Monday, March 24, 2014

5 Common Office Chair Adjustments for Improved Workplace Efficiency

All too often, when people get a new ergonomic office chair, they're shocked at the comfort, but they may never realize the chair can actually support them much better. Ergonomic office chairs are precision instruments of comfort, and they are almost always equipped with dozens of adjustable comfort controls for personalization. If you just got a new office chair and are unsure of what it can do, check for these common high tech features and experience an all new workday!

Height

Offices To Go Mesh Executive Chair

Height is typically the easiest part of chairs to adjust, and most people can find the lever for it in a snap. Unfortunately, too many people adjust their chair's height wrong, either putting their chair too high or too low. The proper way to sit in an office chair is in a series of right angles. The elbows, back, and knees should all be at right angles when sitting, and the feet should be flat on the ground. If the chair is too high and the feet aren't flat, it can lead to pain and stress on the body, since the floor doesn't support the legs as well. If the chair is too low, it can push the legs up, preventing proper circulation. To prevent this, adjust the chair's height so you have your feet on the ground, but can still work comfortably at your desk. On most fabric office chairs with ergonomic features, the height adjustment feature is under the seat in the form of a lever, button, or rotating knob.

Arms

Adjustable Armrests

Too many people take their chair's adjustable arms for granted, either not bothering to adjust them or removing them entirely. For most people though, armrests are a critical aspect of a healthful work environment. When the arms aren't placed at right angles to the body, circulation through the arms, wrists, and hands is hindered. Over time, this can cause pain, cramps, inflammation, arthritis, and even carpal tunnel syndrome, which may have to be surgically corrected. This is why making use of armrests and retractable ergonomic trays for keyboards is so important. Most armrests can be manually adjusted by hand, no buttons or levers required.

Lumbar

RFM Carmel Chair with Lumbar Support

Too many people suffer from office related back pain caused by hours of slouching or poor posture in a task chair. This is why, for most Americans, lumbar support is the key to a healthy, comfortable work environment. The spine is naturally curved in an S-shape in which the spine and the abdominal muscles work together to support the upper body. However, when one slouches forward for a long time, perhaps to type or see a computer screen, the abdominals weaken and the spine takes all the weight, putting it under tremendous pressure, slowly deforming it into more of a C-shape than an S. Lumbar helps by forcing the lower back inward and guiding the spine back into it's proper place. Fortunately, most chairs like the 8215 Carmel Ergonomic Chair by RFM provide lumbar support already built in, but there are those with adjustable lumbar for those that prefer it.

Tilt

Tilting Office Chair

According to a recent report by Spine-Health.com, reclining has been reported as one of the most comfortable ways to sit in an office chair. This could be because, when the body reclines, pressure is taken off the spine and back to be supported by the chair. All of this means that the tilt feature on an office chair is one of the most important features one can have. Almost all ergonomic mesh chairs for sale have some type of tilt feature in the seat or back, adjusted by manipulating a lever, button, or knob somewhere on the side of the chair. It adjusts the tension with which the chair supports the body. Heavier individuals usually need more tension in the chair's back, while lighter individuals need less. Either way, tilt is an important attribute for improving efficiency by promoting comfort and maneuverability on the part of the user.

Headrest

Global Obusforme Chair with Headrest

Headrests are vital for individuals with neck pain. In addition to ergonomic arms for computer monitors, headrests work to keep the head in the right place. Turning unnaturally for long periods of time to view a computer screen or a keyboard can stress and alter the muscles of the shoulders, upper back, and neck, causing terrible pain. Chairs like the 4470 Obusforme Office Chair by Global provide headrests to alleviate this pain and improve work experience. Without neck aches to plague them, most users experience greater focus and improved mood, both of which can contribute to a more efficient work environment. Headrests are usually offered as an optional feature to be purchased at checkout, but they sometimes come built into the chair, or as a detachable feature.

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