The chair is an essential part of any often-overlooked office setup. Considering the many hours you spend sitting, taking this for granted is a mistake.
A wrong chair can expose you to lots of health problems. You may complain of lower back pain, neck pain, difficulty breathing, etc. To make a long story short, the issues will keep piling up until you get one of the best ergonomic chairs.
With a highly functional design, the surprising impact of office chairs on your productivity will be impressive. You will be happier, healthier, and more productive.
The Impact of Prolonged Incorrect Chair Usage on Health
Many individuals remain unaware of the potential harm caused by prolonged sitting on unsuitable chairs, often spending hours and months in office chairs without realising the avoidable health consequences.
Sitting for extended periods on inappropriate chairs can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, which has been associated with a range of health issues. Insufficient physical activity and immobility can lead to weight gain, obesity, and metabolic disorders. Furthermore, prolonged sitting can adversely affect cardiovascular health, elevating the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. Corporate Wellness Magazine highlights the concept of sitting disease, which refers to the negative health effects associated with prolonged sitting, particularly in office environments. The comparison of excessive sitting to smoking emphasises the potential harm caused by prolonged sedentary behavior, even if you have an ergonomic chair.
Among the primary concerns related to using the wrong chair is the negative impact on posture. Chairs lacking proper ergonomic support can result in unnatural spinal alignment, leading to neck, shoulder, and back strain. Over time, this can result in chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and even spinal misalignments. Moreover, incorrect posture can hinder circulation, impeding blood flow to vital organs and extremities.
Using an ergonomic chair promotes healthy movement and natural alignment, reduces discomfort, and minimises strain on the body. This enhanced comfort and support lead to increased productivity and focus, ultimately improving overall work performance.
Let’s discover how impactful a quality chair can be to your productivity!
Importance of a Good Office Chair for Your Health and Productivity
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when you invest in a good-quality office chair. Here is how it will positively impact your health and productivity at work:
Having an office chair you find comfortable sitting in for long periods would be best. Comfort helps unleash productivity because you will be more focused on the job than complaining about a crippling backache, neck pain, or stiff muscles. Also, you are less likely to complain about fatigue or get easily irritated.
Many offices use ergonomic chairs for their employees to maintain their posture and improve their productivity. The ergonomic chair market is projected to attain a valuation of approximately $21.2 billion by the year 2031 (approx. 11.1 billion GBP), primarily propelled by the trends of office remodeling and noteworthy technological innovations. This insightful conclusion originates from a comprehensive Transparency Market Research (TMR) study. A good office chair can support your body in several different positions. It helps you maintain good posture when sitting upright at the keyboard. It also makes it easy for you to lean back and stretch.
The weight of your head is always a problem when seated for long hours. It is the root cause of slouched shoulders. A quality ergonomic chair has reliable lumbar and neck support that helps you maintain a natural spine. This way, you become more aware of your posture and can avoid slouching.
Things like lower back pain, neck pain, and poor concentration will not be a constant concern when you are snowed under.
The human body has evolved over thousands of years to move from place to place, not to sit in a stationary position all day.
Every posture you make has its strains. However, movement shifts and distributes the strains throughout your body. Thereby making each strain less strenuous. That’s possible with a good quality office chair that promotes active sitting.
A good office chair allows one to move around and stay in one place. You can swivel on your seat and flex and extend your legs comfortably. This can help improve circulation, prevent stiffness, and improve functionality.
Reduced Workplace Injuries
Investing in a high-quality office chair is expensive for most people. But it will prove to be highly beneficial in the long run. The possibility of you suffering workplace injuries will reduce, and you will not have to worry about regular medical costs.
What Does an Ergonomic Chair Do to Enhance Employee Experience and Productivity?
When employers hire new workers, they should ensure they have the best possible ergonomic chairs for them to use. The more ergonomic the chairs are, the less the chance of injury occurring, which could lead to poor morale and reduced productivity.
