If you’re like most workers, you spend eight or more hours a day with your rear firmly planted at a desk or a computer. In fact, you’re probably sitting right now. Ever thought of the impact that sitting all day has on your health?

Chairs To Your Health!
It may surprise you to learn that too much sitting actually causes fatigue. Sitting requires you to use muscles to support your torso, back, neck and shoulders to keep our body in an upright position.

The common long-term side effects of sitting include
back pain
varicose veins
neck stiffness
leg numbness
headaches

Sitting Is In!
Unfortunately, health problems associated with sitting are likely to worsen. With the increasing number of knowledge workers, coupled with the growing number of people working with computers, more and more people will be affected by the negative side effects of sitting.

Sitting correctly in the proper chair can make a world of difference to your body. The chair should allow you to:
sit in a higher-than-normal position so you can look down on your work
tilt your seat forward so your feet are flat on the ground
adjust arm-rest height for maximum comfort during various tasks
keep your lower lumbar area in contact with the chair back
remain seated and roll your chair easily on carpet or hard floor

Sitting Pretty
Traditionally, seats have been designed to fit the average person. The first rule of ergonomics is that there is no such thing as average. Differences in gender, age and body type make choosing chairs for a variety of people a more challenging task.

Furniture designers have responded to the need for health-conscious seating choices with numerous options in ergonomic seating. Today, chairs are custom fit to specific body types. Herman Miller, Inc., a leading provider of office furniture, recognizes that, "Traditional work chairs are often not suited to a worker's individual physique and variety of responsibilities. Chairs designed to support one posture for one task are not adequate. People need a chair that supports them in all postures as they move from intense work to formal meetings to relaxed conversations."

What should you look for in an ergonomic chair?

Chair Checklist
The primary question you should ask yourself when choosing your next office chair is "Do I feel comfortable sitting in this chair?"

You should consider the following features:
stable back rest that is shaped to support the lower back
five legs to provide a stable base
adjustable arm rests
wheel-locking mechanism
adjustable seat height
flexibility to allow frequent body adjustments

Remember! Even adjustable chairs don’t suit all body types. Special needs chairs are available for people extremely tall, short or overweight. If you would like more information on ergonomic seating, read what these leading ergonomic experts have to say:

Herman Miller, Inc. is a leading multinational provider of office, healthcare and residential furniture and furniture management services.
ErgoWeb – ErgoWeb Inc. is a full-service occupational ergonomics company that provides professional consultation and training and valuable, credible information to a world-wide audience.
Cornell University's Human Factors and Ergonomics Group – Cornell University's Ergonomics Group researches ways to improve usability, comfort, performance and health, through the ergonomic design of hardware, software and workplaces.

Images in the article above are courtesy of Herman Miller Inc., Herman Miller.



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Herman Miller, Inc.
ErgoWeb
Cornell University's Human Factors and Ergonomics Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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