Ergonomic Chairs FAQs
Ergonomic Chairs FAQ's
Why to buy an ergonomic chair?
There are 2 reasons a good ergonomic chair is an important investment.
- First, for your health. Many of us spend many hours a day, week after week, year after year sitting in these chairs. It's not hard to see that a chair that can be adjusted to fit and support can help with back and neck health, circulation, and shoulders.
- The second reason is productivity. What is the cost of an employee? Or what is your time worth if you are self employed? Consider salary, benefits, training, office space, equipment and of course furniture. A good chair is only a tiny part of that equation and yet what happens if the chair is not supportive and comfortable? Sore backs leading to extra time looking for a reason for a break (coffee break, chat with a neighbour etc) or just distracted due to discomfort. Long term we could be looking at absenteeism due to back or other health issues. All this leads to a reduced return on your investment in that employee.
- Employee satisfaction. Are you looking for employees to stay late once in a while? Is that as likely to happen if their chair is not comfortable?
How to choose an ergonomic chair?
- An ergonomic chair should fit and support the person using it.
- Seat height should be adjustable so that the thighs are roughly parallel to the floor and the feet are on the floor.
- The seat pan depth should be such that 3 or 4 fingers can pass between the front edge of the seat and the lower leg.
- Arm height should be such that the forearm can easily reach them but not be in the way when using a keyboard or mouse.
- The lumbar support should be fitted to match the natural lumbar curve in the users back.
- The chair should be adjustable so that it moves naturally with the user.
- That means casters appropriate for the floor surface and tilt tension adjusted to the users size.
- Find a chair that does all this for you and you have found a great investment.
How to sit in an ergonomic chair?
The first thing to do is to learn how all the controls and adjustments on your chair work. A surprising number of people have been provided with very good, highly adjustable ergonomic chairs and yet just use them as is. Never adjusting them.
Take 10 or 15 minutes. Review the instructions on how your chair works. Play with all the controls. Understand how they all work. Then adjust it per "how to adjust an ergonomic chair ".
Finally, sit back in the chair. Not perched on the front edge, hunched over a keyboard. Find a way to bring the keyboard tray and mouse to you (think keyboard tray or height adjustable surface).
There is no point in having a chair with great lumbar/back support if you are leaning forward.
How to Adjust An Ergonomic Chair:
- Stand in front of the chair.
- Adjust the height so the highest point of the seat is just below the knee cap.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, when you sit. This allows you to place your feet on the floor insuring good circulation in the legs.
- Use a footrest if the feet cannot rest flat on the floor or if there is pressure underneath the thighs. The footrest should be adjustable and support the whole foot.
- Sit so that the clearance between the front edge of the seat and the upper part of the legs behind the knee, is at least one finger width.
- Adjust the back height to provide support to the lumbar or lower back area. This will help you to maintain correct posture and reduce back pain.
- Adjust the seat angle by unlocking the mechanism to tilt the seat forward or rearward when working for extended periods of time. This minimizes pressure on the underside of the thighs and reduces tension on back muscles.
- Adjust the back angle to provide firm support and help reduce back fatigue.
- Adjust the optional armrest height to your comfort.
- If using a fixed height work surface, raise the chair to obtain the proper arm and upper body position.
- Adjust chair height so elbows are about the same height as the work surface.