People spend huge chunks of their day at desks. In the digital era, a typical office setting is almost unavoidable. Even creative jobs like photography, modelling, and music direction require hours of work hunched over a tiny computer. If you don’t want to end up hunchbacked, invest in an ergonomic chair.
There’s no point telling you the benefits it has for your body, but if you already are on the hunt, here are a few considerations:
If you’re buying new chairs for the office, the easiest thing is to go out and buy the most average-sized chair so that everyone is almost comfortable. But this ‘almost’ can be the difference between employees who do their work and those who feel healthy and energised and exceed expectations. Ergonomic models are designed to fit individual bodies and support them uniquely. You cannot expect a one-size-fits-all solution.
The Invention of the Ergonomic Chair
Like other comfort items today, the ergonomic chair evolved into what it is today. Its creation goes back to 1900 BC Egypt. But it can arguably be the 1840s when Charles Darwin created a chair with armrests and wheels. Although it was a long time ago, the ease of manoeuvring is often beyond the office chairs that many people invest in.
When the corporate world began to take shape, chairs became a symbol of power: the better your chair, the higher your authority. As entrepreneurship becomes the trend, people recognise the power of deconstructing power hierarchies and respecting team members for what they bring to the table. What better way to do that than give them the most comfortable chair that hugs them in the right places?
Features to Look For
Please make sure you pick out a chair that lets your feet rest comfortably on the floor, but it shouldn’t be so short that your knees are higher than your hips.
Although the chair should provide support from the sides, it shouldn’t be too snug to make you uncomfortable. On the other hand, the bigger is not necessarily, the better. If your chair is too wide, you might want to lean on a side, leaving yourself vulnerable to postures that don’t do you any good.
Flexibility is not always key. Many chairs have armrests stretching out as you lay your arms on them. This might seem comfortable but first, but as time passes, the armrest loses its elasticity and leads to uneven posture.
Whether your chair has mesh metal backing or leather cushioning can influence your sitting position. A mesh backing that’s comfortable but not cosy puts you in a headspace when you’re just vigilant enough to do your best work.
Never forget to test a chair’s mobility while buying it. Try going in all directions and turning around in the chair too. Test it for at least a few minutes and see how it performs under pressure. A good ergonomic chair retains mobility with little maintenance.
It might not be the best use of your resources, but consider letting each employee pick out their chair. This will improve their sense of belonging to the company, and since ergonomic furniture must be adapted to each individual, you ensure that your furniture is suited to your employees. This also means your office space will always have a unique blend of furniture rather than a boring uniform surrounding.