Nikes or Flip-Flops... and what the heck does that have to do with the chair you’re sitting in?
If you run a marathon, would you wear flip-flops? Of course not. That’s insane. Enduring multiple hours of support from a flimsy piece of rubber between your pounding foot and pavement is ludicrous. You’d suffer from shin splint, blisters, knee pain, backaches….. the list goes on.
While that may be an obviously poor product choice for the task at hand, have you ever considered the chair selection you sit in every day? Well, you should, considering most people sit an average of 5.7 hours a day at a work surface. And with the influx of technology options in today’s workplace, employees are experiencing new postures that are not adequately supported with antiquated task chairs. As a result, people are in pain. Having a chair that offers a range of ergonomic features and adjustability options to enhance movement and support healthy postures between multiple devices is crucial for worker productivity.
So how do you know if your chair is right for you? Here are the top 4 reasons to change your desk chair.
1. YOUR LOWER BACK HURTS
Your Lower Back Hurts
You’ve been diligently typing on your computer throughout the morning and your lower back is aching. You shift and shimmy with no reprieve. The gap between your lower spine and the base of your chair is creating an unhealthy posture and you can feel it. The culprit - inadequate lumbar support. Selecting a chair equipped with an adjustable lumbar pad helps maintain the spine’s natural curvature and allows users to adjust the amount of support on either side of their lower back for maximum comfort. That funky mechanism on the back of the chair can make a world of difference to users who spend a chunk of their day performing common computer tasks.
2. YOU SUFFER FROM TECH-NECK
You Suffer From Tech-Neck
You spend the day bouncing from meeting to meeting. You rely on your smartphone or tablet to get work done. As you type an email or respond to a text, you hold your neck at an unnatural angle to see the screen. The weight of your head in that tilted position causes excess strain on your upper spine. To remedy the issue, workers need to bring small mobile devices up to eye level, avoiding awkward and unhealthy postures. A chair with highly adjustable arms is key. Armrests that extend high and turn inward enable users to raise handheld devices to eye level with sufficient bracing from the elbows. Another consideration is thoracic support. Recent task chair introductions are designed with higher seat backs to reinforce healthy neck postures. Having structure at the top of your spine provides much-needed relief for fatigued thoracic muscles.
3. YOU FEEL A SLIGHT NUMBNESS IN YOUR REAR AND THIGHS
You feel a slight numbness in your rear and thighs
No matter how much you fidget in your chair, you still can’t find a comfortable position for your legs. Your bum is numb and you feel a dull ache in your upper thighs. Your seat is cushioned, but that offers little relief. So what’s the problem? Try checking your seat pan. Chairs with adjustable seat pads is a vital requirement, allowing users to move the seat pan in or out based on individual sizing. When properly positioned there should be 1-3 inches of overhang from the end of the seat to the back of legs. Also, the design of the seat edge is something to examine. Chairs with waterfall seat edge design eliminate pressure points behind the back of the user’s legs which can restrict blood flow, causing fatigue and loss of productivity. This feature is especially important for those multi-device users. Workers who have one hand on the phone and one at the laptop often assume the forward lean position as they focus on their task. A soft seat edge will naturally reduce tension on the upper thighs.
4. YOUR UPPER BACK IS IN AGONY
Your upper back is in agony
Sitting upright against a rigid back is causing extreme tightness in your upper back. Your body craves a slight recline to relieve tension, especially when pondering information over a handheld device. Well, a good chair should do just that. Chairs with synchronized-tilt mechanisms offer various degrees of recline, allowing users to open their body cavity and increase blood flow, ultimately leading to improved comfort and productivity. Tilt tension control is also integral so users can adjust the recline position to their personal preference. Having the ability to maneuver posture between erect and relaxed is a game changer for people who alternate between tactical and contemplative work.
Whether you are an individual contributor, a business leader, or a design professional, selecting a task chair with features that support the way people work today is paramount. And, it’s the easiest way to make employees feel valued. With the astonishing rate of 85% of people feeling disengaged at work, it is more important than ever to support employee happiness and well-being….. and the right task chair can do just that.
So….go for the Nike, not the flip-flop.