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All About Office Chairs

By Owen Jones_

Office chairs are a familiar enough site and office workers in most countries have been sitting in them since offices became indispensable for scribes and bookkeepers about 5,000 years ago. However, your typical office chair has undergone a revolution in design over the last twenty years or less. The clear purpose of a standard office chair to permit its user to be able to do his or her work at a desk.

However, many office workers are working sitting down for long spans of time now without needing to get up at all. Before the computer became a standard part of an office worker’s equipment, it was frequently necessary to get up to get files from the filing cabinet or elsewhere.

These days, they are scanned into a computer and can be accessed from the desk. Beforehand, the office worker would have to get up to fetch paper, envelopes and carbon paper. Nowadays, carbon paper is redundant and the printer’s trays are preloaded with paper of different sizes and envelopes. Dictation that formerly meant going into the boss’s office, now gets handed over on a Dictaphone.

Being seated for long periods like this can be harmful to health. Some people suffer restricted blood flow, which causes cramp, while others assume a bad sitting posture and develop a bad back. The modern office chair encapsulates a great deal of science and research to try to prevent these and other industrial injuries.

The principals used in the design of these modern office chairs is called ergonomics. In order to apply the principles of ergonomics, it is necessary to be able to adapt a chair to suit the body shape of its user. This flexibility has turned the humble office chair into a sophisticated piece of health and safety apparatus.

The most important facet of sitting properly is to modify the height of the chair so that the feet can be placed flat on the floor with the thighs parallel to the floor. The pneumatic or hydraulic lever with which you make these adjustments should be accessible from your seated position, so that you can be sure of getting the height right.

The seat itself, or the pan, should be wide enough and deep enough to take the posterior without squashing it and resulting in restricted blood flow. The front or leading edge of the seat should be rounded and about two inches away from the rear of the knees of the sitter.

Armrests are not absolutely needed but are useful for taking a few minutes rest or if you have to do a lot of reading as often the computer keyboard takes up the space directly in front of the sitter, where the book would normally be put. If the chair has arm rests, they should be adjusted to suit the elbows of the user.

An office chair must have a back rest which should provide additional lumber support. This lumber support should be adjustable upwards and downwards to fit in the small of the back of the user. The back rest should reach to head height, otherwise there should be an adjustable head rest, which can be moved up and down to suit.

If your office chair has all these adjustments and you adjust them to suit you, you will greatly lessen the chances of you suffering an industrial injury.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with leather reclining chairs. If you are interested in a black recliner or any other type, please click through to our site.

categories: ergonomics,health and safety,office,seating,careers,business,home office,home business,health,work,computers,fitness,furnitureother

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jones_, Owen "All About Office Chairs." All About Office Chairs. 24 Mar. 2010. 14 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jones_, O (2010, March 24). All About Office Chairs. Retrieved September 14, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jones_, Owen "All About Office Chairs"

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