A comfortable work space can help you feel your best at work. If you sit behind a desk for hours at a time, you’re not doomed to a career of neck and back pain or sore wrists and fingers. Proper office ergonomics — including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture — can help you stay comfortable at work.
Oftentimes, people don’t think quality office chairs fit into their budget, but if you sit in a chair 8+ hours a day, it needs to be the best chair. It makes sense to spend more on quality items that are used for such a large percentage of your life. Plus, investing in a quality chair means that it’ll last longer and you’ll be rewarded with many years of comfort! It’s important to choose a chair that will give you the support you need. Keep reading to learn the benefits of ergonomic chairs:
1. Pain Relief:
Ergonomic Chairs are used mainly to help prevent and relieve pain. Without the proper support provided by an ergonomic chair, extended sitting may result in lower back pain or muscle fatigue and exhaustion. In addition to pain, sitting in the wrong type of chair for an extended period of time can actually cause a variety of health problems or worsen existing conditions.
2. Proper Circulation:
Allowing blood to flow properly through your body is crucial, and the wrong chair can inhibit it. Most ergonomic chairs allow the seat position and height of the chair to adjust to the length of your legs. It’s important that your legs stay at a 90 degree angle to ensure proper circulation, so pick an ergonomic chair that lets you adjust the height and angle of your seat.
Your body has its own unique curves and areas in need of support and cushioning. Many ergonomic chairs are made from mesh, which will automatically mold to the contours of your body.
Read all of the Top 5 Reasons to Own an Ergonomic Chair here.
By sitting in an ergonomic office chair, you will be doing your body a huge favor. Luckily, office chairs don’t have to break the bank. At Office Furniture Outlet, we sell chairs for up to 60% off the retail price. A Herman Miller Aeron Chair, one of the most popular chairs, costs up to $1,200.00 new – We sell them for $499.99 each. Visit our showroom in Norfolk, Virginia to browse, sit in, and purchase a quality ergonomic office chair for less!
What chair do you think is the most comfortable? Let us know!
It’s no secret that sitting for extended periods of time isn’t good for the body, but the consequences of long-term sedentary behavior are more troubling than you might have thought. Research from the American College of Cardiology in San Diego reveals that desk jobs can increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
Many try to make up for sitting all day with a run during lunch or after work, but while exercise helps, it cannot undo the irreparable damage of ample sitting time. In 2013, Nilofer Merchant described sitting all day as “the smoking of our generation” because it elevates risk for type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease.
So how much sitting is too much sitting?
According to MindBodyGreen, we sit an average of 9.3 hours per day. That may not be surprising since many Americans put in nearly 50 hours of work each week, averaging 9.4 hours per day, according to a Gallup poll released last year. We wind up sitting (and working) more than we sleep, and MindBodyGreen warns that this is incredibly unhealthy. Sitting more than six hours a day makes you up to 40 percent more likely to die within the next 15 years than someone who spends less than three hours per day sitting (also, who are these people? I want to know their secret!). People with sitting jobs face double the risk of cardiovascular disease than those who stand up a great deal at work.
What it comes down to is that humans weren’t designed to sit in front of screens all day, and our bodies are making us pay for it.
What’s so bad about sitting?
Many of us enjoy relaxing in front of the TV, but too much of this can be detrimental to one’s health. Those who watch more than three hours of television daily increase their odds of developing heart disease by 64 percent. Between 1980 and 2000, sitting time went up by eight percent, likely due to technological advances, among other factors. And that was before iPhones and iPads entered the picture.
The U.S. also has a huge obesity problem. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than a third of American adults suffer from the disease. You expend pretty much no energy from sitting, so if you’re among the 78.6 million U.S. residents struggling with obesity, sitting won’t help you get to a healthier weight.
So what should I do about this desk job of mine?
Many of us live in a reality of computers, desks, cubicles, and being on-call for work, and changing professions to become a yoga instructor isn’t a viable option. Dr. Jacquelyn Kulinski, a cardiologist, has done extensive research on the matter with her colleagues at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She urges office workers to move around every hour while working.
What is the best way to stay active at work when you have a desk job? According to this article, simply standing up every 20 minutes can make a huge impact on your health.
Five or more hours of sedentary sitting, according to Dr. David Agus, is the health equivalent of smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes. Yikes.
Yet, sitting around is something we get plenty of practice at. Reading and writing and creating on a computer makes for big chunks of sedentary time. If you’re reading this post right now, are you sitting down? How long have you been sitting?
