In today’s scenario, most of our jobs and businesses are less labor-intensive and more knowledge-intensive. We live in a world where we are involved in a lot of active sitting. In a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, it was found that an average person spends at least 6 hours/day sitting and an average business person spends around 9.1 hours/day sitting. These numbers are daunting.
Most of us tend to not consider the aspect of good seating practices when performing our daily tasks. We assume that it is not important, but that’s not true. Poor seating practices can have immediate negative impacts on the body. At first it can exert pressure on your spine causing pain in the structures of your backbone. It can lead to lack of good blood flow in your body leading to diseases like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and complications like cervical spondylosis. A study conducted by Rubin DL revealed that approximately 50% to 80% of adults experience at least one episode of back pain during a lifetime and approximately 15% to 20% of adults have back pain during a single year!
But all hope is not lost! Ergonomic chairs have come to solve problems in regards to healthy seating. An ergonomic chair is a chair designed to suit a range of people. It has adjustable parts that enhance maximum comfort during sitting. It aims in giving the correct support of your posture, weight and lumbar while sitting. This support tends to balance your body and protect you from future physical agony that may arise from bad sitting posture.
Here are some of the factors that make a chair ergonomic.
1. Adjustment of seat height:
An ergonomic chair should have an adjustable seat height. It should have features to allow a person to adjust the length of the chair according to his body dimensions. It is recommended to adjust your seat height in order to place your knees above your hips and your legs to comfortably rest on the floor.
2. Adjustment of seat pan:
This adjustment feature allows you to adjust the depth of your seat. It helps in bridging the gap between the edge of your seat and the back of your knee. It allows for both of our legs to settle in a way that that can support blood flow to your legs. It is recommended to have at least half-inch gap between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees.
3. Adjustment of back rest height:
For a chair to be ergonomic, it should have the feature of adjusting the height of the back rest. It allows you to move the back rest in different directions until the desired result is achieved. It helps in relaxing your back and reducing the strain. For maximum comfort, the height of the seat back should not be more than 14 inches - 16 inches. The optimum back angle should be approximately between 95 to 120 degrees.
4. Adjustment of arm support:
The arm support should be at such a height and width that it allows you to type comfortably without any stretching and movement. On an average, the arm chair height should be between 5 to 8 inches and arm width between 2 to 4 inches.
5. Adjustment of head rest:
It is not a default requirement of an ergonomic chair, but if this feature is present than it should have the option to adjust the height. This feature helps in relaxing your neck and prevents it from becoming stiff.
Ergonomic chairs have sundry benefits. They support your posture and reduce neck and shoulder stiffness, remove uneasiness in sitting which in turn puts less pressure on your bones, reduce back pain in the long run and put less pressure on our hips.
In recent times, coworking spaces are helping their members become more aware about a healthy sitting lifestyle and CoKarya has always been a forefront advocate of chair ergonomics to its members.