As technology continually improves, we’re constantly learning more about how to stay healthy in life. More recently, attention has been drawn to the furniture that we use both at home and in the office. Some sources say that as many as three in four workers claim to experience some form of pain when working at a desk during the working week. Thankfully, ergonomic furniture has the potential to improve posture and keep us healthier for much longer.
What’s Ergonomic Furniture?
As an emerging field, ergonomics is the idea of humans interacting with the environment around us. The reason that the workplace has been brought into the equation is because of how much time we spend there. For most people, they’re sitting in their office chairs all day, and slumped at their desks for much longer than they are at home. Therefore, ergonomic furniture has been designed with the user and their health in mind. For example, an ergonomic chair has various features for the comfort and the long-term health of the user.
How Does Ergonomic Furniture Improve Posture?
There are a few ways that ergonomic furniture improves posture, and the first relates to how the furniture supports the spine. Unfortunately, if we use office chairs as an example, many have been designed for one of two reasons:
Therefore, offices around the world are filled with chairs that are affordable or look great. Sadly, they don’t consider that somebody will be sitting on them for several hours each day. They push the spine into uncomfortable and awkward positions. As we’ve already seen, up to 75% of people experience pain while sitting at a desk at some point during the working week.
Thanks to proper spinal alignment and support, more and more people using ergonomic furniture can leave the office at the end of the day without limping or awkwardly shuffling because of the discomfort. In addition to this, the material normally conforms to the shape of the user, and this is another way that ergonomic furniture helps posture.
Essentially, it feels like we’re getting a hug while sitting down. Again, the body isn’t slumped down or sitting in a position that negatively impacts posture. With correct posture while sitting down, users of ergonomic furniture can keep a strong posture while standing too.
This isn’t the end of the benefits because ergonomic chairs also maintain a neutral position for the tissue and joints in the body. All three of these benefits often come as a result of a particular feature – the customisable design. Normally, ergonomic chairs have more customisable features than traditional chairs. Ultimately, we shape the chair to our own needs. Manufacturers understand that you can’t design the perfect chair for everyone unless you allow some level of adjustment.
With the right chair, you’ll adjust the height, arms, and headrest, and more. Soon enough, you’ll provide support for the spine, conform the material to the body, and keep tissue and joints in a neutral position.
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Not so long ago, this US department completed a study to learn the effect of ergonomic chairs and found the following:
- 40% more time spent on work tasks
- 75% reduction in staff absenteeism
- 56% reduction in error rate
This wasn’t a small study either, around 4,000 people took part and started using ergonomic furniture in the office rather than more traditional furniture.
As well as in the office, it’s possible to purchase ergonomic furniture for the home…and it’s highly recommended on every level to improve posture!