It’s a topic that I think of often. We’ve all kind of taken a shining to it on the Buffer team, being more aware of the time we spend in front of the computer, how we take breaks, how we focus on exercise and movement. And we’re not alone. There is tons of interest out there about the healthiest way to survive a sedentary job–from the health recommendations to the tools to the activities.
So what is indeed the healthiest way? And what can you change about your style today to get the biggest benefit?
Here’re some ideas.
THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO SURVIVE A SEDENTARY JOB
Stand up every 20 minutes.
Studies have shown that our bodies can benefit from simply standing up, contracting muscles, and moving. Think of standing as pushing a reset button on your body. If you press the reset button before the timer hits 20 minutes, you’ll avoid any of the negative side effects of a sedentary job.
Gretchen Reynolds, a reporter on exercise research for the New York Times, wrote a book condensing health studies down to their most essential parts. One of the key takeaways from her research was this emphasis on standing up and the golden 20-minute mark.
New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.
By standing up, you cause the big muscles in your legs and back to contract, which leads to an increase in certain enzymes that break up fat in the blood stream. You don’t have to jog in place or do jumping jacks. Just stand. A very pleasant additional benefit is that standing up every 20 to 30 minutes also seems to prompt the body to burn calories, so you don’t gain as much weight from sitting at the office most of the day.
If you can stand up every 20 minutes–even if you do nothing else–you change how your body responds physiologically.
Other studies confirm the benefit of this simple act of standing. For instance, a study of employees at New Balance shoe headquarters showed that performing an activity every 30 minutes–standing, walking, stretching–improved not only health but also engagement and concentration.
So now the question becomes: How do you stand up every 20 minutes?
START SMALL: SET A TIMER FOR 20 MINUTES
At Buffer, each person on the team is equipped with a Jawbone Up to track our movement, activity levels, and sleep. At the end of every day, we can see how we moved (or didn’t move). For instance, here’s my Thursday.
Those big, flat valleys are exactly the types of inactive stretches it’s best to avoid.
Solution: The UP band lets you set a move reminder that causes your wristband to buzz after a certain amount of inactivity. Bingo! Set it to 20 minutes, and stand up when it buzzes.
Other fitness bands offer similar functionality, too. And if you’d prefer to keep things super straightforward, you can go with a trusty phone or kitchen timer to set a manual notification for yourself.
You start your day with a to-do list, then plan your list around different cafes, coffee shops, and workstations, popping from one to the next once you’ve completed a set of tasks.
For instance, you might start the day at the office, spend the late morning at a coffee shop, hit a co-working space in the afternoon, and return to the office conference room to wrap up your day.
Walking in between each work place injects multiple opportunities for movement into your day. Though you won’t be popping from station to station every 20 minutes, you can supplement the 20-minute rule with these popcorn intervals, helping you achieve more consistent movement throughout the day.
Do you sit at a computer all day & experience neck pain? Here are some tips that may help you- from Dr. Anthony Komaroff.
1. Keep your neck in a neutral position. That means your head balances directly over your spine and is not leaning forward or over to one side.
2. Keep your shoulders down and back in a relaxed position. Set an alarm every 45 minutes to “fix” your posture if you need to.
3. Set up your workstation with your computer screen at eye level and your feet supported on the floor.
4. Don’t roll your head round and round your neck, as some people do to loosen their neck muscles. This can grind your bones together. Instead, gently stretch your neck from side to side or up and down.
5. Don’t hold your head in a bent position for more than 10 minutes, whether you’re reading, watching TV, or looking at a smartphone or a computer. Change position so your eyes are looking straight ahead.
6. Don’t talk on the phone while leaning your head to one side. Use a headset or Bluetooth device.
7. See a doctor if your neck pain lasts more than 2 weeks.
Contact us to ask about our best ergonomic seating options! (757) 855-2800
We sat down with ergonomics expert Sacha Burn to ask how we can avoid cubicle-based back aches.
Can you explain a little bit about your work and what you do?
Ergonomics is really the science of fitting the task to the user, rather than the user trying to fit themselves to their tools or their task. Part of my specific role is to be able to provide ergonomic design recommendations for the designed product. It’s about working with our clients and studying at the employee level to improve the fit between the environment and the user. But largely what we spend our time doing is reactively addressing ergonomics, perhaps after someone has developed discomfort or even an injury. We work to improve the fit between environment and that user to make sure that we’re reducing their risk of developing [further] discomfort and injury, improving their comfort but also in turn improving things like their productivity, their efficiency, their satisfaction, and their overall health.
