Sitting Just Right: Using Height-Adjustable Chairs for Wellness and Work

 In Ergonomics, Industry News, Office Health

Since employees come in all heights and widths, a traditional office chair that can’t adjust has limited usefulness. Read on to learn the ways that height-adjustable chairs return their investment. Start by considering how the chairs can be used throughout an office.

Placement: The Individual Workstation

A height-adjustable chair that’s well-designed promotes employee wellness. At a person’s desk, it helps bringing the computer screen into the proper line of sight to reduce eye strain. When a screen is at a resting eye position then reading is easy and the result is good posture. This reduces strain on the neck and along the spine.

Multi-person work areas are right for height-adjustable chairs. An office may have a common desk where more than one person uses it to inspect documents or complete a task like data entry. Let’s say a team member sits in the chair and her knees easily slide beneath the surface. She gets up and leaves. The next person comes along and bumps against the side or the desktop. An easy-to-adjust office chair and adjustable deskcan work in tandem as a custom solution.

Now look at the reception area – a place of first impression for visiting clients, vendors, and guests. Many lobbies have sofas or cushiony chairs that are often low. Getting in and out of them can make a visitor feel awkward.

Chairs that provide support and are comfortable, but not rigid, can make it easier for someone to stand up for a greeting, rather than struggle to get on their feet.

Other places for height-adjustable chairs are in conference rooms or one-on-one meeting areas whether in an executive suite or human resources office. In a top-down, hierarchical world, it didn’t matter if an employee was sitting in a position that was lower than an executive. Giving each person the chance to sit at a height of their choosing can be empowering and strengthen collaborative relationships.

Quality: What to Look For in a Chair

A quality height-adjustable chair does more than easily move high or low. It should also have ergonomic benefitsand provide lumbar support. Without the support, slouching happens and strains the muscles and vertebrae in the lower back. It can also lead to foggy brain syndrome if the blood isn’t circulating well throughout the body. Eventually, employee absences occur as physical stress increases.

Let’s drill down to some key details. Seat height should range from 16 inches to 21 inches off the floor. The feet can remain flat on the floor and knees can stay in a relaxed position. This is easy on the joints, too. A pneumatic handle should be easy to reach and use.

A backrest should be about 12 inches to 19 inches wide and support the natural curve of the back. If it’s separate from the seat then it should be adjustable in height and angle.

If the backrest and seat are one unit, then it should have a locking mechanism to secure it once the best angle has been chosen. The best chairs have several control options and include comfortable arm rests.

An office chair plays an important supporting role in an office that’s planned well.

Choosing chairs, desks and reception area furnishings is important. Arranging them in the best way possible to maximize efficiency in a satisfying environment is a planning service that 2010 Furniture provides. Click hereto learn more.

The expert input is based on 45 years of interacting with executives and purchasing agents throughout Southern California in industries ranging from universities to professional firms and start-ups.

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