The type of office chairs used in your workplace can have a profound impact on the productivity of your workers. Your workers spend all day sitting in their chairs. Long-term sitting puts strain on their muscles and can lead to muscle pain, back pain, spinal injuries, bad circulation, and other health problems. This negatively affects their productivity, work motivation, and employee morale.
Prevent Health Problems With The Right Office Chair
A great office chair is about more than just feeling comfortable. It is about preventing health problems and injuries that come with sitting in the exact same body position for many hours everyday. As people get older, they are less able to tolerate these physical conditions. People with high body mass index (BMI) are also more prone to back injuries from sitting in the same position for long hours. Unless your workforce consists mainly of young, physically fit individuals, you will need to pay attention to the type of office chairs used in your workplace.
The best office chairs are those that are adjustable, rather than fixed, to accommodate the wide variety of body types of different individuals. Everyone is different.
Especially important is that the chair you choose must have good lumbar support. What is lumbar? It is the area of your spine in your lower back. Contrary to popular belief, this area of your spine should be curved, not straight, in its natural, relaxed position. A chair with good lumbar support will provide adequate support for your lower back. This lumbar support must also be adjustable to accommodate different body sizes.
In fact, in a study published in the journal Ergonomics, “An empirical study of preferred settings for lumbar support on adjustable office chairs”, researchers concluded that office chairs with traditional, non-adjustable, fixed-height lumbar supports are unlikely to provide a comfortable or appropriate seat for the wide range of potential users.” This study found that people with greater body mass indexes (BMI) required higher lumbar supports than people with lower BMIs. It also found that older people were more likely to readjust their lumbar support than younger people. This study underscores the importance of office chairs that have adjustable lumbar supports rather than static or fixed lumbar supports. This is because everyone is different, and different people have different body types.
Train Your Employees To Adjust Their Chairs
But providing the right office chair is not enough. Your workers need to know how to adjust their chairs in order to get the full benefits of an adjustable chair and to lower the risk of health issues.
So make sure that your workers know how to adjust their chairs. This is especially important if they are older or if they have higher BMI.
The importance of providing adjustable chairs and training employees on how to use them is well supported. A study published in the journal Spine, “Effect of Office Ergonomics Intervention on Reducing Musculoskeletal Symptoms”, found that workers who received both (1) a highly adjustable chair and (2) office ergonomics training had significantly reduced total bodily pain over the workday.
The health and mental state of your employees are very important. This affects their productivity, morale, and positive work attitude. The office chair is an important factor in their health and mental state because sitting in the same body position all day long is inherently taxing on the body and on health. Do the smart thing and get the right office chair for your employees. It will be an investment in their productivity and ultimately, the profitability of your business.