What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the process of organising workplaces, products, and systems so that they fit the people who use them, enabling them to work comfortably and efficiently.
Designing a workplace with ergonomics in mind will create a safe work space. People can be more productive as well as prioritise their health and wellbeing by preventing risk of injury.
Office ergonomics includes using and adjusting an ergonomic office chair, maintaining good posture, adjusting your desk height, positioning your monitor, placing your keyboard and mouse, using a headset or headphones when taking calls, using a copy holder when referring to notes and taking regular breaks.
In our ‘What is ergonomics?’ video, Andrew Wilson explains ergonomics and what makes an ergonomic chair
Ergonomic insights from an Osteopath
The Buro Seating product development team works with Ergonomist and Osteopath Andrew Wilson to provide detailed ergonomic assessments for each office chair, making sure all of our office chairs encourage good posture.
In Andrew’s 40 years of practising as an osteopath he has treated many patients with back pain related to poor sitting posture. Many of these patients work in sedentary office jobs and spend long hours sitting in poor postures. There was often a clear link between the effects of poor sitting posture and their symptoms. This realisation is what led Andrew to study ergonomics and help people to achieve optimal sitting postures and work environments.
What is an ergonomic chair?
Not all chairs are ergonomic. When shopping for an ergonomic chair keep the following points in mind.
Qualities of an ergonomic chair
Supports good posture
An ergonomically designed chair will be a good fit for your body by supporting a range of comfortable postures. The three common seated postures are; optimum posture where the thighs forward sloping 5-10 degrees, centre posture with the thighs horizontal and reclined posture which is great for phone calls.
When your posture is well-supported, you can experience improved circulation, reduced discomfort, better breathing and ease of movement.
Easy to adjust
An ergonomic chair will be easy to adjust while seated. The adjustments should be easy to reach from sitting, clearly marked and simple to understand and learn how to use.
The backrest should have good pressure distribution with support all the way down your back to your pelvis, following the natural contours of your body. The seat should also feel comfortable, with no pressure points, after long periods of sitting.
Clearly labeled adjustment levers make it easy to adjust the chair to best suit you.
The backrest of an ergonomic chair will follow the anatomical shape of the spine.