The average office worker spends the equivalent of 65-75% of their working hours sitting down, half of which is in prolonged periods of sustained sitting. Many recent studies have also suggested that prolonged sitting for more than seven hours a day contributes to negative health consequences. However, sitting at a desk is an essential part of the office working day, so selecting the right office chair is a very important decision.
Recently, articles with sensational headlines such as “Office workers must exercise for an hour a day to counter death risk” and “Office workers spend five years of their lives sitting at a desk - no wonder a third are overweight” have appeared in the UK media, warning of the dangers of sitting at a desk for hours on-end every day.
And although these articles were only intended to raise awareness of the negative health implications due to prolonged sitting, they fail to take into account the positive impact that a good ergonomic office chair can have on the comfort, productivity and long term well-being of each and every office-based employee.Seating Benefits
People need to be mindful of the amount of time they do sit down, but sitting does have its advantages. Sitting allows people to rest, transfer weight off their feet and reduce the pressure on the circulation system of the lower legs. One disadvantage to sitting in an office chair for long periods is that most people have a natural tendency to slouch over the desk or slouch down in the chair, which can contribute to or worsen back pain.
When people sit to work, they need to be well-supported in postures that promote health and productivity and that counter slouching. A good office chair can be adjusted to the proportions of the individual's body to improve comfort and reduce aggravation to the spine. Reclining and changing postures while sitting can also reduce pressures on the body and improve circulation.
As with most things in life, moderation is important. No matter how comfortable people are sat in an office chair, there is no doubt that prolonged static posture is not good for the back and can lead to health issues, so the importance of being active, standing and moving around throughout the working day cannot be underestimated. But for when people need to sit, the ergonomic office chair still has a critical part to play in the workplace.Not all chairs are the same
One of the biggest problems that people encounter when selling chairs is that many end users view them as a commodity item. And this is particularly true of task seating. While end users view boardroom and manager’s chairs as a prestige item worthy of some significant investment, task seating is often seen as a generic piece of equipment, in the same way that a paper clip or a stapler might be.
Investing in better chair design is of benefit to employees and businesses. So we always recommend talking to the chair users about their basic needs. For example, how many hours a day does each worker spend seated at their desk? Does each worker have their own chair or does the office have a hot-desking arrangement that necessitates chairs to be adjusted and set to different requirements? And what’s the worker profile…is there a history of sick leave taken due to back ache, RSI or posture related aches and pains?
Armed with this information, you’re in a much better position to narrow down the recommendations of the most appropriate seating choices for the customer and to praise the benefits of key features such as flexible back supports, adjustable seating heights and ergonomic design.Dams Seating Portfolio
In the Dams seating range there are over 200 chairs, 60 of which fall under the task seating category and 30 of these are designated as ergonomic chairs. For the end user that can be a mind-boggling array of options, and that’s before we get into any discussion of fabric styles and colours!
For example, the Senza fabric task chair range is equipped with ergonomic features and options that deliver style as well as substance. This family of operator chairs easily provides the comfort needed for a long day at work and allows users to choose their preferred back style and mechanisms to support the way they work.
Chair arms can be fixed, height adjustable and also fold back giving the option of both in one arm. In addition to gas lift adjustment, the back height can be adjusted to suit, and the seat and back position can be moved and set independently to each other. These are also wide-ranging personalisation options on the Senza such as a seat slide to adjust the seat depth, lumbar support via an inflatable lumbar pump built into the upholstered back and a sturdy chrome frame to ensure a ‘one-size fits all’ solution to task seating needs. These additional extras can also futureproof a company’s investment because the chairs can adjust to meet the changing needs of the workforce.
For even more robust support, end users might want to choose a chair that has been designed to offer increased ergonomic posture and lumbar benefits, such as the Senza Ergo from Dams 24 hour ergonomic range. Or if users prefer a mesh back option to keep them cool and composed during the warmer months, then the Senza Mesh is available with a breathable, black mesh back and padded seat for comfort and design.
Dams has also invested significantly in expanding our existing manufacturing and upholstery facilities with a new factory, new specialist equipment and additional skilled personnel. This ensures Dams can offer customers an even faster turnaround across the seating range and tailor seating choices to customer’s individual specifications with an extensive choice of fabric colours for a fully co-ordinated look that can unite a workplace.Making Seating Choices Stand Out
Modern solutions such as sit/stand desking and soft seating in breakout areas are becoming increasing popular in the workplace. However an ergonomic office chair is a tool that, when used properly, can help employee’s maximise back support and maintain good posture while sitting.
At Dams, we believe that everybody deserves a good office chair which has the movement and positioning capabilities to enable people to sit comfortably, whilst at the same time encouraging productivity by seamlessly supporting the body during work activities. That means combining the right ergonomic design and advanced functionality for optimum flexibility and comfort, in addition to selecting the customer’s individual choice of chair fabric that coordinates with the interior design style or corporate branding.
For any office worker that spends a significant part of their day at their desk, comfort is essential. And it’s important to convey to the buyer that employee comfort is directly linked to motivation and productivity. As a result, an investment in good chairs is an investment in the company’s future.