Traditional office chairs can be uncomfortable and sitting is already bad for your health. An ergonomic chair may be the best way to limit the damage that sitting does on the body. There are plenty of benefits of an ergonomic office chair. This article will cover those and some other common questions that you may also have.
What are the Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs?
Since the healthiest way to make it through the workday is a combination of sitting and standing, it is important that your sitting is as healthy as possible. That is where an ergonomic chair comes in. Ergonomic chairs can be beneficial in numerous ways.
First of all, an ergonomic chair supports good posture. Posture is important for health and good posture can help to reduce back, neck, shoulder, and even hip pain. When we use traditional office chairs, we often lean forward or backwards. Then, as our body gets tired throughout the day, we have a tendency to slouch.
An ergonomic chair has a higher backrest and adjustable features to fit the natural curve of your spine and allow you to keep your good posture while remaining comfortable. Also, when we are comfortable, we tend to be happier. Ergonomic chairs may help us increase our productivity. This may be due to the fact that they are more comfortable, but whatever the reason this is a major benefit.
An ergonomic chair allows our weight to be more evenly distributed around our body. This means that our weight does not rest solely on our hips. This can reduce the pressure on the hips and improve mobility. Furthermore, the pain in hips due to osteoarthritis may be reduced by using an ergonomic office chair.
One of the most beneficial things about ergonomic office chairs is their adjustability. This means that they can fit virtually any shape and size no matter who you are. This allows anyone to be comfortable in the chair as well. Most ergonomic chairs have adjustable height, depth, and even armrests.
Types of Ergonomic Chairs
There are a few different types of ergonomic chairs to be aware of. There are ergonomic office chairs, active sitting chairs, gaming chairs, saddle chairs, and kneeling chairs.
Ergonomic Office Chairs
Ergonomic office chairs are typically the type people will think about when they think of any ergonomic chairs. They have a similar style to a traditional office chair, but they are designed with comfort and health in mind. They have taller backrests, adjustable seat height and depth, adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and more to suit your body type.
Active Sitting Chairs
Active sitting chairs are types of chairs that encourage movement while you sit. This can help to provide numerous health benefits and reduce the health risks associated with sitting. They usually have an unstable base or seat that promotes subtle movements throughout the day.
Not all gaming chairs are designed for ergonomic seating, but some are. The ones that are usually will have a good amount of adjustability albeit less than other ergonomic chair types. They are designed for focus and gameplay more than work, but are also designed for prolonged sitting.
A saddle seat looks like the seat on a bicycle. This creates a more comfortable sitting position that may even take some of the pressure off of the back, neck, hips, and shoulders. It may also encourage more mobility than a traditional chair padding.
Kneeling chairs bend the legs back instead of leaving them at a 90 degree angle. This means that the body is positioned with weight on the shins and throughout the body. This can reduce the tension in the organs and muscles in the back, shoulder, neck, hips, and legs.
Does Insurance Cover Ergonomic Chairs?
Some insurance companies may help to pay for all or part of the price of an ergonomic chair. However, this will require a prescription for an ergonomic chair from a medical professional. In order to obtain a proper prescription for an ergonomic chair, you will likely have back pain or other issues related to sitting. In addition, you may have to go to a chiropractor or other specialist because they are more likely to understand the issue.
Not all insurance companies will pay for a portion of the cost of an ergonomic chair, even with a prescription. It is best to check out your policy and call the customer service agent for your insurance company.
Does an Office Chair Need Arms?
There are plenty of office chairs that do not have arms, but as far as ergonomics goes they are important. However, they need to be adjustable and used correctly in order to be good. It is especially bad if the arms of a desk cannot adjust and get in the way of the desk itself so that you cannot sit in an ergonomically comfortable position.
Chair armrests offer the user lateral support. By using the support for the arms, you can relieve tension in the rest of the body like the shoulder and neck. In addition, they can make it easier to get in and out of the desk chair.
Due to the fact that armrests reduce the weight on the shoulders and elbows, there is evidence that suggests that they can even reduce the risk of neck and back injury. In addition, muscle activity decreases when we use armrests appropriately. This will provide the user with more relaxed muscles for ease of use while working and reduce the chance of injury.
Read More >> Do Standing Desks Help with Sciatica?
However, these benefits are only the case for users with adequately adjusted and optimally positioned armrests. This is why it is important to purchase an ergonomic chair that has adjustable armrests. Every person has different body shapes and sizes and you will need to get a chair that fits you.
Is a Headrest Needed for an Ergonomic Chair?
A lot of chairs do not have headrests, but the ones that do have headrests include them for a reason. A headrest does more than support the head. Many of us do not even utilize the headrest while completing tasks and it may be uncomfortable to do so.
However, tedious, but simple tasks can be a time when we do not move our heads as much and can take advantage of relaxing and leaning back without harming our neck if we have a headrest. This may also be useful when you are taking short breaks or when you are on a phone call.
Headrests should not be used for prolonged periods because leaning back in that way promotes bad posture. Therefore, you do not need to have a headrest if you do not plan on leaning back in your ergonomic chair, but they can still be useful on occasion.
If you do decide that you prefer to have a headrest, then you should be sure that it is correctly placed and fits your height. This should be easy to find because most ergonomic chairs have adjustable headrests. However, even adjustable headrests may not be suitable for you if you are very tall or very short.
Choosing an Ergonomic Chair
There are some things to look for when you are shopping for an ergonomic chair. First, you will need to make sure that the chair has sufficient padding on the seat and the backrest. However, you do not want it too soft because you want to be able to have the support you need as well.
You need to make sure that the chair has good adjustability features. This means that virtually every part should be adjustable. You should double check the adjustability to make sure that each component will fit your specific body type. Adjustability means that the seat should tilt, the lumbar support should adjust, the headrest should raise and lower, and the depth of the seat can be reduced or increased.
One of the most important aspects of an ergonomic chair is the lumbar support. The lumbar spine curves inward and sitting too long without the proper support can be bad and lead to slouching. This puts tension and strain on the lower back. The lumbar support on an ergonomic chair should adjust in both height and depth.
The backrest on an ergonomic chair should be wide enough for you. This will typically mean that it has to fall somewhere between 12 and 19 inches in width. In addition, if the backrest is a separate component from the seat, it should also adjust in height and angle. This will allow it to support the natural curve of your spine.
The armrests will only work well if they are adjustable. Otherwise using them may do more harm than good. Make sure that they can adjust to adequately fit both your body and your desk so that you can sit the correct distance away from your monitor. This means that your arms should rest lightly on them and your fingers should lay on top of your keyboard when you are typing.
Final Thoughts on Ergonomic Chairs
Ergonomic chairs bring a lot of benefits to the table and you can easily take advantage of them by purchasing one that is completely adjustable. This can reduce back pain and increase focus and productivity. Some ergonomic chairs are very expensive. However, you may be able to get your insurance company to help you pay for one if you obtain a prescription from your doctor. There are a lot of different types of beneficial ergonomic chairs to suit your needs, desires, style, and budget.