The clock strikes 5 and the office hours are finally over. The diligent employee bids goodbye to his computer desk which has served as his dwelling place for the past nine hours. On his way to the elevator, he suddenly feels neck, shoulder, and back aches. He tried to stretch a bit but instead of feeling better after hearing his bones crack, his body pain gets even worse. He enters the elevator and sees his reflection in the mirror – a man with a bad, hunchback posture. He comes to think of it. Is it because he has worked too hard? Perhaps not.
The real culprit for his body pain and poor posture is the wrong chair that he's been using. Most people are not yet aware that sitting for too long can be deadly. Sitting may require less physical effort than standing or walking but sitting for a long period of time can put a lot of stress to the body and often lead to serious complications. It can increase risks of obesity and improper digestion, cardiovascular diseases, and severe spine problems. A typical employee who is working in an industrialized country cannot avoid sitting for too long but he can prevent developing these disorders by finding the perfect chair – an ergonomic chair.
The term “ergonomics” refers to the applied science of workplace equipment design that is intended to maximize a person’s efficiency and reduce fatigue and discomfort. A chair becomes “ergonomic” when it is specifically designed to suit the needs of its operator in terms of the person’s size or body dimension, as well as his particular workstation. Unlike the traditional “one size fits all” office chairs, these can be adjusted and, therefore, offer less pain to a worker who sit for the whole day.
Investing on good ergonomic chairs is beneficial in the workplace. Here are some of the amazing benefits of ergonomic chairs that every employee must be aware of.
1. Pain Relief
You might think that it's pretty normal to have neck, shoulder, and back aches after a long day at work but this is not the case. You can prevent these kinds of discomfort by investing in a good ergonomic chair which comes with adjustable backrest and headrest. The backrest supports the spine's natural curve while the headrest supports the head and neck, preventing you from developing stiffness in the neck and shoulder region. Ergonomic chairs can also save you from indigestion that is often caused by the compression of the digestive organs when one sits for too long in an improper position.
2. Upright Posture
Do you ever find yourself leaning forward towards your computer, forming a hunchback position? In this way, you are allowing your pelvis to rotate backward, to exert added pressure on your lumbar area, and to curve the shoulders to adjust for the shift of weight. Doing these regularly can affect your overall posture and develop severe neck and spine injuries. To address these problems, kneeling office chairs or knee stools are recommended to reduce the pressure on your spine and improve your posture. Since these chairs don’t have a backrest or neck rest, they will train you to sit upright without exerting too much effort.
3. Proper Breathing
Compressing your body is not just bad for your posture but for your breathing as well. When you don’t breathe properly, the heart and lungs are forced to work harder, causing overall stress to your system. Ergonomic chairs can lessen these problems by allowing you to sit upright with an open chest and broad shoulders so you can breathe easily.
4. Normal Blood Circulation
Another major benefit of ergonomic chairs is its positive effect on your blood flow. Proper circulation is ensured when the legs stay at a 90-degree angle when sitting. Since these chairs are adjustable and can come with knee support, you can regulate height and the seat position to the length of your legs. Having a normal blood circulation prevent your legs from swelling and from that “pins and needles” sensation.
5 . Comfort and Efficiency
Comfort contributes to the increase of productivity. When you’re not too busy turning, twisting, and finding the most comfortable position, you can perform more important tasks and focus more on the quality of your work. You can go home at the end of the day having that feeling of accomplishment without getting tired.
Although ergonomic chairs are helpful partners in promoting a comfortable working environment, it is important to keep in mind that these do not completely prevent or cure any disorder. Aside from having a chair that supports the needs of your body, self-discipline also plays a vital role in achieving one’s comfort. Nothing beats natural exercise and knowledge of the proper sitting posture. Even if you are maintaining your reputation as the “employee of the month” for ten consecutive months, you have to give yourself a break sometimes. Get up from your desk. Walk. Shake it off.