In a typical 24-hour workday, the average worker spends 12 hours sitting, which does not include the hours in which we are in bed sleeping. With the growth of remote work and maintaining a 9 to 5 work-from-home routine, sitting for prolonged periods has become one of the most unanticipated health threats of our modern time, and we may not even realize it.
As the negative health implications of an overly sedentary lifestyle can quite literally kill you, ergonomic furniture has revolutionized the world of corporate work, raising the bar for comfortable, productive, and healthy office spaces. Having an ergonomic office chair can offer an alternative solution in a professional work environment where some might find it to be difficult to stand for an entire eight-hour shift.
You may wonder if there’s a difference between this type of chair and the traditional chair you’ve been using all this while. Indeed, we are here to tell you that the reason does not lie further than the comfort and improved posture the former has to offer.
Before we discuss why ergonomic chairs are worth it, it is important to understand what the term “ergonomics” means.
What does Ergonomic Mean?
Ergonomics is a study that looks at the relationship between people and their working environment, specifically how objects can be designed and arranged to best efficiently and comfortably compliment human interaction.
Most company decisions regarding tasks that demand perpetual attentiveness and productivity are based on the concept of ergonomics. Ergonomics has raised standards for the corporate workplace such that more than 50 percent of Americans are currently or have previously expressed dissatisfaction with their work surroundings, according to a study from Kelton Global.
You might think sitting jobs require less muscular effort, yet, employees that work in a sitting position would suffer fewer injury risks. However, reports of stiff necks, numbness in the legs, and aches are more prevalent among seated employees, such as clerks and data entry operators, than among those performing more physically exerting tasks.
An ergonomic chair is a chair designed to provide maximum support to the body when sitting at the desk, which includes considerations such as posture, back support, comfort, and movement. Alternatively, an ergonomic chair is a solution to body pains and strains that inevitably accompanies prolonged sitting.
Why Are Ergonomic Chairs Essential to Your Workspace?
Now comes the big question: “Is investing in an ergonomic chair actually worth it?”. The answer to this question may not be immediately intuitive if you’ve lived your entire life sitting in a standard and (probably) very uncomfortable chair.
Below, we will show you five major reasons why buying an ergonomic chair is worth every penny despite the nature of it being a higher investment purchase.
1. Enhanced Productivity
People like to be comfortable when doing work, hence, if you aren’t comfortable, you’re not likely to enjoy your work. It just so turns out that being comfortable is directly related to being more productive.
The right ergonomic office chair can boost overall happiness and productivity. According to a study by the Journal of Safety Research, adopting ergonomic office chairs can result in an average increase of 17% in productivity compared to regular conventional chairs. As an ergonomic chair allows for better posture, less exertion, fewer motions, and added reach, it helps create a more efficient workstation, which factors into improving the quality of your work and job performance.
2. Reduced Pains and Aches
Ergonomic chairs are designed for the comfort of all users. Lower back pain and neck pain are the most common body pains for the average office worker to battle with. When you’re hurting, it’s hard to focus, which negatively impacts the quality of your work.
As many as 80% of adults experience back pain throughout their lifetimes with 50% of working adults report having back pain symptoms each year, making it one of the most common medical conditions worldwide. Luckily, with the emergence of ergonomic office chairs, the number of people falling victim to back pains has decreased and possibly diminished, as important pain points are properly supported.
With ergonomic chairs, the higher-quality seat and back are contoured to match the shape of your body, while also aiding in their comfort. An adjustable lumbar support is designed to exert less pressure on your spine, allowing you to improve your posture and alleviating back pain.
3. Improved Posture
After long hours of sitting and an unattended eye to form, your posture might be your first area of concern. When using a standard office chair that lacks basic ergonomics features, you likely tend to lean forward because of the incorrect back height.
Sitting in an improper position has many serious health implications as well. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology claims that extended periods of sitting in a poor posture can lead to cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, and other chronic illnesses.
Correcting your posture, by providing spine support, and a more natural position for your joints is one important anomaly that an ergonomic chair fixes. With the full-length design to prevent unhealthy positions, you can be confident that these chairs will help keep your posture right while preventing any lower back pain from ensuing.
One thing that ergonomics does right is that it understands that office furniture is never a “one size fits all” solution. As people come in all shapes, sizes, and work styles, ergonomic chairs are adjusted to the specifications of each person’s body, promoting attentiveness through the flexible work environment they provide.
When looking for the right office chair for you, essential adjustments such as seat height, armrests, backrests, and seat depth become important. These desired features allow you to contribute to the success of your work without the distraction from discomfort. A dearth of any number of chair specifications could lead to weakened sitting postures, such as slouching or leaning forward on your desk. Any of the above mentioned-features provides crucial lumbar support, maximizing your sitting experience so you can power through your stationary 9 to 5 office shift with minimal effort.
5. Designed for All Users
The myriad of office chairs commercially available on the market for different sizes and body shapes are often overwhelming. A good chair is accommodating, which means you shouldn’t have to waste time finding the “right” chair for you.
Ergonomic chairs naturally come with a handful of customizable features such as height adjustments, arm width adjustments, and an adjustable headrest, to cater to your exact body type and working preference. Whereas some more specialized chairs focus on supporting a specific part of the body, ergonomic chairs are adjusted to your workspace and meant to accommodate different activities you perform at your desk.
How to Select the Best Ergonomic Chair?
Now that we’ve talked about the many benefits of owning an ergonomic office chair and hopefully helped you understand why they are worth the investment, finding the right office chair continues to be a critical yet simultaneously challenging task.
To help you narrow down your options, we summarized a list of top ergonomic chairs on the market. Check out our blog on “Which is the Best Brand for an Ergonomic Chair?” for in-depth side-by-side comparisons of the best ergonomic chairs from RISEDESK, Autonomous, IKEA, and Secretlab.
The Rise Ergonomic Office Chair from RISEDESK ticks all the boxes for an ideal chair. RISEDESK offers premium quality ergonomic chairs within your budget without compromising on aesthetics and quality, while also offering the most adjustable features, and being easy to assemble.
So is an ergonomic chair worth it? Our answer is: YES.
And we’re not the only ones saying it — it’s been proven through numerous scientific studies as well. Several reports show that adopting ergonomic chairs improve the health and safety of company culture while reducing absenteeism by up to 58% and employee turnover by up to 48%.
If you feel good in your chair, you’ll feel better overall. Being liberated from pain means it’ll be easier to be happy at work –and your mental health matters just as much as all the physical aspects. This is your sign to invest in an ergonomic office chair and appreciate ultimate comfort while redefining work from home and taking it to the next level.