Humans aren’t built to sit down. We’re active animals, built to run, walk and explore. However, in an ever-advancing technological age, we are forced to sit down. We sit down during transportation; in the cars, buses, trains and planes. We sit down when we eat, we sit down when we’re having conversations and we sit down when we work.
It’s thought that the average Australian spends 8-10 hours on their behinds each day. Even with regular breaks and stretches, it’s still important to have a comfortable chair which is tailored to the length of time spent sitting in it.
There is a significant difference between a seated 2-hour meeting and your personal office chair, where you might spend up to 8 hours at a time. So how do you know which chair is best?
Sit right down and read on.
The important difference between a 2-hour sit down and an 8-hour workday is the quality of the foam cushioning.
A cheaper, lower profile seat cushion might be suitable for a short duration, but over time, the weight of sitting on it releases the air and support. Anyone who’s had to sit for too long in the doctor’s waiting room knows that feeling of a numb, sore posterior!
Good quality, foam chair cushions will provide ongoing support for a longer period. Top quality seating might have a memory foam cushion which molds to your specific shape, and some even contain a cooling gel inside to prevent overheating.
When it comes to chair ergonomics, people tend to sit in two opposing camps. Or camp chairs, if you will.
Some argue for mesh backs to enhance breathability, and armrests for postural support. Others argue against the mesh, claiming it lacks support, and against armrests as they’re potentially restrictive.
There really is no right or wrong though. Everybody feels temperature differently, and our postures vary so much that what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. What is important is the adjustability of a chair, and how it can accommodate different body shapes.
With a little forethought, you can avoid a Goldilocks situation and have everyone in the office sighing, “Aaah, this chair is just right” …so long as they don’t fall asleep afterwards!
A visitor’s chair might not be adjustable, but it’s not generally used for an all-day support either. A computer chair on the other hand should at least have back and height movement, so that your posture is supported, and your feet can reach the ground.
At the top end of the scale are chairs which adjust for seat depth and seating angle. A tall person would need a much deeper seat than someone whose legs dangle over the edge, and these extra features mean that a single chair can be reconfigured for various human heights and body shapes.
For offices which use hot-desking, the use of an adjustable chair can be a huge cost-saver, as well as a comfort to employees. Where multiple people can access one chair, a simple adjustment can be made instead of playing musical chairs or having uncomfortable staff.
Spending a little extra on good cushioning and adjustable features can save costs in the long run.
Better quality cushions also mean better value, as they don’t require replacement as often. One office chair which can be “fitted” to a wide range of people is far easier than hoping that one size will fit all or buying a range of cheaper chairs which are only suited to a small group of people.
Whether you’re re-fitting the executive office or replacing the seating for the whole department, having a chair with multiple adjustment features and good quality cushioning means everyone is comfortable.