Meriel Hughes. Ergonomic. January 09th , 2020.
Adequate lumbar support in an ergonomic chair is the most crucial element of a backrest. Look for chairs that provide mid-back and upper-back support as well. The seat should always extend at least one inch from either side of the hips for optimum comfort because insufficient hip room can make you sit too far forward and not get enough thigh support.
Look for an ergonomic chair on wheels that swivels to avoid excess stretching and twisting of your spine and a five-point base won’t tip over when you recline. The tilt mechanism maintains support as you move and recline; it’s best to have your back slightly reclined while seated at your desk. The seat pan is the component of the chair that supports the majority of the user’s weight. Three or four fingers should fit between the seat pan’s front edge and the back of the knees. Tilt adjustments are preferred to allow for a forward working or reclined posture.
The third feature is the seat depth adjustment. This is extremely important so that you can reach the desk comfortably and ensure there is room for your legs whether you have long legs, short, or average. The fourth of the ergonomic chair features is the adjustable tilt tension. The typical one is usually adjusted by a knob which is under the chair. By turning it in one direction the resistance is increased, turning it the other direction decreases the resistance.
Ergonomics therefore is a triangular relationship between the environment, the equipment and the human. There is no set formula; it remains the same in any environment that includes humans / machines, or equipment. My knowledge as an Occupational Therapist and my personal experience with a congenital back disorder and osteoarthritis in both hands, will guide you through correct principles for ergonomic performance and safety.
Some of the factors that help in the design process are taking into consideration are the type of fatigue that will be undertaken, how fast a person must be able to move for quick movements, demands on memory. Physical factors include Strength, size, and speed. Ergonomics can study specific work environments and chair types such as a task chair or executive chair and even stools. Many things in a persons work environment can affect comfort and productivity. The time it takes to do a task, the risk demands and the physical requirements can all be improved with the proper positioning.
But how do I know which are the ergonomic ones and which aren’t? This part is easy. Because a lot of research and design go into the development of each ergonomic chair and often they have more parts they tend to cost a little more. Many are turned off by this but it is like buying a cheap mattress. Yes a $500 mattress can be slept on as easy as a $1000 one but your back pays the extra $500 in pain if you buy the cheap mattress.
The following four features that are necessary for the chair to qualify as an ergonomic chair. Firstly, the chair should have the pneumatic seat height adjustment feature, which unlike the previous adjustments are incorporated to match the chair instead of trying to hide them under the chair. The ergonomic chair should have a button built into the back which raises and lowers the height of the back of the chair. The second feature is the arm height adjustment which is also very important when you are adjusting the executive ergonomic chairs to fit your body type. They are typically adjusted with a knob.
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