Office Seating Solutions: Sitting Comfortably?
In an office space seating is critical, from the design of the office chair right down to the way you sit. Perhaps your way of seating is what’s most natural to you or maybe you see your office chair as perfectly tailored to you, but what if it is affecting your health?
Well the truth is it is affecting your health in surprising way. All those aches and pains you feel in your spine after a long day at the office? It’s an office seating problem.
To start with: Posture
Ergonomic chairs are designed to support beyond ninety degree angles because it’s not as healthy for your spine to rest in such a way. Your chair should be ten to twenty degrees further angled for the full benefit. This relieves disc pressure meaning a lower likelihood of your lower spine being damaged or aching. This also supports the pelvis reducing risks of spine distortion. Although sitting upright lowers disc pressure more than just slouching, angling further back reduces that risk even more.
Perhaps you spend countless hours at your desk with very little movement or not movement at all. If you’re experiencing any aches and pains and doing this then this is why. Every hour it is recommended you get out of your seat for at least five minutes. Even if it’s just standing up it will help. However it is recommended that you stretch and walk around to take further measures.
It should also be pointed out that the material and padding you are sitting on is to be noted. A hard surface can cause aching in long periods of time in your office workspace. A fabric that allows breathing from the material is recommended over harder closed in fabrics that offer discomfort over time.Posture also takes effect on your engagement as well as the position of the seat. Preferably your office seat should be a margin from the desk but not too far as that will disengage you from your work. Too close and it can cause severe eye strain in large doses; find a balance that tailors to your body and productivity.
However one of the most critical office choice for healthy seating is the most obvious: the seat itself. An important choice in seating is the height that it is adjusted to. It is recommended that the seat cushion just reaches your kneecap for optimal seating. However this measurement may differ if you are unable to reach the mouse and keyboard properly (If you have to raise your arms onto the desk). In the case of the desk being so high that you have to raise your chair, you may notice that your feet don’t touch the ground (Depending on your height). In this situation footrests are the best solution as they allow your feet and legs to be supported by a surface.
Be wary of particularly odd choice of office seating in the market, such as kneeling and medicine ball seats. Some people are attracted to these types but are not recommended for health purposes. However some suggest that if your back is muscular and has been highly trained then medicine ball seats can act as support.What must also be taken into account is the access of disabled seating, especially in cases of health and safety risks. HSE say that it is imperative that reasonable adjustments are made to the office including barriers being removed and ramps for wheelchair access are in place. In certain cases this may involve specialised seating. This will require seating specialists.Ergonomic seating
The office chairs most recommended for extensive office hours is the ergonomic seating solution. They have been widely suggested by many and have been known to give the best body support. They offer spinal support with the ability to comfort the natural curve of the spine and are widely adjustable so users can tailor to their seating needs. What’s the difference?
Some average office chairs do have some extensive ergonomic traits, but the key focus is the office chair back support adjustment. The lumbar control on ergonomic chairs can be adjusted meaning more lower back support. Your choice on office seating all depends on balance of aesthetics and ergonomics. On an office design platform you want an impressive professional looking setup while maintaining a healthy arrangement. This is where we come in as we not only support a wide range of seating with extensive ergonomic capabilities but also seating for a variety of settings. It can vary from office arrangement to the stocking and interlocking seats.Surely there’re regulations regarding this?
Well yes there is. In fact HSE cover quite a lot regarding your seating in the workplace. It covers the comfort and support including how adjustable the office chair is. It even covers special requirements for those in different circumstances (Such as disabilities and height affecting seating arrangements). Not only are offices obligated to issue support for those in other circumstances but it is required that all employees are safe and not at any health risk. Although this is partly the employer’s responsibility HSE does state in their ‘Seating at work’ guidance PDF that ‘Employees also have duties; they are required not to endanger their own or others’ health and safety whilst at work’. This shows that there is a recognition of shared responsibility between the employer and employee to maintain health and safety regulations.
It also says that if your office chair happens to break or wear out in some form, it is imperative that you contact the manufacturer and/or supplier and to not attempt to amend it yourself, especially if they are gas pedal seating solutions. Not contacting these specialists puts you under risk as components of the chair can close in on your fingers and damage them. Don’t forget if the arrangement of your seating is compromising your health and safety, report it to your employer and they should improve your working arrangements for being comfortable and injury free at work.
We actually do our own desking and seating assessments and fitting for our clients as part of the Rap service, so if this is something that is needed in your office space then contact us today to find out more 0333 600 1234.