Most offices have seats which employees use while working and same case applies to a home office environment. It is worrying to see most of those shopping for office seats going for that particular variety that seems appealing to their eyes, while overlooking some of the essential inclusions that every office chair should have.
A stylish office chair will definitely be at its best when it comes to improving the aesthetic value of any office but what is most important is how it affects your health in the long run. Opting to have an appealing office as a way of protecting your image or brand is good enough but when it comes to your health; none of these things will matter.
When it comes to the kind of office chair you opt for, I would rather you go for something that first takes care of you before you even consider how appealing it is to those visiting. After all, you will be the person sitting on that chair for as long as you will use it to serve the same people and if you fail to perform, they will definitely go on to seek the same services you offer, from someone else.
It is as simple and plain as that. An ergonomic office chair is what you need to work effectively as well as to protect you from bodily injury. This is a seat that has been designed specially to protect your back and to ensure that you gain the best sitting position every other time you are using it hence, promoting a more relaxed working atmosphere and your health in general.
The best sitting posture while working will be one that maintains the natural curvature of your spine, which is segmented in 3 parts in terms of formation of what are termed as normal/natural curves. These are;
- The inward curve that is close to your neck
- The outward curve located at the middle of your back and
- The inward lumbar curve that lies close to your waist.
Strain on your back is minimized when these 3 curvatures are in their natural resting position and ergonomic chairs aid in the support of natural contours of the spine in addition to provision of the necessary support that your lower back requires. That is why you need to prioritize an ergonomic seat over a normal one when shopping for an office chair.
When you consider an ergonomic chair versus a normal chair, there are several notable distinctions between the two that makes it strikingly different. This has been illustrated in the lists below.
|No.||Ergonomic Chair||Normal Chair|
|1.||Specially designed to support the back.||Have a traditional design that may not necessarily protect you from bodily injury.|
|2.||It is swivel enabled to help you turn within your working area freely.||Does not swivel hence, you will be required to turn your body on various occasions and to some extent this can be injurious.|
|3.||It has wheels to help you move from one position to another.||It is static keeping you in one position all through.|
|4.||It is tilt enabled to give you various sitting postures/angles.||It does not tilt therefore you only assume a particular sitting posture/angle all through.|
|5.||Has a soft and comfortable cushion to sit on.||The sitting area is hard and uncomfortable.|
|6.||Has arm rests on which you rest your arms at an angle of 90 degrees as you type.||No arm rests causing you to type at an inappropriate angle which makes you strain. For those with these, they may not be appropriate for certain users.|
|7.||Has provision to adjust the height depending on the user.||Height is not adjustable forcing you to use it as it is no matter your height.|
From the lists above, more than getting a clear definition of what an ergonomic chair is, you already understand that there is a lot to gain by using one of these and that is why it is the best as far as your health is concerned. It will cost you a little bit more but the gains you stand to reap from it cannot be equated to the cost in any way.
There is of course the other option of an adjustable seat with wheels but there are some features you will not find in such. This may be the lumbar support, appropriate arm rests (though it may have them, they may not necessarily be the best), provision for tilting among other things.
Well, you could say that you are better placed by opting for one of these because they are cheaper and comprise some features present in the ergonomic one and that you will improvise it to include what it lacks. I would say this is very smart. But wait a minute; can you really improvise such a seat to include all that an ergonomic one has?
This is a resounding no. Here is the reason why. Some of the features in an ergonomic chair cannot be improvised or may cause you to damage your seat as you try to fix what is lacking. Take the provision for tilting for example. This feature is hard to fix on such a seat and it is best included at the point of manufacturing rather than on a finished product.
On the other hand, if you choose to remove the arm rests on it to fix what will be comfortable with you, there is no guarantee that new ones will fit on it as the previous ones and their life span on it is unknown as well. Am sure you have heard of the phrase “use the right tool for the right job.” This is exactly where the rubber meets the road because you have no one to blame if your fixtures on a particular seat fail to work/deliver as expected.
Height adjustment for this variety of seats may be okay and to some extent, you might succeed in trying to improvise the lumbar support but the plain truth is that, you will not achieve what an ergonomic chair is capable of. Therefore, as a wrap up on this here’s my suggestion, simply get what you actually need; an ergonomic chair.