Benefits of Ergonomic Office Chairs with Adjustable Seat Depth
Have you been spending more than 8 hours at your desk and have started to get pain the back, shoulders and neck by the end of the day? Well, it might not be because you are not well but maybe because you are not using the right office chair. When you work in an office you are assured to spend more time sitting down in a chair. When you do so in the same position for so many hours, it results in excessive stress on your spine.
An ergonomic chair has a construction which different from a traditional chair. It is especially designed to provide ultimate rest to the vital structures of the body that will get stressed while working.
ANSI standards require a waterfall front on your chair seat to insure circulation to the legs. This is because the main blood supply runs down the back of your legs and should not be pinched by the front of the seat. Proper circulation reduces the chances of fatigue and circulatory problems in the legs and feet.
Adjustable Seat Depth
If your legs are long or short, a chair with an adjustable seat depth can provide proper leg support and ensure good circulation. To test if you have proper seat support, place three fingers between the back of the knee and the seat. If you don’t have the recommended space or if you have too much space then an adjustable seat depth is recommended.
When made correctly, the seat depth adjustment enables you to access support from the chair back without cutting off circulation at your knees.
Seat depth measurement is about how far forward your body is – an ideal seat depth is one that positions you with as much comfort and support as the chair can give. With the chair supporting you properly, your body does not need to work as hard to keep you upright.
So what are the key features of good seat depth?
- Minimal Pressure At The Knees
If the seat pan, as it’s often called, is too far forward, it may put undue pressure at the backs of your knees. Try to position the seat so it ends a little higher up your thigh. Also when you purchase your chair, consider one with a “waterfall” design at the edge. With a waterfall design, the edge of the seat gradually curves down, which will likely help reduce or eliminate pressure on your legs.
- Avoid or Reduce Low Back Muscle Tension
As I’ve mentioned, the seat depth adjustment helps you place yourself in the optimal forward-to-back relationship in your chair, and with your work.
- Sitting too far forward
If you sit too far forward, this may encourage you to forgo the backrest.
Reasons people move forward on their chair include: To alleviate pressure on the backs of their knees or because they lack the height necessary to keep them close to their work when sitting all the way back.
Of course, general ignorance regarding the controls on your chair is likely to result in a haphazard ergonomic setup, and for all I know may cause you to move forward on your chair. (This is why I encourage people to learn the controls. Really, it’s not hard.)
So let’s say you are in the habit of sitting forward on your chair, and not using the back of your chair to support your posture. Your hip and back muscles may tighten, and over time you may develop an excessive lordosis, which is a postural misalignment in which your normal low back curve becomes accentuated. With excessive lordosis, you may develop even tighter back muscles or muscle spasm.
- Sitting too far back
What if you sit too far back? In this case, the potential for the opposite spinal problem is there. This time it’s likely you’re using your backrest, and that’s good. But now, your pelvis may be tucked under (especially true if you don’t have a chair back at all) which may, over time, lead to a flat low back posture and/or disc herniation.
Cover Image Credit: Entrepreneur