Ergonomic Office Chair
Best Ergonomic Office Chair for Work or Home Office
Orthopaedic office chair UK
There is new cancer in town and it is called sitting. Doctors and other health experts now say that sitting or staying sedentary for several hours is killing more people all over the world than cancer. If you are not already getting up from your desk then you should re-think your priorities. According to an article in the Guardian last year, sitting down for too long or lying down for extended periods of time especially during the day is killing people in the UK and the world over. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease is markedly increased if you engage in these bad lifestyle habits. The article goes on to say that the death toll as a result of these is at 70,000 annually at a cost of £700 million to the National Health.
This number is rising. What was even more shocking were the statistics published in the journal of epidemiology and community health which showed that if everyone avoided sitting for too long and all sedentary behaviour was eliminated in the UK, 9% of the cases colon cancer, 8% endometrial cancer as well as 7.5% of lung cancer could be kept at bay. 17% of cases of type 2 diabetes and 5% of heart disease incidences would also be prevented. These numbers are very telling. All it takes to save yourself and the government coffers some money is take a walk or simply get up from your desk a bit more. You need to move more and move more frequently.
I usually say the body knows its limits. Any time you are doing something that has the potential of hurting you your body will give you signals well in advance. A classic example of this is the pain you get in your back when you have been sitting for too long. Unfortunately for most people, the nature of the work they do might force them to always be seated. You sit down to type documents, sit down for lengthy meetings, sit down for lunch, and sit down for everything! If this is your regular day then you must have felt the sharp pain that appears someone in the small of your back. You get sore around your shoulders and the neck can also be sore especially if you do not do anything about the pain when it starts. The main problem is the long hours of sitting but you are also likely exacerbating it by using the wrong kind of chair. Already we are not designed to sit all day. Our bodies do so much better when we move around and that is why people who exercise have great, chiseled bodies. An orthopedic chair can help mitigate the suffering caused by your sedentary behavior whether by design or not. Orthopedic chairs fall under a category called ergonomic chairs.
Ergonomic chair design
The word ergonomics refers to the scientific study of the workplace and the people in it. Factors such as comfort, productivity, efficiency, health, and the general work environment come into play when talking ergonomics. To this end, experts came up with an ergonomic chair design. So what exactly is an ergonomic chair? You see I began by explaining the dangers of the current lifestyle people live especially at the workplace. Ergonomic chairs have been one of the answers to the question; how do we reduce the pain, discomfort, and diseases brought about by sitting down too long? An ergonomic chair is designed and manufactured with ergonomic design best practices in mind and can suit different people sitting differently at different times. Sounds like the iron man of chairs, right? They actually kind of are. Any good ergonomic chair has been designed by not only designers but also engineers. Its specifications are the result of a lot of work and research.
From my off the cuff definition you can obviously tell that the crux of a good ergonomic chair lies in its ability to adjust. Adjustability here does not refer only to a situation where several people have to share the same seat (although this too is important). It refers also to the scenario where one person uses the chair. Most of us do not notice this but as the hours go by during the day we shift in our seats, changing posture so many times. For most people the mornings begin with a bone straight back and square shoulders. Sometime towards mid-morning the shoulders might drop a bit. By afternoon the back slack and by evening we are sinking into the back hoping for some comfort. Your ergonomic chair must be able to support you properly through all these phases of your day. When buying an ergonomic chair there are five main things you must think about:
1. Your backrest (including lumbar support)
2. The armrest
3. The actual seat
4. The base of your chair
5. Neck support
Technology is always on a roll and as soon as an idea is actualized someone is busy making it better, more efficient or more creative. Ergonomic chairs have also evolved. Let us look at ball chairs and yes, I know how that sounds.
How Ergonomic are Ball Chairs?
Ball chairs struck me as a rather farfetched choice when I first heard of them. Look, who wants to play a game of balance with a round seat at their desk? This is what most people think when they try to conceptualize a ball chair. I have since changed my mind though. As extreme as they sound they are actually quite good. Those muscle aches you have been feeling (in places you never knew had muscle in your body) might just go away when you start using ball chairs.
The big question, however, is: is this an ergonomic chair at all? A teenager once asked me where the backrest and lumbar support were. I could not, then, come up with an answer. The ergonomy of a ball chair, I find, is much different than that of regular ergonomic chairs. You actually have to put in some work to get rid of the aches, pains, and soreness. Sitting upright all day may seem like a normal thing to do day in and out but the truth is that this puts quite a bit of strain on your shoulders, back, and neck. Scientists and ergonomics experts now say that you should throw out your sophisticated swivel chair and trade it in for a ball chair.
