Why office chairs are crucial to staff productivity7th August 2017
Were you aware the majority of office based staff spend almost 1,900 hours sitting in a desk chair over the course of a year? It’s easy to see how a large portion of our lives can be spent in the office with very minimal activity.
Staying active in the office is important for staff wellbeing. However, in spite of the risks caused by sitting all day, and when you consider we spend almost as much time sitting at a desk as we do sleeping, many organisations fail to supply chairs that are fully agile, encouraging natural movement.
What factors are important in an office chair?
The look of a chair within the aesthetics of an agile working office environment can be one of the first considerations during an office design or re-fit project. For the majority of companies, however, especially when faced with so many choices in a show room, it would be HR and or the facilities team’s duty to consider the ergonomics of furniture design to ensure employees are adequately supported to prevent long-term damage to their health and well-being.
A poorly designed chair can lead to;
• Back strain
• Leg problems
• Carpal tunnel
• Fatigue and discomfort that can come from sitting in the same chair for hours on end.
• A decline in productivity
• Increased employee absences
Ensuring your staff have supportive chairs will help to increase productivity, well-being and can reduce the number of sick days staff take across the organisation.
Here we have highlighted five key areas for you to consider as a check list before purchasing.
Lumbar Support: An office chair must support the lower back. Look for those with an adjustable lumbar support that allows the user to fit the chair to their lower back. This will help prevent back strain that can worsen and become sciatica, a condition which can be debilitating.
Adjustability: Although most office chairs have the ability to adjust the height arm heights, the best office chairs have five up to 14 different adjustments.
Lumbar support, arm width, and height, the seat back width, height and angle of (usually with tension control) are all important adjustment features to look out for when purchasing or replacing your office chairs.
Fabric: The fabric should be breathable to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting. It should also have enough cushion to support the person sitting in it.
Wheel Base: Nearly all office chairs have a wheel base. If your office is carpeted, you may need to look for chairs with wheels specifically made for carpet. The ability to roll your chair is crucial in preventing strain when reaching across the desk for items out of reach.
Swivel Base: All office chairs should swivel, or arm fatigue can result from over extending to reach various items.