Have you ever wondered why is the hype created for an ergonomic chair? Or do you know what the ergonomic chair is? What is the significance of an ergonomic chair in people’s lives who sit long hours for work? What makes an ergonomic chair? What are the features of the ergonomic chair?
To understand this all, we need to understand what is the ergonomic chair. By definition, an ergonomic chair means a chair built especially to give the best support human body’s posture and comfort.
We live in a world where we spend maximum time sitting on a chair. It involves spending long hours in the office. This prolonged period of sitting can cause stress on the spine resulting in back pain, poor posture, and other health issues. Therefore, a special chair is designed to meet the needs of prolonged sitting to avoid developing these conditions and promotes good posture. This chair is called an ergonomic chair.
What Makes the Ergonomic Chair?
There are different kinds of office chairs, but not all of them are ergonomic chairs. A chair is called an ergonomic chair when it suits the dimension of its user. An ergonomic chair supports the spine of its user to not only provide him comfort and maintain posture but also avoid health issues. So if you buy one for a home office or multiple people, it is best to consider the worker’s dimension to get maximum benefits from the ergonomic chair.
Features Of Good Ergonomic Chair
There are lots of traditional chairs available in the market. But if you want to buy an ergonomic chair, you need to know the features of a good ergonomic chair. In this article, we have explained in detailed the features of a good ergonomic chair.
- Seat Height
- Seat Depth and Width
- Seat Tilt
- Lumbar Support
- Neck Support/ Headrest
- Quality Castors
- Seat Material
A good ergonomic chair is highly adjustable to meet the requirements and dimensions of its user. Everyone’s height is different; therefore it is crucial to get a chair with adjustable height. As per guidelines, your feet should lie flat on the floor. For most people, a seat height of average 16 to 21 feet is generally suitable.
Seat Depth and Width:
A good ergonomic chair allows its user to sit without any pressure to the back of his knees and provides support through the backrest, buttocks, & thighs. It leaves around 2 to 4 inches between the seat edge and back of your knees. The average seat depth is around 17 to 20 inches.
The forward and backward tilt can be altered. The prolonged sitting with pressure on your knees can affect your blood circulation and cause deep venous thrombosis conditions.
When a person sits for a long time, a condition called anterior pelvic tilt arises. It is due to pressure on the pelvis. And to correct the positioning of the pelvis, an ergonomic chair provides support to keep the pelvis in a normal position.
The lumbar refers to your lower back. This feature should essentially be present in your ergonomic chair. Since prolonged sitting can cause back pain, it is important to have this feature on your ergonomic chair.
An ergonomic chair provides lumbar support by supporting the natural S shape of the spine without restricting the movement. It prevents slouching and stress given to the spine due to long sitting times. It is recommended to change the back setting two to three times a day to avoid giving pressure to your back at one point.
There are three types of lumbar support provided by ergonomic chair:
- Fixed lumbar support
- Adjustable lumbar support
- Dynamic lumbar support
Neck Support/ Head Rest:
A headrest or neck support aid in supporting the back of the head or upper neck. It is not a default feature. But if you suffer from neck pain or stiffness, then you should go for this feature. By supporting your head, it reduces the stress in your upper torso.
An ergonomic chair supports the natural curve of your spine taking some pressure off from your disc and back. This feature adjustment comes with both vertically and forward & backward positions.
Furthermore, the height and width of the backrest should be appropriate to support your back so that it doesn’t restrict your movement. It is usually around 12 to 19 inches wide.
An ergonomic chair has one or two castors to supports your whole body weight when entering or exiting your chair. Cheap quality castors break down easily making your chair useless. Therefore, when you buy an ergonomic chair, it is important to look for the quality of castors.
The seat material of a good ergonomic chair is always good. It is always comfortable and well padded. The fabric used should not only be sweatproof but also enough breathable to not cause sweat. The most preferred material used is Mesh. It is breathable and easy to clean. The other material used is Leather which is also easy to maintain and has high durability but it is expensive.
In terms of shape, a waterfall edge seat helps relieve pressure on the back of the thighs and regulates the blood circulation to your legs.
The armrest of your ergonomic chair provides support to your upper body by taking the weight off your shoulders and thus reducing the tension to your upper body. The armrest is adjustable for both height and width in a good ergonomic chair and can be pivoted inwards and outwards.
That being said, you should not use an armrest while typing or only support your elbows as this increases the tension in your wrists and can cause strain.
Whether it’s a conventional chair or ergonomic chair, a swivel helps in rotating the chair in all directions to reach every area of the desk without straining yourself.
Often overlooked, wheels are an important part of an ergonomic chair. if you use the chair on a hard surface, get the chair with rubber wheels. But if you want to use the chair on the carpet, consider getting the one with hard wheels.
Benefits of Ergonomic Chair
The benefits of the ergonomic chair are not unknown. It provides comfort and support to its users while they work long hours sitting on them. Let us discuss them briefly:
- Posture support
The long hours of sitting on a chair affect your posture badly. You tend to slouch and lean forward in normal conventional chairs. But with an ergonomic chair, your back is fully supported. And it encourages you to sit properly to correct your posture.
- Enhanced productivity
The ergonomic chair provides you ultimate comfort and reduces the pains associated with prolonged sitting. This in turn increases your productivity at work.
- Reduced Pain:
When you sit for a long time on traditional chairs, you may develop back pain due to slouching and neck pain due to leaning forward. But the ergonomic chair provides you support to your back and head & neck, thus reducing pains.
- Reduces Hip Pressure:
By sitting on an ergonomic chair, you provide comfort to your hips. The back tilt tension knob helps to adjust the pressure on your hips.
- Increased Blood Circulation:
Long sitting periods can cause interference in blood circulation to your lower limbs. But with ergonomic chairs, this problem is also solved. It is highly adjustable to your body dimensions to help increase blood circulation.
Who Needs an Ergonomic Chair?
People who are bound to sit for long hours on a chair face so many problems like backache, neck pain, poor posture, or any health issues. An ergonomic chair is best suited for those who sit for more than 30 hours per week. It provides you comfort and supports your body posture to provide you benefits.
So whenever you decide to buy an ergonomic chair, always consider the time you spend on a chair. The more you spend time on a chair, the more features you will need to get benefits from it.