The ball chair works by making your body do the work. I remember speaking to my doctor once and he said the body is a machine. All the parts move to get something done. If you know what you should move when you will never again set foot in a gym. I agree with him and it seems so do ball chair designers and engineers. When sitting on a ball chair your core muscles immediately kick in to keep your back straight and your lumbar aligned. Do this for a while and it becomes commonplace for you. Your core muscles are strengthened and you get used to the upright posture without depending on a backrest. Interesting isn’t it? It is such a simple item but the effect it has on your body is huge. Ball chairs are also fun. When you feel bored or need to brainstorm with colleagues the little bounce can get your creative juices flowing. Whoever thought balls for chairs would be an actual thing. It goes without saying that the ball chairs are based on the exercise ball you would find at a gym.
To answer the question about how ergonomic these chairs are one would be absolutely right if they said no. Ball chairs do not exactly measure up against our ergonomic checklist. Perhaps the best way to think about it is that they are ergonomic in a different way. I would say do not throw out your ergonomic seat just yet. You can have the ball chair near you in the office to use on and off during the day. As much as your core needs strengthening, you mustn’t forget about lumbar support, neck support and all the benefits that a proper ergonomic chair brings to the table. ergonomic chair design ideas vary so they cannot truly be a one fits all type of situation.
Creating a comfortable workspace
Comfortable workspace is vital if you expect any kind of productivity at your workplace. Ergonomics experts created a niche for themselves by recognizing a problem that was affecting people all over the world and finding a solution for it. The workplace consumes most of your hours every day and this is true even if you work from a home office. It then only makes perfect sense that your environment at your workplace should be very comfortable. In ergonomics, experts go into a work environment, observe problems (sometimes some are unknown even to you) and work with design experts to find lasting solutions. It is the simplest things that improve the workspace environment. A study actually found out that when employees felt more appreciated, more comfortable and showed more effectiveness at work when their seats were switched to more comfortable, more ergonomic ones. Even the mood at the office changed entirely.
An example is when your workspace has a lot of light. Light means you are getting a lot of sunshine into the room. Vitamin D from the sun has been proven to improve mood. This simple adjustment for your workspace can ensure employees are always in a great mood and ready to work for results. Ensuring that the working area is clutter-free also helps to reduce distraction and makes a room airy and pleasant to be in. Ergonomic chairs also play an important role in making the work environment comfortable. You do not want your staff to start complaining about backaches and sore necks. Replace regular seats with ergonomic chairs especially if the work you do requires your employees to remain seated for long hours.
Other things you can do to improve the atmosphere in your office include:
• Providing staff with the option of standing desks
• Using the right colours (science shows that certain colours generally improve mood)
• Maintaining the right temperature in the office. Too hot and you will have sweaty, fussy employees. Too cold and it will be too cold for anyone to focus
• Opting for an open plan office as opposed to a closed-door setup. This boosts interaction between employees and ensures that light and air flows through space naturally. If partitions are needed you can talk to a designer to have them done using glass. Glass allows you to allocate specific spaces to staff without killing the open-plan element completely
• Having plants strategically placed in the working area
Ergonomic office furniture will do wonders for any working environment. Your desk and chair in your office home should be no different. While science has generously offered up a solution for back problems resulting from sitting down too long they cannot solve all the problems. It is still very important for people to seat correctly. Learning to always be aware of how you are sitting will help you to posture yourself right at all times. You can also do the following at a personal level even as you enjoy your ergonomic chair:
1. Do not use a seat that is too high
2. Find a footrest if your chair is too high. This will reduce the chances of you having swollen ankles at the end of the day
3. Ensure that your seat is of the right depth. This is the distance between the front and back edges
4. If you work on a computer make sure the screen is at the right height. When on your seat and you look up your eyes should be at the centre of your screen.
5. Set your armrest right. Armrests take the weight off your shoulder. If they are not set at just the right position the strain on your neck and shoulders is increased.
With all the above tips you should know just what to look out for next time you are buying an ergonomic chair. Coupling a great office chair with a lot of mobility will guarantee you great health in the long run.
Today ergonomic chairs are the top choice for office seating in the UK. From desk chairs to computer chairs and other office chairs, if you want to look after your back, neck, body, and wellbeing ergonomic chairs are the way to go. However, when it comes to buying the best chair for the office or rather the best ergonomic chair for the office -how do we know which ergonomic office chair to choose? Let’s take a look at what an ergonomic chair is and how you go about choosing the best ergonomic chair for the office. Here’s your quick and easy guide to choosing the best ergonomic office chair.
What is an Ergonomic Chair?
As we become more conscious about our wellbeing and more proactive about protecting our health, it makes sense that ergonomic design has become so popular. The ergonomic design makes the customer’s wellbeing and the performance of the product the first priority. As a result, when we buy an ergonomic chair, we are purchasing a chair that we are guaranteed to enjoy using because it is constructed to be ultra-safe, comfortable and fit for purpose. An ergonomic chair is designed to support your body to maintain its natural posture whilst assisting you to correct the results of any poor posture in the past. Thus ergonomic office chairs promote your health and wellbeing by preventing an array of ailments that can result from poor posture such as back pain and a stiff neck which in turn allows you to focus on your work and increase productivity.