If you invest this much into creating an ergonomically correct workspace, are you really saving money down the line in these other costs?
One of my favorite studies was one that was actually published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. What the researches did was survey about 30,000 employees across many different industries and found that over half of them, almost 53% of them, reported some sort of discomfort. This specific study found that of those people who reported discomfort, they were losing about five productive hours a week to their discomfort. Taking longer to get started in the morning, having to leave early, maybe having to change their job tasks, sometimes even having to take breaks to complain to their co-workers about their discomfort. So we’re losing about five hours a week, but really this adds up to 30 or 40 working days every year, and if you take out weekends that’s almost two working months that we could be paying employees who are there but are not actually working.
What are the most common problems in a workspace from an ergonomic perspective?
The number one challenge of most office space work environments is that standard desk height in the U.S. is set at about 29 and a half inches from the ground. The reason this is a problem is that we want the work environment to be set to fit the employee, and not the employee to fit their body to the work environment.
Another challenge that we had is that growing up we had mothers and fathers and teachers who told us that we have to sit up straight for our posture, but really, what we know from ergonomic research these days is that sitting up straight and leaning forward puts an immense amount of pressure and stress on your body. It increases compression on your spinal disc, and it means that the muscles of the core and your lower back have to work all day long to hold you up. Even for someone who has abs of steel, those muscles aren’t going to be able to work that whole time without taking a break. The best thing to do in your office environment is to allow your back and your body to relax into the back of your chair—it reduces the pressure on your spine, and it reduces muscle activity in your back.
[There’s also] the fact that there’s nothing to govern the word ergonomic—anyone can label any product ergonomic. Even a few years ago Taco Bell came out with quesadillas and they advertised as having an ergonomic grip. I don’t know how that works.
So there is no formal oversight over companies labeling their products as ergonomic.
Absolutely not. What we teach is that instead of reaching for the product labeled “ergonomic” but looking for the criteria that will fit the tools to the body.
I’d say that first of all I would encourage not calling it an accessory, because it implies we don’t actually need it—but it’s really one of the most important parts of the work station. The whole goal of fitting the tools to the user are to accommodate two things, our hands and our eyes. So really whatever you’re typing on should lie in the hands in lap position. And whatever you’re looking at—your documents, your monitor, or your laptop screen—we call that the height of your eye. If you can do this and move all the tools close to your body, you’re not going to be overusing specific muscles and you can actually sit back and recline in your chair. One of the big messages is to relax, be comfortable at work.
We advocate keyboard trays is because it allows your hands to work in your lap. It can change your posture so much more than a task chair can. You can give someone a kitchen stool, or you can give someone the most ergonomic chair in the world, but if they’re working at a desk that’s too high for them, they’re going to be working in the same [bad] posture. But if you give someone a keyboard tray they can change the height, the depth, the angle of where their hands are they can move the tools according to their body and completely change their posture for the better.
The other is to get your screen up to the level of your eye. The basic guideline is if you’re using a standard monitor, to set the top line of text at or just below the height of your eye. The reason is that as humans we naturally look down at about a negative 15 degree angle below the height of our eyes. And the reason this is important is you want your gaze to fall in the middle of the screen so your neck can stay neutral and relaxed and you don’t strain your neck. We recommend lowering the screen to match your neck line.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves and tendons. Work related MSDs (including those of the neck, upper extremities and low back) are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker’s risk of injury.
But work-related MSDs can be prevented. Ergonomics — fitting a job to a person — helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity and reduces the number and severity of work-related MSDs.
Now how does this tie into office furniture? It’s because we have a wide selection of used desk chairs for sale that provide the most comfort possible. We carry well-known chairs such as the Herman Miller Aeron chair, which is known for its ergonomic features. Our chairs make working as comfortable and supportive as possible, and they’ll make your work day much less painful. Stay healthy!
“Steelcase says people don’t just sit upright in their chairs anymore. In this age of phones, tablets and laptops, people slouch and lean back and curl up in all kinds of new ways. Nine new ways, in fact, to which the company has given names like the Cocoon (reclining, feet on the seat, legs drawn in), the Take It In (slumped way back, arms relaxed while you watch a video) and the Strunch (a stretched hunch from chair edge to table, laptop pushed far away from you, chin propped up with nondominant hand).”
