Ergonomic chairs come in at the high end of the office chair market. They claim to do wonders for your health and posture, but you do have to pay a premium to get the most out of that improvement. Ergonomic chairs have great benefits, but with studies increasingly suggesting that standing desks are just as important for our health, is an ergonomic chair actually worth the investment?
The price of an ergonomic chair is justified when you consider the extra comfort and support they provide. They can help ease a lot of problems that come from sitting all day. These are physical benefits, like the long-lasting health effects of sitting with bad posture for days at a time. However, there are other benefits. Ergonomic chairs have been found to help reduce stress which has a lot of health benefits.
If you’re wondering if you should upgrade to an ergonomic chair, then you should be aware of what it is that they actually do. Understanding how they can help you be healthier while working can show why they are worth the investment.
How Do Ergonomic Chairs Work?
Ergonomic chairs help to solve one of the first world’s biggest problems; sitting. Studies have found that sitting comfortably all day is actually quite bad for your health. With jobs that kind of necessitate spending the day at an office chair, this is a problem. This is the problem that ergonomic chairs attempt to solve. Poor posture and form while sitting can lead to health problems and really affect your stress levels. These chairs are designed to mitigate these problems.
These are the main features of an ergonomic chair, and how they can help you.
- The Seat Height – This is nothing new in an office chair, but an ergonomic chair helps you keep yourself at the right level to work. You should have your arms parallel to the floor, be sat straight, and with your head parallel to your screen to avoid eye strain. An ergonomic chair helps you achieve all of this by having the heights of arms, chair, and back of your chair moved independently.
- Seat Size – The seat of your chair is important for comfort, but also for keeping yourself healthy. Sitting in a chair that is too far forward can put pressure on your legs. Sitting in a chair that feels more like a bean bag with giant cushions isn’t going to help you sit up straight either.
- Tilting Seat – Ergonomic chairs allow you to move the tilt of your seat. This makes it a better choice for a lot of people since office chairs aren’t designed to be the optimal position for everyone. Everyone has a different height and weight, so a tilt change is needed.
- Backrest – The backrest is one of the most important parts of an ergonomic chair. They use an S shape. This is pretty different from a standard chair. This kind of shape promotes a healthy posture and keeps you positioned in a way that is both comfortable and won’t lead to back pain further down the line.
- Armrests – The armrests of an ergonomic chair are positioned to help you maintain a proper position while typing. This keeps the blood flow to your arms working and reduces the strain as you’re typing.
Does an Ergonomic Chair Make a Difference?
Those are the features of ergonomic chairs, but those aren’t particularly important if they aren’t effective. Ergonomic chairs can make a noticeable difference, but a lot of their alterations will be a long-term positive change.
Sitting with good posture and a chair that actually fits you rather than an average person’s proportions is going to help you keep your joints healthier and avoid back pain or other muscle strains. You might not get up at the end of each day thinking about how much the chair has helped you, but you should notice over time that you’re no longer getting the same strains and pains.
Being more comfortable and supported at work is going to increase your productivity. Stress levels are increased with poor posture and other elements of a bad sitting position that an ergonomic chair encourages. Less stress helps you stay focused and get more done.
The real drawback of ergonomic chairs is that their improvements aren’t immediately apparent. For many people, they can end up dismissing these chairs as unnecessary since they don’t immediately notice a difference. However, good posture and health make a difference for your physical health and your stress levels in the long term.
Do You Need an Ergonomic Chair?
Ergonomic chairs work, and they can have some great health benefits, but do you need one? It really depends on how long you spend sitting. If you use your desk chair for half of your workday, you would definitely benefit from an ergonomic chair.
Spending half of your time at work standing and the other half sitting is the recommended configuration. However, you can improve on this by making sure that when you’re sitting it is in the right chair. Using an ergonomic chair can make a real difference to your health if you spend your day at a desk.
Of course, you don’t specifically need an ergonomic chair. However, if you feel like making an investment in your long term health and reducing stress while you’re working, they’re a really good idea.
Are Ergonomic Chairs Worth the Investment?
An ergonomic chair isn’t a gadget you’re going to be replacing every year, it is a high-quality functional piece of furniture. It should be considered an investment. If you spend a lot of time sitting for work, then an ergonomic chair is definitely a good investment. You’re investing in your posture, physical health, and in keeping your stress levels at bay while you’re working. While the initial cost of a chair can put some off, the long-term benefits outweigh a one-off cost.
Hopefully this has helped you decide whether investing in an ergonomic chair is worthwhile for you. Whilst they can be more expensive than a regular chair, they generally do give you a better posture when sitting, which is extremely important for those who are working long hours at home.