Understanding Ergonomic Design For Home Office Chairs

Posted on: 23 August 2017

Many businesses follow ergonomic design principles not only because of the health benefits, but because the wide product selection makes it easier for employers and suppliers to create a comfortable work environment without reaching deep into specialty equipment. The chair is one of the more vital comfort and efficiency points, and a few of these ergonomic chair details can help you pick out a more personalized office chair.

What Is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a category of stud centered around how the human body interacts with a given object. For workplace safety and health, it means providing a way to navigate the office, sit, and use tools in ways that don't cause significant damage from use alone.

Posture is probably one of the more popular ergonomic topic areas. Since many offices are centered around a sitting workstation, the bad postures forced by seat shapes and the idle sitting patterns of different people can be a challenge to fix.

Ergonomic design seeks to coax the body into a safer default position. Instead of giving your body room to slouch too far forward or arch your back in a damaging fashion, the shape of the chair is designed make your spine rest in a natural S-curve without making you feel like you're trapped in some sort of posture training device.

That kind of natural coaxing of body positioning is what good ergonomic products seek to achieve, but it isn't always a guarantee.

Office Chair Selection

Office chairs have many different features beyond just their ergonomic design, and some ergonomic design points are optional. Beyond the basic S-curve shape, you have lumbar support, headrest options, armrest options, and incline control.

Lumbar support usually comes in the form of a bump or bulge near the bottom of the back of the seat, which should fit into the small of the back for most people. 

A good lumbar support pad will force the body into a better position—not perfect, but better. There are also movable or modular lumbar support pads that either clamp onto the chair, or that can be bought from a third party to fit onto almost any chair with the right elastic band sizing.

The armrest is the next most important part for most people. A good armrest will allow people to use their keyboards and mice, and to work on tabletop projects without having to support their own arms.

It may not seem like much, but when you're just standing idle, you're not actually using a lot of arm and shoulder muscles unless there's muscle or nerve damage. When your arms are flexed upwards, you're wasting some effort in a way that doesn't build muscle, just to work on a surface in front of you. A good armrest system will be adjustable up, down, and slightly to the sides, with comfortable padding.

Headrests are last because not all people are tall enough to require a headrest beyond the normal chair back size. A headrest is mostly for fatigue, when long hours or a lack of rest causes the head to lean back. This will stop a few neck problems caused by certain reclining chair models.

Contact an office chair, table, and general office furniture professional at a company like D and R Office Works, Inc. to discuss other ergonomic features for a home office.

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