Office Chair Ergonomics: The Science of Healthy Sitting

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With all the talk concerning the dangers of prolonged sitting, some individuals might find the concept of “healthy sitting” unacceptable or even impossible.

So let’s directly ask the question: is sitting healthy?

Well, sitting in itself is not unhealthy. Sitting is rest. Sitting is finding a level of physical stability so we can do the tasks we need to do. At the office, especially in modern workplaces characterized by computer work, sitting is what majority of employees and workers do all day to be able to accomplish their tasks. But, if sitting is safe, why do we have ergonomic office chair, you may ask?

office chair

The answer lies in balance, in doing it at the right “amount.” Sitting is not unhealthy, but “prolonged” sitting is. Sitting for eight to ten hours per day subjects you to the risks of many chronic diseases and pain.

Prolonged Sitting: The Risks You Should Watch Out For

The following are some of the dangers associated with prolonged sitting:

  • Back pain, spinal problems, and other musculoskeletal conditions
  • Poor posture, as well as possible development of conditions like rounded shoulders or turtleneck syndrome
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary problems, hypertension, and certain types of cancer

Again, sitting in itself is not the cause of these—it’s too much sitting.

man sitting in an office chair

Introducing the Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic chairs are your typical office chairs, only designed to care for your back and to help you maintain the natural curve of your spine in whatever sitting position you may be in.

More than performing the functions of an office chair, ergonomic chairs are designed with angles and contours designed to reduce pressure on key body parts. Each ergonomic chair is also designed with a wide array of adjustable features—not only the chair height but also the tilt angle for the lumbar support and backrest, including adjustments for armrests and headrest.

Manufacturers have also made the regular office chair ergonomic by equipping it with more features that are geared towards keeping users comfortable and healthy. Some of the new ergonomic chair features you will find today are 4D armrests, tension adjustment for the back support, as well as adjustment for the seat pan.

With all the features of an ergonomic office chair, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Improved posture
  • Reduced back pain
  • More focus at work
  • Lower risk of developing chronic diseases
  • Improved overall mood

Now, going back to the concept of healthy sitting, it is important to remember that half of it is chair design (and the introduction of ergonomic office chair has already brought that in the bag) and half of it are your daily habits at home and at work, especially in the use of your ergonomic chair.

One way to look at it is like this: you have made your office chair ergonomic, now it’s time to practice healthy habits to complement the positive change in your ergonomic chair design.

woman sitting in an office chair

How to Sit Healthy in an Ergonomic Office Chair: Some Good Tips to Follow

Sitting healthy is not a complex thing to do, and you can do it. Check out the simple tips below:

Don’t sit for too long

This you must already know. Because all that is unhealthy about sitting seems to be associated with doing it too much, then moderation is key. If you work on your computer for a whole day, find a way to break your sitting time by getting up and standing from your ergonomic chair, and then maybe by stretching and walking around your space. This will give your muscles a chance to relax and relieve them of the pressure caused by sitting. In the process, your back will get some relief from strain.

Pair your ergonomic office chair with a standing desk

One way to make your office chair more ergonomic is to pair it with an equally ergonomic device—a standing desk. A height adjustable desk will move up and down easily, so you can sit, stand, and alternate between the two positions as you work. This may require getting used to, but we promise you the benefits are worth it! The use of both an ergonomic chair and desk can make a big difference in your lifestyle.

Use a complementary standing stool

Another way to sit healthy is to pair your ergonomic office chair with an ergonomic stool. As the name suggests, this is a simple stool that you can use to semi-sit/semi-stand while working. It will offer some support while you are standing, and it makes resting so much easier even as you stand. Getting this will definitely give your office chair an ergonomic boost.

Find ways to stand at work

You have your adjustable desk and your office stool, but there are specific opportunities you can grab to stand and stretch, breaking free from the confines of your ergonomic office chair. Try standing meetings. Ditch the conference room and invite your colleagues around a tall table at the pantry to bounce ideas off each other and meet. Need to talk to a colleague about some important tasks? Skip the phone call and approach your colleagues instead. And if that colleague is only a floor or two away, consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator! These small moments of activity can build up over time to help you stay healthier and better.

standing meeting

Set your ergonomic office chair to the correct height and angle

As mentioned, an ergonomic chair is designed to help you stay in a natural position as you sit. However, for the chair to do that, you need to set it at the correct height. Otherwise, too low and you will be straining to reach your mouse and keyboard, while too high and you will likely hunch down over your desk. In the same way, be sure that you set your ergonomic office chair at a comfortable angle so that your back can stay relaxed and comfortable.

So, are you ready to sit healthy? If you don’t have an ergonomic office chair yet, take the first step by investing in one. Check our MotionGrey ergonomic chair catalog to find the right chair for you!

About Us

MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country. We offer free shipping within Canada and the US.

What made you switch to standing desks? Our products are designed with wellness as the focal point. From our electric standing desks to our office and gaming chairs, we deliver best value by putting your health, safety, and comfort as top priority. Boost your creativity and level up work performance. We want you to create great outcomes so we’re providing you only the best tools to make them possible.

If you are not satisfied with your purchase, check out our Refund Policy

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