Webster describes the word “ergonomic” as “an applied science focused on creating and coordinating things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” Essentially, which means that ergonomically developed items are specifically built for comfort and efficiency. Ergonomic seats are no different. They are different from standard office seats as ergonomic seats are built for maximum comfort and production. Regular office chairs might not have some ergonomic functions like armrests, variable height, lower back support, etc. The bottom line is, ergonomic chairs are going to have a higher level of flexibility versus a regular office seat.
Exactly why are ergonomic chairs crucial? Well, when you take a seat and add up the time you could be seated in the seat, it becomes crucial. According to OHSA, the typical office based worker, working a 40 hour week, will spend 25-30 hours in a seated position. Over a 12 month time period, that’s over 1500 hours in a seated position at work. That much time in a seated location puts a considerable amount of stress on the lower back area of your spine.
There are a variety of different ergonomic features that enhance the fit and comfort of a seat. Characteristics like back support, arm rests, seat height, and seat angle interact to support your body. If all those functions and terms have your head spinning, I’d propose that you concentrate on ride height and back support as your primary focus. Having a variable ride height allows you to set the chair height to your personal needs and wants. The height that you select will also affect the angle of your lower back so it’s important to try different heights. Back support plays a important role in your long term comfort. Search for a chair with variable back support, which is also frequently called “lumbar” support in reference to the lumber area of your backbone. You can also make use of the tilt function on your chair to recline yourself slightly, which takes additional pressure off your backbone.
I do know that all these features can be confusing when it actually boils down to making a choice, so it’s worth your time to comprehend what ergonomic features are actually crucial. Your level of comfort and health will play a direct role in your productivity and overall success, so take the time to review your options.