If you are a mum working in an executive role or anyone that spends a significant amount of time sitting it is a wise choice to invest in an ergonomic chair. However there are some significant features to look out for when choosing an ergonomic chair for your office space. Lets discuss them in this blog.
Adjustable Height: Choose a chair that allows you to customize its height. It should be high enough for you to be able to place your forearms on the table, ensuring that shoulders are not shrugged, thus avoiding neck and shoulder pain. The chair should however be low enough for you to place your feet firmly touching the ground. Some ergonomic chairs have an inbuilt foot rest. But this is not essential feature as a small stool under the desk can be used for a foot rest. Placing the feet on a stable surface promotes a good sitting posture and reduces strain on your lower back.
Lumbar Support: Most ergonomic chairs come with a built-in lumbar support. It can be seen as a contour on the lower part of the chairs backrest. It follows the natural curve of your spine to reduce the strain on the lumbar spine, thus avoiding slouching. This in turn helps to avoid poor posture, minimizing discomfort and promoting better spinal health. Some chairs also offer the feature to tilt the seat backward, so that your spine is not in an overcorrected posture.
Adjustable Armrests: These allow you to position your body in such a way that your arms are relaxed and shoulders are not shrugged. This maintains the upper body in a neutral posture and avoids neck and shoulder pain, nerve pains, mid back pains and rounded shoulders. Ideally the angle between the arms and forearms are at approximately 90 degrees or so.
Seat Depth and Width: Consider a deeper seat if you are tall and a shallower one if you are short. Ideally your thighs should be fully supported in length and width, with approximately an inch gap between the back of your knees and the seat of the chair.
Breathable Material: A fabric or mesh material allows for proper airflow. This helps to regulate body temperature and reduces sweating, keeping you comfortable throughout the day. This may not be very important consideration when buying a chair if you are in a temperature controlled environment such as an office but it may matter if you are using this chair at home or in hot climates.
Padding and Cushioning: Remember to choose padding that is neither too hard (can be painful and uncomfortable) nor too soft as these can promote a slouched posture.
Wheels (casters): A chair with a swivel base allows you to move your chair to reach various spots around your workspace easily without straining your body. Additionally, ensure that the chair comes with smooth-rolling casters for effortless mobility. Some chair models allow wheels to be locked, to avoid sliding off when sitting. But it is not an essential feature as a rug or chair mat can easily allow wheel movement without the chair slipping away.
Be mindful that investing in a quality ergonomic chair does not guarantee a good sitting posture. It is only a tool to aid you to have a sitting good posture but you still need to take frequent breaks to offload the spine and do regular desk based exercises to avoid the stresses from building up on the body.
HERE is a free guide to help you maintain a good sitting posture while working from home. It is also applicable whenever you are sitting, whether at work in the office or watching television in the house.
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