head or neck to be supported, reducing weight and also allowing the upper spine to align correctly. The Headrest or Neckrest should be both height and depth adjustable so that it can be specifically tailored to your needs.
Backrest Height Adjustment:
The backrest of an Ergonomic Office Chair should be adjustable in height. This function is very important as different people have different spine lengths and the lumbar curve can differ from person to person.
The ability to recline the chair backward while taking a break or performing tasks such as taking a phone call, reading a document or having a meeting etc. will that allow the user the opportunity to lessen the strain on their back and give the upper body the chance to rest.
Height Adjustable Armrests:
Most office chairs come with fixed armrests that cannot be adjusted. For a number of reasons, this is not practical. Armrests on quality office chairs should be adjustable in both height and depth. This will allow any user to adjust the armrests so that they can correctly support the arms. Another reason for having adjustable armrests is so that they can be set so they work well with any desk height.
Seat Height Adjustment:
You should be able to adjust the height of the chair by raising or lowering the gas lift. This function is available on almost all office chairs, not just ergonomic ones. You should adjust the height of the chair so that your hips are higher than your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
Seat Depth Adjustment:
This functionality is usually not available on regular office chairs. Adjusting the Seat Depth will allow you to customize your seat so that it correctly supports your thighs and allows you to comfortably sit back in the chair and correctly utilize the back support. By correctly supporting the thighs you will also prevent pressure being placed on the back of the knees as this can restrict circulation.
Seat Forward Tilt:
Another function not commonly available on regular chairs. This function will allow the pelvis to angle forwards, putting the lumbar section of the spine into its natural position and reducing stress on the lumbar muscles and discs.