Ergonomic Office Chairs

Written by Erwann Marshall
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Proper desk seating begins with the addition of ergonomic office chairs into the home or office workspace. Once purchased, an office manager should take the time to educate all employees regarding how to use these chairs to their maximum level of comfort. It is a well-known fact that if ergonomic equipment is improperly used, the same physical injuries and discomfort associated with common furniture can occur.

Unfortunately, past designers of office equipment concluded that chairs and desks should be built to the height of 26 inches, a measurement considered suitable for the "average" individual. Because of this, shorter people would have their feet dangling while taller individuals would have to lengthen their legs underneath the desks. Either way, they would be forced to sit forward or back on the chair, slouch over the desk and utilize any number of strange sitting positions just to feel comfortable.

Today's ergonomic office chairs are completely adjustable in height and backrest angle. Their designers took into account that the most comfortable chairs are often the healthiest for the neck, back and arm. Some ergonomic office chairs include head and footrests to relieve pressure off of the thighs and neck, while most are designed with built-in arm rests to maintain proper shoulder and forearm positions.

Properly Adjusting Ergonomic Office Chairs to the Individual Shape

First, stand facing the chair and raise or lower the seat height so that it stands just below the kneecaps. Make sure the backrest is at more than a 90° angle so that the torso leans back a bit and place the armrests to a level at which the shoulders are relaxed but supported. If there is need for a lumbar support or footrest, add these as they become necessary.

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