Office workers spend an average of 35-40 hours per week, many working at their desks in front of a screen and often on chairs that simply are not suitable for sedentary employment. The traditional chairs used in offices around the globe lead to very poor posture for the deskbound and more often than not cause slouching, slumping and stooping during the course of their shift. In the long term this will be a contributing factor to often significant health issues for individuals, the most obvious being severe neck and back pain and poor circulation due to the levels of inactivity during the working day. This is a perennial problem that affects so many individuals of all ages and gender, and one which requires the urgent attention of companies and employers all over the world. The introduction of ergonomic chairs and standing desks offer solutions to alleviate this global health problem by fostering a healthier physical posture for employees consigned to workstations. This therefore begs the question, which one is the best solution for the long-suffering workers out there? Let’s find out.
First off, you might be wondering what the specifications of an ergonomic chair are? The ergonomic chair supports the body parts which often weaken and deteriorate when seated for long periods of time, by educating and developing good posture at workstations. Ergonomic chairs achieve such physical improvements through the variety of settings available including adjustable height and depth selections to customise the chair to your body shape, enhanced lumbar support removing any space between the curve of your lower back and the chair and modifiable head and armrests. To put it simply, the ergonomic chair is designed to suit your unique body and provide you maximum comfort and support.
There are many benefits to this style of chair, especially when compared to the more basic office chair. They are not only a lot more comfortable, but it’s ability to be shaped around your back moves your body into an optimal sitting position which significantly improves posture, health and general wellbeing and can reduce or eliminate back pain caused by poor posture and equipment. However, with ergonomic chairs, as the name suggests, means sitting for long periods of time. The alternative to this is the standing desk.
Standing desks are taller desks which can be adjusted to suit your specific requirements allowing you to stand comfortably at your adjustable desk. They are rising in popularity and according to many studies, not only do they solve a lot of the issues caused by sitting down for long periods of time, but also offer health benefits of their own. The standing position strengthens legs, ankles and foot muscles, tones your core area and it can also lower blood sugar levels faster and burn more calories per hour than being seated. Furthermore, the standing desk enables you to fully stretch your spine and exercise your leg muscles, as well as improving your posture and thereby eradicating a lot of the back pain resulting from poor deportment when sitting for long periods.
Hence, there are very clear advantages to the standing desk over the office chair and it is evident that they have a place in the office environment, offering significant improvements to the physical health of staff. The question thus arises, which option is better – ergonomic chair or standing desk? The ergonomic chair is the more economical and perhaps comfortable option; however it does entail sitting for very long periods during working hours which is less effective in promoting the best posture. Therefore, when it comes to the better option for your health in theory, the prize would have to go to the standing desk. However, in reality it comes down to what works best for the individual.
Consequently, a combination of both options would seem to provide the best solution to optimising the physical and mental health of office staff. A limited number of standing desks scattered around the office would allow staff to use them occasionally, perhaps when they feel the odd twinge in their back or neck or if they simply wish to get off their backsides for a while. The general health of staff cannot be underestimated, in terms of cost of staff sickness and inefficiency due to working conditions, to the employer. It is so important that all workplaces provide a safe, secure and supportive environment to its employees to allow them to be effective contributors to the corporate goals.
If you need a good standing desk or ergonomic chair, you can check out Autonomous, a brand that offers high quality ergonomic equipment and office accessories like a desk drawer.