ergonomic office

Ergonomics and workplace health

Ergonomics and healthy sitting

According to global studies, we sit for an average of 7.7 hours out of our day, with some people sitting for up to 15 hours a day. The alarming thing is that these numbers grow each year. Prolonged sitting can lead to back pain, stiff muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome and other health problems.

Back pain can be described as the “chronic illness of modern life”. In design and medicine, considerable resources are being expended to solve this problem. Ergonomic practices and gadgets could bring relief to our sedentary bodies. 

ergonomic chair


Are you sitting in a healthy way? 

Sitting is a natural posture. That’s why everybody knows how to sit. However, the truth is that not everybody sits correctly and healthily. Most people working at their office desk hunch over the keyboard or crouch in a chair with no suitable backrest.  

How to change it? 

ergonomic chair

Check out our quick guide to how to sit properly:

  1. Sit down and straighten your back. Try to release tension in your neck and shoulders to make your posture as natural as possible. 
  2. Sit deep in your seat or armchair. Lean back. Your backrest should copy the curvature of your spine. If necessary (and possible), adjust the backrest and lumbar support.  
  3. Correctly position your legs to relieve tension in your back muscles. Do this by placing both feet on the ground and align your knees. They should be slightly lower than your hips. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. 
  4. Adjust the armrests so your forearms are horizontal.   
  5. Unless your chair has adjustable parts, buy additional accessories both to increase comfort and keep yourself in a healthy sitting position
ball chair

Choosing a chair should not be complicated

There are several questions you should answer when you are selecting suitable chairs for your staff: 

  1. How many hours do your staff members spend sitting? 
  2. How much weight at minimum should be placed on the chair? 
  3. Are the height, depth and armrests of the chair adjustable
  4. Is it ergonomic
  5. Is the chair comfortable enough even when sitting on it a long time

Choosing the right chair may seem complicated. Our office equipment and furniture experts will be glad to recommend you not just any chair, but a custom-made chair that fits exactly what you need.  

woman with short blond hair

In my opinion, the main criterion when choosing a suitable chair is not the price, but ergonomics. I don't want a sore back if that can be prevented. I want to be sure the height of the seat is adjustable, with the option of moving it forwards or backwards, that the armrests are soft and yet firm, with the possibility of adjusting the height. For example, a rocking mechanism is an advantage because it allows active sitting. I see the higher price as a long-term investment in my health. 

Martina Lietavová
Product Manager Furniture, Lyreco

Continue reading