You may or may not be aware of the serious health implications of prolonged sitting, and why this is a cause for concern for some of us who spends a lot of hours sitting every single day. Sitting down could cause a number of stresses in our body, especially our spine. This has been recently begun to be more recognized by health professionals and is one of the main reason for the sudden popularity for ergonomic chairs.
What does Ergonomic mean?
Ergonomics is a science that is also known as human engineering or biotechnology. The discipline involves looking at how objects can be design and arranged to best compliment easy. An ergonomic chair, is a chair that has been designed to be best support for the human body, including some considerations like posture, comfort, support and health.
Ergonomic chairs are usually designed so that it would increase your productivity due to some of its feature that are adaptable to the user’s need.
What does it means?
Normally chairs are classified as ergonomics when they have an adjustable seat height, seat depth and lumbar support. This means you could adjust the height of the chair so that your legs are perpendicular to the floor and the adjustable seat is so that you are able to sit comfortably. Proper lumbar support will be an ample support for the lower back so that your spine is in just the right position to have a good posture. This adjustability is especially important if you are buying chairs that will be used by different users. If you are buying a chair for your home office, or specifically for only one person, consider using their body dimension.
Even if ergonomic chairs have a number of features design to improve your posture and offer you a correct support, but they only do half of the job. To truly feel the benefits of an ergonomic chair, you need to learn how to sit properly first.
- keep an arm’s length away from your computer screen. Ideally the top of t he monitor should be level with your eyes.
- Sit up straight and avoid slouching. Your neck should be in a relaxed and neutral position
- Keep your arms parallel to the floor
- Sit down with both feet flat on the floor, and avoid crossing your legs. This is to allow correct blood circulation within your legs.
Ergonomic chair features
These are some important adjustable features that is a must have for an ergonomic chair
If your chair will be used on a hard surface, find a chair with soft rubber wheels. If your workplace or home office is carpeted, opt for hard wheels to help you navigate better.
The swivel in an ergonomic chair could help users with their maneuverability, making it easier to reach different points on their desk without having to strain their body excessively.
- Seat tilt
Good ergonomic chair allow the seat to tilt, which allows user to correct the position of the pelvis. Anterior pelvic tilt is a posture problem that affects almost everyone that normally sits for a long time, which is why it’s really important to keep the pelvis in a neutral position when sitting, with 80 degree angles at the hips, knees and ankles.
Headrest is also important because it supports the back of the head and the upper neck, reducing tension in the shoulders and upper torso.
- Seat width and depth
A proper seat depth should leave between 2 and 4 inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees. if the seat is too far forward, it may put undue pressure at the back of the knees.
- Backrest lumbar support
This is the support given to your lower back and is an essential feature of an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs support the natural S shape of the spine, which will prevent slumping and reduce stress on the spine and the pelvis. An adjustable backrest allows users to align the curve in the chair with the curve in their spine for the optimal support.
A good ergonomic chair is made out of comfortable and durable materials. The material should not cause the user’s back to sweat and it should be able to support the body. However, the materials used in the chair will depend on the budget where high-end ergonomic chairs will use leather or velvet.
- Seat Height
The optimal seat height is where you could place your feet flat on the floor, which is why choosing a chair with an adjustable seat height is essential because everyone is different. With most work desks remains at a fixed height, it is important that the seat height can be altered. A seat height that ranges from 16 to 21 inces off the floor should normally work for most people.
Armrest is important because it helps to reduce the tension in the upper body and allow the shoulders to relax. However, armrest should not be used when typing as this reduces overall arm movement, which in turn increases wrist movement leading to strain on the forearm muscles.
- Backrest recline
Adjustable backrest will allow for greater tailored positioning for the user, as they can move the backrest to more specifically support their natural spine position. Using this feature throughout the day will allow the backrest to take some of the weight from your upper body, reducing the pressure on your spinal disks and muscles.
When choosing your ergonomic chair, you should also consider how long you will be sitting on it each and every day, as the longer you are planning on using the chair, the more adjustable options you’ll want to consider.