This research led to the Steelcase Gesture chair, which will cost about $1000. The Steelcase Leap chair isn’t too far off though, being that you can adjust it in many of the same ways as the Gesture, but it costs less. We get them in from time to time, and currently have a few used Steelcase Leap Chairs left in our showroom for $199.99!
Stop by to check them out today:
1124 Kingwood Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23502
If you haven’t heard of the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, please do yourself a favor and continue reading. I’m sure you’re looking for a stylish, comfortable office chair that increases circulation, supports your posture, and allows you to be more productive.
LOOK NO FURTHER!
Here at Office Furniture Outlet we frequently have multiple sizes of Aeron chairs right here in our showroom. If you’re interested, come in and try one out today!
One of the highest compliments an office chair can be paid is to be called “ergonomic.” It’s also, of course, one of the highest goals. The best office chairs in the world, Aeron among them, and the finest furniture houses in the world, Herman Miller among them, are in a race to build the most absolutely comfortable, supportive, clever, and ergonomic office chair on the market. From the day it came out, the Aeron chair has clearly had a very strong grip on that title. The chair takes ergonomics in office chairs to a new height, doing everything possible to make sitting, working, and moving in the chair as comfortable, healthy, and supportive as possible. Of course, that’s the most important thing in ergonomics; without excellent comfort in whatever product is being improved, the user can’t achieve the full effect of increased productivity and ease. If the user isn’t comfortable, then the user can’t give his or her absolute attention and energy to all the other issues the ergonomic product seeks to solve.
It’s official: Open-plan offices are wildly distracting places to work. About 70 percent of U.S. employees now work in open offices, according to the International Management Facility Association. But the collaboration-friendly environment with minimal cubicle separations “proved ineffective if the ability to focus was not also considered,” according to a new study by the design firm Gensler. “When focus is compromised in pursuit of collaboration, neither works well.”
The key to making workers happy and productive is having a mix of spaces for different activities. Gensler found that workers spend more than half their time at work in deep focus and about one-fourth in collaboration, with the rest split between learning, socializing, and other tasks. Of course, office workers still spend most of the day at their desks, but when it’s time to do some hard-core collaborating or learning, moving to a different environment can help them shift gears.
Are you someone who sits down at work all day? While your job may be perfect for you, you should take health effects into consideration. Office spaces are set up to require very little movement, so it is easy to gain weight while also increasing the strain on your neck, back, and wrists. To reverse the unfortunate effects of hard work, you should learn about various exercises you can do to help yourself stay out of harm’s way. You may be too busy to work out at the gym, but consider getting into the habit of working out while at work.
No. 1: Make the most of your commute
Walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus or the subway, get off a few blocks early or at an earlier stop than usual and walk the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot — or park in the lot for a nearby building. In your building, take the stairs rather than the elevator.
No. 2: Look for opportunities to stand
You’ll burn more calories standing than sitting. Stand while talking on the phone. Better yet, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter. Eat lunch standing up. Trade instant messaging and phone calls for walks to other desks or offices.
No. 3: Take fitness breaks
Rather than hanging out in the lounge with coffee or a snack, take a brisk walk or do some gentle stretching. For example, face straight ahead, then lower your chin to your chest. Or, while standing, grab one of your ankles — or your pant leg — and bring it up toward your buttock. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
No. 4: Trade your office chair for a fitness ball
Consider trading your desk chair for a firmly inflated fitness or stability ball, as long as you’re able to safely balance on the ball. You’ll improve your balance and tone your core muscles while sitting at your desk. You can even use the fitness ball for wall squats or other workplace exercises during the day.
No. 5: Keep fitness equipment in your work area
Store resistance bands — stretchy cords or tubes that offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them — or small hand weights in a desk drawer or cabinet. Do arm curls between meetings or tasks.
According to the article by Kath Walters, the way that an office is designed can enhance or undermine trust between everyone in the workplace. Trust in the workplace is extremely important- Not having it leads to low morale, lots of micromanagement, and other factors that discourage people from doing their jobs.
When employees see that their boss has a huge office that he’s rarely in, while they slave away in tiny spaces, their trust diminishes. Would you perform your best work for a company that you feel doesn’t value you? To fix the issue, you must promote fairness. Employees deserve to have the latest technology, comfortable seating, and an adequate space to work in. Communication is key, so go for designs that will promote clear communication.
