Custom Furniture: Designing an Ergonomic Office Chair

Office chairs are challenging. Most people who work at a desk sit in their office chairs for more than eight hours a day. Poorly designed office chairs are related to chronic neck and back pain, impact circulation and fatigue, and can measurably affect productivity.

Office Injuries

Chronic injury related to poor chair design and bad posture include overuse injury of the wrist, for those who work with keyboards, and neck strain for those who look at computer screens. Low back pain is exacerbated by posture and chair support. The cushioning and front edge of a chair seat on the back of the legs can, without proper design and regular movement, impact circulation in the legs.

Addressing Injuries with Ergonomic Chairs

Since so many American workers fall into the group at risk for workplace injury from poorly designed chairs, industrial designers have been working with physicians and physical therapists to design office chairs that address the most common health problems. Some of the factors built into the newest ergonomic chairs include:

  • variable sizes for different sized workers
  • adjustable armrests for height and width
  • easily self adjusting seat height
  • casters and five-point bottom
  • tilt adjustment
  • backrest curved to fit into the small of the back

Factors in Posture

Posture can be impacted by factors other than the chair. The need for reading glasses as workers get older may cause a forward tilting of the head and neck to see the screens more easily. This can happen without a person realizing they’re doing it. Chronic neck pain may be the first sign that a visit to the eye doctor is in order! Extra soft or cushiony chair seats, while initially comfortable, tend to flatten unevenly, and people begin to compensate for an irregular shape of the seat by tilting their body. A properly designed ergonomic chair can help both posture and comfort, for the long-term health and safety of the user.

Many industrial designers are using modern materials in ergonomic chairs, which can give them a look that is out of sync with the rest of the office. Consider consulting with our design professionals for custom furniture design that brings the best of the new ergonomic chair designs to your office furniture. We would love to work with you! PleaseĀ get in touch.