Have you been shopping around for that perfect chair?
One that can support your lumbar area and make hours of sitting more bearable?
Then you’ve probably seen the term “ergonomic” in every chair advertisement.
But you might be wondering what ergonomic means and if the chairs in your Amazon shopping cart are legitimately ergonomic.
I’m glad you’re skeptical because many ads on the market are misleading.
So you won’t be fooled again, let’s find out more about ergonomic design in chairs!
Table of Contents
What does ergonomic mean?
According to the Oxford Dictionaries, the term “ergonomic” is an adjective.
It’s used to describe anything that is specifically designed for comfort and efficiency in a working environment.
For instance, there are ergonomically designed keyboards, workstations, and even desks.
Check out the ergonomic desk set up below:
What makes a chair ergonomic?
Based on the dictionary description, and ergonomic chair should be intentionally designed for work.
Office workers sit all day long, so the chair should be able to give comfort and support.
Aside from feeling comfy, it should also be practical for work.
It’s pretty simple, right?
To be extra careful, make sure that the chair has the features mentioned below.
Features of an ergonomic chair
If you’re looking to buy an ergonomic chair, it might be a little bit daunting.
There are so many office chairs sold on Amazon that are labeled “ergonomic”.
It’s easy to be fooled if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Make a checklist and if the office chair has most of the following features, you can be sure that it’s ergonomic!
Let’s get the most important feature out of the way.
The best ergonomic chair has to have multiple adjustable features. Otherwise, it just isn’t worth your money!
Get a chair that has adjustable armrests.
Think about it like this, your elbows should be on the armrests, and your wrists should on the desk while you type.
Try it, it makes a world of difference!
Equally important would be the height adjustability.
It’s obvious that people come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s ridiculous for companies to expect that office chairs are a one-size-fits-all product.
Office chairs should vary in adjustability, especially for shorter or taller individuals.
Another adjustment feature to look for would be a sliding seat.
This will allow you to make the seat shorter or longer depending on your size.
Shorter people need to make the seat size smaller, but if it doesn’t have that feature, you should get a footrest instead.
Finally, the chair should also have an adjustable backrest.
This also ties in with your height. If you’re on the taller side, you’ll want the backrest to be higher.
On the other hand, if you’re shorter, it shouldn’t feel like the chair is eating you whole.
Just like Goldilocks, keep adjusting the chair until you can say “It’s just right!”
Sitting in the same position is going to strain your back and your neck.
At the end of a long day, you’ll feel that pain. This is probably because you were sitting in the same position for long continuous hours!
This is what the tilt is for. From time to time. You should readjust your sitting position, and how you align your back.
Check your posture!
It should tilt when you press on it, and it will help you feel more relaxed!
3. Lumbar support
More and more people face screens all day long. And it isn’t a surprise that more people have worse eyesight than before.
But the damage isn’t only with our vision, it’s also affected our posture and spinal health.
If you’re getting paid to work in front of a computer all day long, you should invest in a chair that can help you keep your posture.
The lumbar area is the lower spine. To know that the chair has lumbar support, you should see if there’s extra cushioning on the lower backrest.
If not, the frame should be tilted inward so that it hits your lower back. This will help you sit up straight.
Working in an office requires you to zoom around. Typing in one corner, answering phone calls in another, printing here, and filing there!
For a job that requires you to sit all day long, you’ll be surprised at how you need to move all the time.
This is exactly what the wheel casters are for. You don’t need to get up, you just need to spin and roll toward one place to another.
Remember, the casters should roll smoothly, and also be durable enough to support your weight.
5. Lightweight but durable
To be ergonomic, a chair must be lightweight. This will allow you to move around better.
It’s more efficient when you’re assembling it or moving from one office to another.
But just because it’s lightweight doesn’t mean it should be fragile. Remember, you’ll be sitting on this for long durations of time, even years!
So it should also be sturdy, and not fall apart just a few months after your purchase.
Who invented the ergonomic chair?
It’s difficult to know the exact time when office chairs were invented. It’s more like a gradual process of changing and evolving design.
This process isn’t done yet! Don’t think that the task chair we have today is the ultimate design perfect for working and relaxing.
That’s not the case, even today, you will be surprised by the new designs in all kinds of furniture that make day-to-day life more convenient.
In the ’70s the first task chairs were created.
This looks like the more modern design we recognize as an office chair today.
The Vertebra chair was designed by Emilio Ambasz and Giancarlo Piretti.
As the name suggests, this chair was according to the vertebrate. It’s also the first adjustable chair in the market.