What is an ergonomic chair?

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“Ergonomic” Chair ! be very careful, as “ERGONOMIC” has become the most overused word in relation to chairs and furniture, if you look on the internet practically every chair is marketed as an “Ergonomic” chair and many have very basic mechanisms and very basic functionality. Any chair needs to work with the user and the environment that the individual is working within, it also needs to allow them to function and work with whatever technology they may be using, so the chair is only part of the overall workstation.So we would tend to put chairs into 3 categories:-

1. Basic Functionality – must have ability to adjust the height of the seat so that the user can work at the correct height for whatever desk they may be using, should also be able to adjust the height and angle of the back to provide lower back support, and should be on castors so that you can pull yourself in and away from your desk easily. (more ergonomic than a 4 legged dining chair!)

2. Improved functionality – must have all of the above and then the addition of seat depth adjustment, arms which ensure you can get close to the desk (height adjustable and shallow enough so that they do not hit the desk when you move in) (more ergonomic than the chair with basic functionality!)

3. Really “Ergonomic” option – would provide you all of the above functions but with the possible addition of some form of forward tilting seat and dynamic mechanism to allow/encourage movement, at this level you will also have the option of various specialist add on’s. this will generally allow you to ensure the chair fits the user whilst also ensuring that the functionality of the chair lets the user interact with the other furniture/equipment they will be using, at this level you may also consider specialist options which would include various stools/saddle stools etc (Probably the closest we can get to a truly ergonomic solution)

But most importantly the chair must work for the user and allow them to work in conjunction with any other furniture and equipment as comfortably as possible, but we all need to remember that when our bodies say “ouch” stand up and move because “The best posture is the next posture”

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