An ergonomic chair is a chair designed to offer optimal comfort for the user, especially for those who need to sit for long periods of time. The term ergonomics comes from two Greek words: “ergos” means work and “nomos” means natural law. Thus, an ergonomic chair is one that “works naturally” with the laws that govern comfortable and healthful sitting.
Improves Sitting Posture
An ergonomic chair has the ability to improve one’s sitting posture. This is the primary benefit of an ergonomic chair because it is the foundation upon which all the other benefits rest.
Since the chair provides support for the neck and back and reduces pressure on the spinal disc, it actually helps align the spine. Most ergonomic chairs provide adjustable lumber support. Also important for proper sitting posture is a tilt, or recline, adjustment. This changes the seat relationship to the floor and transfers some of the upper body weight to the backrest.
Help Prevent and Correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt
One of the major reasons for anterior pelvic tilt is related to sitting. When people work at a computer, they usually sit forward in their chairs. The posture of their body rocks forward into an anterior pelvic tilt. Over time, muscles adapted to this incorrect posture, resulting in anterior pelvic tilt with the accompanying lower back pain.
An ergonomic chair can help the sitter maintain the correct sitting posture. Thus, the use of an ergonomic chair can prevent those who sit long hours from developing anterior pelvic tilt. It is never too late to improve one’s posture while sitting. An ergonomic chair can accomplish the correction of seated posture and reduce the lower back pain associated with anterior pelvic tilt.
Help Prevent and Reduce Lower Back Pain
One of the most common problems for those who sit in chairs that do not support correct posture is lower back pain. This is because sitting places stress on the lower body and inter-vertebral discs.
In order to prevent back pain, the entire body needs support – the arms, legs, thighs, and buttocks, as well as the back. Cushioning at the front edge of the seat should decrease pressure on the thighs. Armrests should be broad, cushioned, and positioned in a way that the shoulders can relax and the elbows stay close to the body. Controls should allow the armrests to be adjusted. All these factors work together to help the ergonomic chair support your body correctly and help prevent back pain plus reduce, and even eliminate, any pain you are already experiencing.
Designed with Body Mechanics in Mind
Traditional chairs are designed for attractiveness, durability, and marketability, not with body mechanics as a consideration. Therefore, traditional chairs frequently produce movement disorders and pain in the legs and abdomen, as well as neck pain, and lower back pain.
An ergonomic chair is designed so that it can move and swivel, as well as recline and lock at any angle easily. There are controls to adjust the seat height and the area supporting the lower back. The backrest conforms to the natural curvature of the spine, fits snugly in the area between the ribs and hipbones, and is high enough to support the thoracic area. Thus, an ergonomic chair is designed with body mechanics in mind.
Allows the User to Change Positions
An ergonomic chair allows the user to change their position during the day. The static posture required to sit in a traditional chair creates stress in the elbows, wrists, thighs, and lower back. If you change to an ergonomic chair, these problems will be eliminated. That’s because an ergonomic chair helps increase the blood flow to all areas of your body.
Makes Sitting Comfortable and Enjoyable
When we think of getting comfortable, we think of sitting down. Actually, sitting places stress on our backs, because it puts the full weight of the upper body on our thighs and buttocks. Sitting also increases pressure on the inter-vertebral discs. Gravity causes blood to pool in the legs and feet and means that the blood sluggishly returns to the heart. An ergonomic chair is designed to relieve the sitting person of all the symptoms and provide maximum comfort.
Contributes to Productivity and Safety
Our productivity and the quality of our work can be improved when we have the equipment we need to successfully complete necessary tasks. This includes a well-designed ergonomic chair that will adjust to a position that is not only comfortable, but provides for our body’s health and well-being. Also, an ergonomic chair provides for safe seating.
Sitting should be comfortable and enjoyable. We expect it to be so, but in a traditional chair comfort eludes us. Sometimes we do not realize how uncomfortable our sitting position is until we suffer lower back pain, anterior pelvic tilt, or other problems related to sitting in a traditional chair. Proper seating in a well-constructed ergonomic chair can help prevent and eliminate back pain, prevent anterior pelvic tilt, increase productivity, and give us the comfort we seek when we sit.