An ergonomic office chair is a chair that promotes good posture and is designed to reduce strain on a number of pressure points for those working in office environments. The ergonomic office chair has only been developed as a true tool for the workplace since the 1980s. This type of office chair has become not only a comfort item, but a necessity for many who suffer from workplace hazards.
While the office environment is not necessarily considered a dangerous workplace by many, it has its own set of hazards. Those hazards include sitting for long periods of time in positions that may not be the best for the body. Humans are not truly meant to sit for extended periods, such as the length required in office settings. Therefore, stress injuries can result.
An ergonomic office chair can help by promoting proper posture. This can be especially helpful to those with certain health conditions, such as bad backs and hips. Therefore, an ergonomic office chair can help increase efficiency by promoting better health among employees, more so than standard chairs.
The key to an ergonomic office chair is the lumbar support. Unlike other types of chairs, the ergonomic chair offers a strong support for the lower back. The lumbar support is a curve in the chair which supports the natural curve of the spine, thus helps prevent slouching and a straightening of the spine.
An ergonomic office chair will also have a number of other features designed to help the user perform office tasks without too much strain. The swivel in the chair will help users reach points on their desk and cubicle area without having to strain unduly. The seat may also be able to recline, which some may find to be a good way to relax during a hectic day.
If the ergonomic office chair has armrests, these should be at a level that is comfortable for the user as well. However, for those using armrests, it should be cautioned that the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing. This promotes bad typing posture which could lead to other injuries and conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
An ergonomic office chair should be expected to cost slightly more than a traditional office chair, but the benefits may include increased production and less employee down time. Therefore, many may find the few additional dollars spent on an ergonomic office chair is worth the expense. Employees who request an ergonomic chair are not being lazy or overly demanding, but may be expressing a medical need.