Prolonged sitting is among the major health implications of awareness taking over the current workplace these days. People who spend over 30 hours a week sitting at their desks are more prone to experience posture and neck pains in life.
This results in a lot of stress on the human body, especially in the spine. Health professionals have recognised the trend is having a major effect on such areas as heart disease and disability in later life. This research has resulted in a boom of the ergonomic work chair and furniture within office environments.
What is Ergonomic?
Ergonomics is a term for human engineering or biotechnology. It is a discipline studying how objects can be designed to best complement safe human interaction.
In the case of an ergonomic chair, it is a chair designed to support the human body when seated – taking posture, comfort, support and human health as the main considerations when working. The chairs are designed with several features installed to improve posture and support when sitting properly.
This includes keeping arm’s length away from a computer screen that should be eye level, avoiding slouching by sitting up straight and having the neck relaxed and neutral. Added to this, both feet need to be flat on the floor to allow for correct blood circulation.
Depth and Height
An ergonomic chair has the correct depth and width needed for the seat to remain comfortable over long periods. Having a gap between the seat and the back of your knees allows for a more natural seated position providing strength and support for thighs and spine alike.
As people come in all shapes and sizes, all ergonomic chairs come with arm and height adjusters which enable the correct position for anyone to improve their posture and reduce neck pain.
Long Term Importance
The challenge over the years to convince business owners that ergonomics is a prime mover for their business has been tough, but employee wellbeing and physical health has been much tougher.
Musculoskeletal problems such as neck and back pain are the second most significant cause of sick days in the UK at 22.4%. The long term health is a serious consideration also, with links between long-period sitting throughout the day and mortality rates being more common today than years previous. This has led to good ergonomics being at the core of happier, healthier and productive workforces and reduction of sick days.
Given the number of hours employees spend in an office each week, the responsibility of the company is to keep their staff at satisfactory working levels that support their day-to-day activities.