Benefits of an Ergonomic Chair
Updated: Jun 3, 2019
Facing the Iron Throne
As you wrap up your weekend by watching Game of Thrones on Sunday evening, do you begin to dread spending your week sitting on what feels like an Iron Throne? You’re finding that the more time you spend working, the more places you start feeling pain – your back, legs, derrière. The thought creeps in, maybe it is just part of getting older. Well, that isn’t the case. Many workers’ back pain is caused by the wrong work chair, and it can be prevented.
Working in an office, behind a desk for any significant proportion of time, can take a toll on your body. Not only do most people in industrialized countries sit at work, but they sit for the better part of their whole day – when they eat, when they commute, when they watch tv or hang out with friends. Having an ergonomic chair at work, where most of your sitting time will occur, will keep your body in proper alignment, making you happier and healthier.
When Bad Chairs Happen to Good People
First, we’ll explain a little why a bad chair is so painful. There are detailed reasons why an ill-fitting chair causes so many problems, but to spare you the Latin medical terms, the basics are: the spine not being supported in the right way (especially lack of lumbar support), the head and neck not getting support, and you aren’t sitting on the parts of the tail bone designed to support the body. And these don’t happen one at a time. The wrong chair causes an unhealthy pelvic tilt, which causes you to slouch, shoulder blades sliding forward, and to look at your screen, your neck tilts down and forward. All of those parts are thrown off, causing other parts to compensate, and the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. No wonder you are in pain, right? And that is just one example. Once misalignment begin, and the more time and stress put on those joints and connective tissue, they can become worse and lead to a domino effect. Just like tires on a car being misaligned cause the tires to wear out in the wrong places, affect the steering or other components, and cause fuel inefficiency.
With physical discomfort comes mental discomfort. Anyone can tell you being in physical pain is distracting and keeps your mood low. A sore back or neck affects almost every movement you make, so you are always feeling it. And studies have confirmed that this also takes a toll on workplace productivity.
How Ergonomic Chairs Make You Feel Better
Ergonomic chairs are designed to fit the human body, instead of forcing your body to conform to a chair’s design. Good ergonomic chairs support the natural curve of the spine and reduce stressful forces on the body. By starting at the neck and covering the entire length of the back, they keep your spine aligned and your posture healthy. Lumbar support ensures that key lower back area is not collapsing under the weight of the entire spine, which reduces stress and strain on that area.
These chairs also provide head and neck support, preventing the strain many people feel at work because they are pushing their head forward. Adjustments to the seat – both height and the depth -- keep all your “sit bones” in the right places, which is even more support for your spine and posture.
What are the Benefits?
A well-fitting ergonomic chair has a substantial impact on your physical and mental well-being. By supporting your back from the head down, following the natural curve of the spine, everything is fitting together the way our bodies were designed. Without even trying, you are in a relaxed, neutral posture. And when your spine is properly aligned, the strain on your muscles is gone, removing that nagging back, hip, and neck pain. When you don’t have that physical pain, you of course are in a better mood in general. And specifically, studies have found that having a comfortable chair at work increases job satisfaction. This translates to better work done more efficiently, which also has positive mental effects. And not having that nagging ache or constantly moving around trying to find a comfortable position translates into more focus at work, improving the quality.
Science has identified the exact reasons sitting at work can cause physical discomfort, and it has identified a solution – ergonomic chairs. Experts have spent significant time designing them to work with our body’s design instead of against it. Because they properly support the back and neck, and keep your hips in the right place, your joints and muscles aren’t constantly being stressed like they are with generic office furniture. Feeling better physically improves mood, productivity, and focus. All of this leads to happier, healthier employees and better work for the business.
Have Questions? Give us a call at (208) 297-2347