Ergonomic chairs are essential to keep up the alertness levels of the employees and enable them to maintain the correct body posture. Employees can adjust their seat height, tilt, and swivel mobility to possess an excellent bodily posture that keeps them alert at work.
A quality office chair with ergonomic features supports the back, neck, knees, and wrists. This helps prevent soreness and thus improves employee productivity, experience, and morale. Employees who are satisfied with their workstations see themselves as assets of the company who are valued. They express their appreciation by doing better in their jobs.
So, Can an Ergonomic Chair Improve Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is one of the many challenges companies face today, costing different industries billions of lost productivity annually.
Ergonomic experts understand this pickle. They have been designing and manufacturing product solutions to develop inspiring office spaces. To attract and retain talent, support their work, and foster innovation and engagement. A few things in the office environment evoke a more robust attachment for employees than an ergonomic office chair.
Comfortable seating over long periods enables concentration and reduces distractions. An ergonomically designed office chair cradles the body for maximum comfort and support. It allows muscles to flex and stretch easily, improves musculoskeletal comfort, encourages circulation, boosts concentration, enhances vitality and energy, and encourages regular movements.
In the long run, a high-performing ergonomic chair encourages employees to expend their dedication, commitment, passion, innovation, and emotional energy into their work. They give their discretionary effort while demonstrating what subjectively might be called happiness.
Ultimately, the value of employee focus pays excellent dividends for productivity and engagement.
What to Look for in Ergonomic Office Chairs?
You will have enough options as far as ergonomic office chairs are concerned out there. So, how do you pick a chair that can boost your productivity at work? Here are valuable tips to consider:
Seat Height, Width, & Depth
The most reliable office chair that can help improve your productivity is one that fits you properly.
The seat height should not be a struggle to adjust. You want to set your office chair low enough so that the floor correctly supports your feet. The ideal seat height also allows your arms to be high enough. This ensures your forearms are slightly downward toward the office table.
If the chair is too broad, you cannot fit between the armrests comfortably. As a result, you will not get proper support for your arms, neck, and head.
The seat pan depth is one of the most overlooked features. Sitting with your back against the office chair, your legs should hang over the edge. There should be a gap of about two to three inches between the back of your knees and the seat edge. A short seat pan will not provide proper support for your legs, whereas a deep seat pan will reduce circulation by pinching the back of your legs. So, settle for ergonomic office chairs with superior seat pan adjustments.
The armrest, especially if you sit for long periods. Leaning on the armrests helps take the weight off your back. But it may not be wise to settle for fixed armrests. Instead, go with adjustable armrests for added versatility.
Good-quality ergonomic office chairs usually have in-built lumbar support for your back. It’s one of the reasons you would sit on an office chair for many hours at a time without complaining too much. This innovative feature will help prevent lower back pain by properly aligning your spine.
Alternatively, you can opt for ergonomic chairs with a natural curve and a backrest. The natural curve is usually designed to conform to the shape of your spine. And may provide better comfort than the lumbar support offered by some conventional office chairs.
Additional Ergonomic Adjustments
The foundation of ergonomic chairs is usually ergonomic adjustments. They are essential in improving comfort and productivity.
The most useful ones include the headrest, tilt lock, and multi-tilt lock adjustments. The chair you settle for should have a functional headrest that allows you to sit in a reclined setting and prevents neck pain. Furthermore, an available headrest takes the pressure off your head and neck.
Tilt lock adjustments will allow you to tilt back in the chair in different positions. Some chairs may have predefined positions for locking into place, while others may have multi-tilt lock positions.
Build Quality & Durability
Ergonomic features aside, build quality and durability are also important when looking for office chairs. You want a chair to help you improve your productivity for a long while. So, make sure it has a sturdy construction that is made up of high-quality materials. It should be able to withstand your weight without losing functionality or stability.
Now you know the surprising impact of office chairs on productivity. Ergonomic chairs don’t just provide comfort. They also help improve your posture, blood circulation, and brain function, among other benefits. All these benefits combined help boost your productivity.
Photo credit: Djordje Petrovic