As today’s workplace becomes more sophisticated and inclusive, it’s now crucial for businesses to understand the science, and necessity behind ergonomic seating. The true objective of an ergonomic chair is to provide not only the proper function, but to ensure optimal user comfort. After all, with businesses working around the clock to keep up with a global landscape, employees and executives alike are logging more hours in their workspaces than ever before.
People who are more comfortable in their seating are more likely to be capable of contributing to workplace productivity for longer durations. Seating that fails to provide effective support and adjustability can also significantly increase spinal stresses, resulting in discomfort and additional risk for injury – which can in turn impact the overall bottom line of an organization.
Here are the most important factors to consider when looking to integrate ergonomic seating solutions throughout your workplace:
How important is cushioning? Very. For instance, contrary to popular belief, a thicker seat cushion does not necessarily make a chair more comfortable. Foam quality and density should actually be considered critical factors when deciding on which ergonomic seating solutions best suits the needs of the people in your organization. Manufacturers of workplace seating determine appropriate foam density by using an IFD (initial force deflection) measurement. Proper IFD varies based on the type of foam used, thickness and contouring. In short, long-term comfort is accomplished through quality and high density cushioning in your workplace seating.
To create a truly ergonomic workplace, it’s also crucial to consider the actual design of the seating solutions you are considering for integration. It’s important for each area of the chair, the seat, lumbar support region and upper back, to be capable of adapting to specific parts of the body. The contours of both the seat and back must support the user while at the same time encouraging proper movement. Adjustments should be intuitive and allow the chair to fit a broad range of user sizes, preferences and needs.
To help you select and integrate ergonomic seating that promotes workplace health, here is a summary of the recommended features considered to be important for helping achieve optimal levels of comfort for a broad range of users:
Minimum suggested standard features:
- Appropriate lower back support with at least one axis of adjustment
- Vertically adjustable armrests with adequate padding
- Simultaneous recline with tension adjustment and lock settings
- 2" seat depth adjustment
- 5" seat height adjustment
Desirable features include:
- Adjustable lumbar support (height and amount of support)
- Fully adjustable armrests (pivot and width or 360° rotation)
- 3" seat depth adjustment
- Forward tilt
Taking these factors into consideration, should have everyone in your organization – sitting quite comfortably in no time!