Do I need an Ergonomic Chair?

1. Do I need an Ergonomic Chair?

If you have ever worked in an office setting, then you are probably extremely familiar with the feeling after sitting in the same chair for 8 or 9 hours.  First, your lower back begins to tighten-up and cramp Next, your neck and shoulders also begin tightening as the tension spreads throughout your entire back.  By the time your shift is over, practically your entire body is aching.  You come in day-after-day, putting in the same long hours, totally ignoring poor quality office chair you that has become your worst enemy in the office.

Now, of course getting up to stretch is something you should be doing regularly.  If nothing else, it gives you an excuse to take a few extra breaks over the course of the day.  However, an ergonomic chair, coupled with proper exercise of course, would go a long way towards alleviating chronic back issues related to work.  Heck, the right chair may even help you leave work with a positive attitude for once.

2. What Exactly Is An Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic is a word that gets used an awful lot.  Simply put, it is an office chair that is going to support the user’s musculoskeletal system.  Not only is it going to reduce the overall stress on the user’s joints and muscles, but it will help prevent repetitive stress injuries by making movement easier.  Buying the right ergonomic chair is really a simple decision, as it will not only increase your productivity, but not having to deal with constant pain and physical stress will also reduce your overall mental stress.

3. Components of an Ergonomic Chair

Unlike a normal chair, the ergonomic variety is built using various parts and specific structures to help reduce stress and discomfort.  People often forget that sitting in a chair is not something that is natural for the body.  The body does best when operating from the standing position, or when lying completely flat.  A quality ergonomic chair will work to reduce the physical stress and pressure that sitting places on specific joints and muscle groups.  Each chair includes a specific emphasis on certain design elements.

The Seat:  The best quality chairs have seats that mold to fit the natural contours of the users body.  This promotes healthy blood flow.  If you have ever had your legs or posterior fall asleep while sitting in an office chair, you know how important this can be.

Lumbar Support:  Lumbar support is something that many people find confusing.  Simply put, the lower back should be able to move back as much as possible.  This permits the upper back to straighten as much as possible.  Active support means that the portion of the chair is user adjustable, while passive means that the lumbar support portion of the unit is fixed in place.

Seat Height Adjustment:  It is important that when sitting in a chair the feet are allowed to touch the ground.  It is also important that the knees are not forced into an overly bent position.  The seat height adjustment makes sure both of these are possible by allowing the seat to move up and down.

Seat Slider: This portion of the chair controls the angle of the seat portion.  This is more of a personal preference then an optimization aspect.

Armrests:  When the arms are not allowed to rest at a 90 degree angle it begins to put unnecessary stress on the shoulders, elbows, and hands.   A quality armrest provides the proper amount of support.  When the armrests are adjustable, it takes the needs of the user into account and allows for personalization.

Many workers and office managers think that every chair is the same.  This is a huge mistake.  There are a variety of different ergonomic chairs available, with a large number of different options and features.  Knowing which one is right for you is the difference between another day of pain and having a smile on your face when you leave the office

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