August 30, 2022

What are ergonomic chairs?

In our last blog post, we introduced the concept of ergonomics and what the term alludes to more generally. Today, we’ll focus on ergonomic chairs and their importance as well as how to get the best out of them.

What are they?

Ergonomic chairs are built to support the body, promote good posture, and prevent discomfort. Provide spine support and a natural position for your joints. Align shoulders, spine, and hips. Adjustability: Ergonomic chairs are highly adjustable, meaning they can adjust to suit any body type and provide support.

Sitting correctly

Ergonomic office chairs have multiple design features of features intended to improve posture and provide sufficient support. However, they only do half the job; to truly gauge the benefits of an ergonomic chair, you should first learn how to sit properly on them properly.

  • Keep an arm’s length away from your computer screen. Ideally, the top of the monitor should be level with your eyes.
  • Sit up straight and avoid slouching.
  • Your neck should be in a relaxed and neutral position.
  • Keep your arms parallel to the floor
  • Sit with both feet flat on the floor, and avoid crossing your legs. This is to allow correct blood circulation within your legs.

A good ergonomic chair will be adjustable, to allow for better control and customised settings. Adjustability is especially important if you are buying chairs that will be used by different users. If you are buying a chair for your home office, or for one person specifically, consider using their body dimensions for a greater ‘fit’. Tall people will have different needs when compared to people who are shorter, for example.

Features of an ergonomic chair

The Seat The optimal seat height should allow you to place your feet flat on the floor, which is why choosing a chair with an adjustable seat height is essential because everyone is different. What’s more, with most work desks remaining at a fixed height, it is important that the seat height can be altered. A seat height that ranges from 16 to 21 inches off the floor should work for most people. Proper seat depth should leave between 2 and 4 inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees. If the seat is too far forward, it may put undue pressure at the back of the knees. Good ergonomic chairs will allow the seat to tilt, which allows for correct positioning of the pelvis. The anterior pelvic tilt is a posture problem that affects almost everyone who sits a lot, which is why it’s important to keep the pelvis in a neutral position when sitting, with 80-degree angles at the hips, knees and ankles.

The Backrest The backrest lumbar support refers to the support given to your lower back and is an essential feature of an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs support the natural ‘S’ shape of the spine, which prevents slumping and reduces stress on the spine and the pelvis. An adjustable backrest allows users to align the curve in the chair with the curve in their spine, for optimal support. An adjustable backrest allows for greater tailored positioning for the user, as they can move the backrest to more specifically support their natural spine position. Using this feature throughout the day allows the backrest to take some of the weight from your upper body, reducing the pressure on your spinal disks and muscles.

The Swivel The swivel in an ergonomic chair helps users with their manoeuvrability, making it easier to reach different points of their desks without having to strain excessively.

The Rests Armrests help to reduce tension in the upper body and allow the shoulders to relax. However, armrests should not be used when typing as this reduces overall arm movement, which in turn increases wrist movement leading to strain on the forearm muscles. Similarly, the headrest supports the back of the head and the upper neck, reducing tension in the shoulders and upper torso.

The Materials A good ergonomic chair is made out of comfortable materials. The material should not cause the user’s back to sweat. However, the materials used will depend on the budget; high-end ergonomic chairs will use leather or velvet.

The Wheels If your chair will be used on a hard surface, find a chair with soft rubber wheels. If your workplace/home office is carpeted, opt for hard wheels to help you navigate better.

Closing Thoughts

It’s clear to see that there are many considerations when manufacturing a good ergonomic chair. In our next blog, we’ll focus on the benefits of ergonomic chairs.

Looking for an ergonomic chair? Check out our range here.


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