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January 20, 2014

Ergonomic Office Chair Tips to Fit

Seat Adjustment Ergonomic Chairs

For many of us in the office furniture industry, selling, renting, or leasing office products make assumptions that people know how to use what they purchased or leased.

A business may buy or rent hundreds of chairs at one time. They invest thousands of dollars in what they consider good “ergonomic” chairs. Buying seems to be the easy step because more often than not, I see employees without any knowledge of how to adjust e.g. “use” their new chair for maximum comfort.
Many times we have delivered office chairs for rental in what we call a “delivery position.” A compact, compressed method obtained by minimizing all the adjustments for delivery purposes, yet when we have come to pick them up after the rental term, we have found the chairs in its original position. They have never been adjusted by the employee.
Would you buy a pair of shoes that wasn’t your size? Would you buy a suit right off the rack without having it measured? For some, it just is not important, but for those who know, it is critical to the health, productivity and well-being of companies greatest asset, human capital.

There are four simple ways to ensure that your chair fits.

1. Adjust the arm height, width and depth to support your arms properly. Arms should always be by your side and parallel to the floor.
2. Adjust the seat pan to fit your leg by length. The legs need to be supported without affecting any pressure points.
3. Adjust the back tension to your body weight so you get the right amount of support.
4. Adjust the lumbar support height to fit your lower back.
Many of us sit in front of a computer, everyday without knowing the importance of movement.
According to an ergonomist from Steelcase™ Furniture, “…moving while you sit can help reduce stress on your spine, bring oxygen to your muscles and increase blood flow to your brain. All good reason to make movement a healthy part of your workday”.
There are certainly key means to accomplish this such as getting up from your chair every 20 minutes, stretch while working etc. but I believe the chair you have should allow you to move while working. For example, an armrest chair should actively recline while working but the armrest should stay parallel to the floor so you always have arm support.
You should be able to comfortably work while you recline which enables you to change posture more often. Also, it is just not about sitting. If you can actually work by standing, that is a major plus. If only airlines could adopt such simple ergonomic principles with their seating. I hope to write more about this subject but for now I can’t emphasize the importance of utilizing seating that fits our unique human bodies.

Fit the chair, don’t let the chair fit you!

It’s not just the chair – you also have to keep moving! Move in the chair, move outside the chair. Our bodies were made to be in motion. Don’t let office work run contrary to that or beware.

TIP: When you schedule the delivery of your ergonomic chairs, request that one of the employees who will be using the chair be present for the delivery. The Executive Furniture Rental delivery team would be happy to give them a quick and easy “how to adjust” the chair lesson. You have invested in chairs, now use them to maximize your staff productivity.
Let me conclude with one fact. On average the regular office worker sits for 9 years of their life at work. Just think about how you can be pro-active towards your health and productivity.

(If you want to know the source of the quote, please send me an email!)

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