The Importance of an Ergonomic Chair in the Workplace

May 4, 2013

Lance Leighton

Co-Founder – HedgeFundSpaces.com
Senior Managing Director, Savills Studley, Inc.
New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Call 212-326-8668

Can an office chair really benefit your employees’ health and productivity?

Fact- Most people spend more time in their office chair than anywhere else. Not surprisingly, employees who perform at the highest level are often those who work in the most comfortable and healthy environments.

According to Ally Goldman, an Account Executive at WB Wood, one of the largest furniture dealers in the City, “ergonomic seating is a major factor for creating a productive workplace. Contrary to popular belief, task chairs bring much more to the table than simply a place to sit in the office.  In addition to comfort, work chairs provide proper support for the body’s natural alignment, increase attention spans, and enhance thermal comfort, which results in happier employees”.  Although this might sound like hocus pocus, there are actual studies supporting her claim.

A chair without proper ergonomic support neglects the area between a person’s lower back and the back of the chair, causing one to slouch.  I know that when I used to slouch for the majority of a day, both a headache and backache were inevitable. According to Dr. Brock Walker, a specialist in musculoskeletal disorders, “everyone needs the proper lower back support for optimal concentration, endurance, and good health.” The design of ergonomic chairs “enables the spine to maintain its alignment and supports the natural forward tilt of the pelvis” for healthier posture and to avoid slouching Dr. Walker further explained.  It might sound crazy, but indeed it makes perfect sense.

For jobs that require extended periods of sitting and working on the computer, it is advantageous for the employee to have a good work chair, with lower back support in various positions.  The chair should adjust to your body’s needs and spontaneous movement so your weight is distributed evenly.

In addition to discomfort from sitting all day, one of the top complaints in office space is temperature. An ergonomic chair might be a simple solution to this common issue. For example, the well-known Herman Miller Aeron Chair is comprised of pellicle material (instead of cushions or fabric) that leaves room for your body to breathe and keep cool.  The pellicle prevents the buildup of heat, which can be a primary reason for discomfort.

Let’s face it, with the average workday lasting 8 hours and 12 minutes, most people spend more time at the office than at home.  With this in mind, it is crucial to have chairs that help employees lead healthier, happier, and more productive lives. Ergonomic chairs are an investment in your company’s most important assets…  YOUR PEOPLE!

For more information on ergonomic chairs, please click here.

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