How to Choose the Best Ergonomic Chair?
As we all now know, we should not be seated in a single position all day, our body needs to move around during the working day - to remain still has long-term consequences for our health and wellbeing. When we experience niggles and discomfort during the day, they are alerts from our body that our posture isn’t right and that we need to move to correct it. The key element of any ergonomic chair is that it enables you to adapt its proportions to suit you and move around as you choose. Bad posture has a huge effect on our body that goes beyond lower back pain or a stiff neck. For example, poor posture can cause headaches, your respiratory system to work harder, restricted blood flow and reduced energy levels as your body is forced to use extra energy to continue to operate effectively. To keep your body properly aligned and in its natural shape, an ergonomic chair should include the following functions so that you can fully adjust it to suit your posture:
• Adjustable seat height: the height of the seat of the chair should be flexible. In the correct position, your feet should be flat on the floor with your hips slightly higher than your knees.
• Adjustable backrest height: you should be able to adapt the height of the cushioned back of the chair to fully support the shape of your back. • Adjustable backrest angle: the angle of the backrest should also be moveable so that you can position it to support you properly in any position because your body will need to change positions throughout the day.
• Adjustable backrest tension: similarly, at times you may want to lean back in your chair, so your ergonomic chair of choice should have a backrest tension knob to enable you to lean back in your chair with support.
• Lumbar support: the best ergonomic chairs will include the capacity for the lumbar support to be adjusted separately from the general backrest height. Some top designs will even allow you to change the depth or pressure of the lumbar support.
• Adjustable armrests: your arms need adequate assistance too, so any top ergonomic chair will include adjustable armrests. The best ergonomic chairs will offer more than the obligatory armrest height adjustment, top options will also offer adaptable arm widths or the ability to position the arm pads at an angle that assists you when typing.
• Adjustable headrest: a headrest isn’t essential, but if an ergonomic chair does include a headrest it should also be adjustable.
• Adjustable seat depth: ensuring that your blood can flow properly is one of the many benefits that using an ergonomic chair can bring. With an adjustable seat pan depth, you can ensure that there are between one and four inches in between the back of your knees and the seat of your chair so that your blood can move through your body easily and your legs are properly supported. • Swivel base: an important feature to ensure that you can twist and turn safely.
• Robust castor wheels: we’ve all seen the office chairs that end up with broken castors. Make sure that your ergonomic chair will remain safe and efficient long-term with strong castors that will endure the constant pressure that is exerted on them each time you leave and return to the chair.
• Stable wheelbase: because the castors of your office chair do need to withstand constant use, a formation of five castors will provide the strongest and longest-lasting support.
What are the Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs?
With all of these protective features working together, your ergonomic chair will keep your neck and back free from injury, allow the inner workings of your body to function properly and promote your wellbeing as you remain free from pain and discomfort. For example, by maintaining a correct posture throughout the day with robust neck and back support you can avoid the detrimental effects of neck, shoulder and back pain and stiffness. Meanwhile, as you sit in a range of comfortable positions your bones and hips remain free from the complications that can arise from the additional pressure that sitting in uncomfortable positions can cause. As a result, an ergonomic chair has a multitude of long term benefits for your overall health and wellbeing that will enable you to work, sleep and feel better.
Which is the Best Ergonomic Chair for a Bad Back and How Does It Work?
Choosing an office chair that is best for is one of the top reasons that people look for an ergonomic office chair, so how do you choose the best ergonomic chair for a bad back? The secret is in the capacity for the chair to fully support the natural contours of your back even when placed in a reclined position. Look for an ergonomic chair with a sophisticated backrest design that can be angled and adapted to suit the many positions that you will hold throughout the day. In particular, look at the reclining feature of the chair because studies show that sitting in a reclined position of 135 degrees with your feet flat on the floor, exerts less pressure on your back. To support your head and neck in a reclined position, your ergonomic chair should also have a high back and supportive headrest. Finally, look for comfortable lumbar support that can be further adapted to cushion your lower back, particularly when in the reclined position with adjustable firmness and positioning. Many people find that lumbar support cushions that feature a cut-out design are particularly helpful.
Do Ergonomic Chairs Really Work?
Like anything else, when used correctly an ergonomic chair can deliver powerful benefits to your health and wellness. However, it should be used in conjunction with an overall and consistent ergonomic approach to the office environment where for example, your desk and computer heights are also adapted to support your posture, with constant attention paid to your needs that will adapt and change over time. Browse our hand-picked collection of the best ergonomic office chairs to promote your health and wellbeing. From computer chairs to executive chairs and multi-use office seating, we have an enormous range of top ergonomic office chairs for you. The highest quality office chairs in the best designs, at prices that are affordable for you