The most important piece of furniture in your office is a good debate to start over the water-cooler. Some say it’s the computer while others are convinced that it is the desk, the chair or even the keyboard tray. Now start the same conversation with a group of Ergonomists and the answer is bound to be the chair and nothing but the chair.
Although each piece of equipment can be equally important to the tasks at hand, how you sit and body positioning is the key to practicing ergonomics in the workplace. Most people working in the average office spend the majority of their time sitting in a chair in front of their desk or computer.
Whether the employee is working on the computer, in a meeting, working in a laboratory or simply in a meeting, they are most likely to be seated in a chair. With the number of injuries from the workplace due to repetitive stress motion, it is important to remember to practice ergonomics and position your office chair correctly when working these long hours in order to avoid injury.
Often, very little thought is given to the furniture or office chairs which are used daily. Perhaps this is why the number of workers compensation claims are rising in number these days due to work related injuries stemming from everyday tasks. Many employees do not even know how to properly position their office chair to their body type and sit uncomfortably all day.
Even with an excellent new ergonomic chair, trouble can still arise if it is not adjusted and positioned correctly for the user. Your office chair needs to fit your body size, weight, shape and should work well with the tasks at hand for your job.
The chair needs to adjust to support the unique curve of your lumbar back region and should also be adjusted to properly position your legs and feet. Keeping your feet flat and on the floor or footrest and making sure to position the lumbar support of the chair to correctly curve your spine are the first and foremost things to think about when setting up your chair ergonomically.
To correctly design your workstation, the proper adjustment of your chair is crucial. When starting ergonomic design in your office, the chair always comes first, followed by the other equipment height adjustments that follow.
It is very possible that simply adjusting your office chair to your body can eliminate the injuries and problems created by bad posture and workstation heights. Assuming your chair is not built in the 1960’s, it is probably quite easy to adjust. Although once a work injury has occurred from improper ergonomics, it is hard to get your body back into good shape and health.
© 2007 Sit On This Ergonomics, LLC.
Amy Pedersen has worked in the Ergonomics and Office Furniture industry for over 10 years and is owner of Sit On This Ergonomics, operating a number of ergonomic websites dedicated to Office Chairs and the practice of good Workplace Ergonomics.
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