For someone working in an office, a large percentage of a 40-hour work week can be spent seated. According to the National Institutes for Health, the average American adult spends 11 to 12 hours a day seated. These sedentary hours can lead to discomfort, back pain, and significant health issues. The NIH reports that sitting for long hours of the day can contribute to a whole host of health issues ranging from poor circulation, to diabetes, to heart disease. While it may be ideal to increase daily activity, many of these seated hours are an inevitable part of office life. A good way to mitigate the harmful and uncomfortable effects of sitting is investment in quality ergonomic furniture like the stand up desk for your office space.
What is ergonomic furniture?
Ergonomic furniture is furniture which is specifically designed with health and comfort in mind. It cradles the body in specific ways to maximize spinal support and minimize the pain and health detriment that can potentially arise from long hours spent seated. For example, the slight tilt of an ergonomic chair can promote proper posture through the pelvis, reducing risk of back problems arising from prolonged slouching. Furthermore, a quality backrest provides lumbar support to the lower back. By conforming to the natural “S” shape of the body, a good ergonomic chair takes the burden of work off of the muscles in the back and torso, reducing stiffness and soreness. A good ergonomic chair should also be adjustable in a variety of dimensions, allowing the user to customize perfectly to their height, size, and needs.
How much does ergonomic furniture cost?
An extremely wide price range for ergonomic furniture is available online. The most commonly used item of ergonomic furniture would be the office chair. Lowest options on Amazon ring in under $80, while lavishly expensive options catering to specific interests like gaming can run into the five-figure range. Of course, a quality chair does not need to be in the top price bracket. Many highly reviewed chairs are available in the $100-$300 range. Some price will vary depending on your preferred features such as height and adjustability.
Is it worth the cost?
At the end of the day, this depends on your lifestyle. If you are an office worker spending half or more of your workday in one chair? It is absolutely worthwhile to drop a couple hundred dollars on an item that can give you years of comfort and improved health. As for the more expensive and specialized chairs, they may only be worthwhile for someone with a big budget and a very niche interest requiring maximal support in a chair, such as a professional gamer who’s job might be reliant on being comfortable enough to carry out very fine movements throughout long and uninterrupted hours. However, a smaller investment in a mid-range chair is justifiable for anyone spending more than an hour or two in one chair per day. In fact, it could be argued that such a chair can easily pay itself back by improving your health and productivity.
It is hard to be productive if you dread sitting down to work. If you have a job where your income is reliant on your personal motivation, being distracted by discomfort and back pain can be costly. On the other hand, a workspace in which you can feel focused and comfortable can be not only an emotional boon, but a financial one.
Staying seated for long periods of the day can be severely detrimental to one’s health. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time is associated not only with back problems, but with conditions as serious as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. An investment in an ergonomic chair which promotes healthy posture and blood circulation can not only make you feel better; it can contribute to a longer and healthier life. Consider it preventative maintenance. A couple hundred dollars? Even one prevented a trip to the chiropractor and your chair might pay itself off.
What other kinds of ergonomic furniture are available?
Although they are the most popular (and perhaps the most essential), desk chairs are not the only kind of ergonomic furniture available. Many different pieces of furniture available now market themselves as ergonomic, most of them are found in the office space. Other things include ergonomic desks and mousepads. Even things like ergonomic sofas and seat cushions are available. Whether these other items are worth the cost depends how often you use them and whether your current model is causing you discomfort. For example, if you suffer from pain in your wrists after a long day at the computer, an ergonomic mouse pad may be a good investment. On the other hand, it would not be as important in a piece of furniture you don’t intend to use regularly.
Considering the wide price range available for ergonomic furniture, the health benefits it can provide, and the comfort it offers, ergonomic furniture is certainly worth the investment to the average office worker.