These days, everyone in the office wants the same thing; The article states that trust level drops when someone has better quality furniture than others. If you want to have a nice chair for everyone, you can do that affordably by buying used office furniture. If you’re looking for a great place to buy from, Office Furniture Outlet has the largest office furniture inventory in Hampton Roads. We provide affordable new and used furniture and offer a range of services including space planning and design installation. Let us assist you in building up that office trust!
Office Furniture Outlet buys and sells used office furniture. Our used office furniture inventories include most name brands. One of the perks of having multiple name brands in one space is our customers can compare styles, features and prices in one stop. When you are considering buying a new office chair this can be very important because you can sit in all different kinds of chairs. After all most people sit all day long in their office chair so, you want to make sure that your chair is comfortable.
Our most requested used office chair has to be the Herman Miller Aeron chair. Aeron’s popularity comes from being highly adjustable and allowing for natural positioning for health and productivity (ergonomics). Aeron chairs are designed with ergonomics in mind even the trademark mesh seat is an ergonomic feature. The mesh contours the body for ultimate snug support. The mesh is softer and offers ventilation vastly different than a generic office chair. Another ergonomic feature is Aeron’s contained suspension system that allows for up, down, tilt forward & backwards adjustments to regulate height and angle. Seat tilt has been noted to help decompression of the lower back. The Aeron also has synchro-tilt management where the backrest will recline at a faster rate than the seat to offer maximum positioning for the back and neck. The armrest move forward, back, up and down as well.
The Aeron chair is a high end office chair and isn’t inexpensive however, you can buy one used and save money. When buying a used Aeron chair you can save 60% to 75% off list price. Office Furniture Outlet liquidated Aeron chairs on a regular basis.
If you want to test drive or ’test sit’ a Herman Miller Aeron chair or other office chairs stop by our 10,000 Sq. Ft. showroom in Norfolk’s Industrial Park –1124-B Kingwood Ave, Norfolk, VA 23502 or give us a call at (757) 855-2800.
More information on Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair below.
The Untold Story Of How The Aeron Chair Was Born
ALMOST EVERYONE KNOWS THE AERON CHAIR AS A HIGH-TECH DESIGN CLASSIC. BUT FEW PEOPLE KNOW THAT ITS TRUE ORIGINS LIE IN A 10-YEAR EFFORT TO CREATE FURNITURE FOR THE ELDERLY.
After the great DotCom bust of 2000, there was one lasting symbol of the crash: Herman Miller’s Aeron chair. The ergonomic, mesh-backed office chair was launched in 1994, at the start of the bubble; at a cost of more than $1,000 at the time, it quickly became a status symbol in Silicon Valley–spotted constantly in magazines, and in cameos on TV and film. Then, as the DotCom’s failed, the chairs went empty. As one information architect told New York magazine years later, he remembered them “piled up in a corner as a kind of corporate graveyard.” He went on: “They’re not in my mind an example of hubris as much as they are an example of companies trying to treat their staff more generously than they could actually afford.”
The Aeron was a throne perfectly tailored to Silicon Valley’s vanities. With a frame of high-tech molded plastic, a skin of woven plastic fibers pulled taut, and mechanics that accommodated slouchy rebels, the chair flattered the people who bought it. It was the best engineering money could buy, and it seemed purpose-built for squeaky-voiced billionaires inventing the future in front of a computer. But the Aeron’s origin story isn’t so simple. The apotheosis of the office chair–and perhaps the only one ever to become a recognizable and coveted brand name among cubicle-dwellers–was actually the unexpected fruit of a 10-year effort to create better furniture for the elderly.
One of the Aeron’s designers was Bill Stumpf, the son of a gerontology nurse and a preternaturally keen observer of human behavior. So he was well primed in the late 1970s, when the American furniture company Herman Miller began casting about for growth prospects and hired Stumpf and Don Chadwick–who had done several pieces for Herman Miller–to investigate the potential of furniture for the elderly. It seemed like a tantalizing market opportunity. The American populace was aging quickly, assisted living facilities were rare, and hospitals lacked ergonomic furniture suited to long-term care. In each environment, Stumpf and Chadwick observed the surest sign of an opportunity: Furniture being used in unintended ways. The homely workhorse common in both medical and residential settings was the La-Z-Boy. In hospitals, the elderly often got dialysis in semi-reclined La-Z-Boys; at home they spent hours in them watching TV. “The chair becomes the center of one’s universe. These sorts of realizations at the time weren’t just overlooked, they weren’t [deemed] important,” says Clark Malcolm, who helped manage the project. Those observation studies and focus groups “made Bill and Don focus on seating, in a way they never had before.”