According to a recent survey, 46% of us sit at work for four to six hours a day and 25% sit for seven to eight hours a day (AXA PPP Healthcare, March 2017). That’s a lot of sitting. And it seems, we’re not all that good at doing it properly. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 23 million working days in the UK were lost, along with £billions in revenue, because of office-related illnesses with over half a million of these put down to musculoskeletal disorders. Although we can’t put all of these cases down to our seating arrangements, there’s a strong belief that improving our office workstations is key to keeping these problems at bay.
But with so much office furniture out there to choose from, how can you make sure you get what works best for your business?
Looking after your staff’s wellbeing is paramount to keeping your business going. And it’s not just about their health. Having a nice working environment means happier, motivated and more productive workers too.
The term ‘ergonomic’ means ‘relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment’. The main aim of an ergonomic chair is to support your joints and back and encourage good posture but they also help increase blood flow, reduce blood pooling in the legs and feet and aid with fatigue.
So what does an ergonomic chair have in comparison to a normal chair? Well, for starters, they should have an adjustable seat height and a good size seat depth and width; a lumbar adjustment to support the individual’s lower back curve plus back and arm rests that can be moved forwards and backwards. The material of the seat is important too, with breathable fabric and enough padding to give support but be comfortable.
The good news is that choosing ergonomic furniture doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on style. There are plenty of options out there that are practical and look great too.
What is your budget?
Investing in office furniture that protects your staff from injury and discomfort is important but we know realistically that cost has to come into the decision-making process. Rest assured that finding good quality, effective ergonomic office furniture doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of options out there if you look in the right places.
Read the instructions
You can spend all the money in the world on ergonomic furniture but if you don’t use it properly, then it’s not going to be effective. There is a lot of value in spending a bit of time making sure that workstations are set to suit the needs of individuals. The Health & Safety Executive’s ‘Seating at Work’ guide provides tips for setting up the workstation correctly – http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg57.pdf