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We think it’s important for you to understand the significance of workplace ergonomics in your office and if you’ve read our guide: the ‘easy reach zone’, then you understand you’ll need to adjust your office chair to suit your individual needs. Actually, we heard a surprising fact from RH Chairs a while back:

7 out of 10 office workers they encounter don’t know how to adjust their own  chair!

This is in fact one of the first things we address on installation and understand that many of you are confused with the range of features, when you buy a chair ‘off the peg’. We would therefore like to help you consider what is right for you and the different features available to adjust your chair to suit your needs. The most basic office chair will provide a seat height mechanism which will allow you to raise or lower your chair with a lever (which should be independent) to the required height, ensuring your arms are at the optimum angle in relation to your desk. It may then be necessary to obtain a footrest if your feet are not firmly on the floor and to also raise or lower the monitor so that the top of the screen is level with your eyes.

RH Mereo BackrestAnother essential feature is an angle-adjustable backrest which will help you adjust your sitting position throughout the day and while undertaking different tasks. Here at HWS we think a free-flow feature is actually preferable, to allow for continual movement at your workstation, not only because adopting a static position for long periods of time can cause fatigue, but regular movement increases blood flow and will keep you more alert.

C-Pod Backrest designAll chairs should offer an adjustable back height, to ensure adequate support is provided to the thoracic and lower back. RH Chairs evidently claim that oxygen supply to the brain can increase when you sit adopting an appropriate posture.  Since individuals vary in height and anatomical measurement, it is well worth choosing a suitable size backrest to meet the individual office workers needs to help prevent later possible back and shoulder issues.

We often find when conducting a DSE assessment that one of the reasons why the user’s chair is ‘end of life’ is due to the fact that the gas lift piston no longer operates safely, preventing them from adjusting and maintaining the correct height of their chair. This can be exacerbated by exceeding the usage the chair was originally designed for (e.g. some chairs are specifically constructed for 24/7 use).  Or the chair may have also been subject to weights exceeding their maximum recommended capacity rating. Many cheap basic office chairs are designed for a maximum user weight of around 19 stone. Even our ergonomic everyday posture chairs support users of up to 23 stone (approx. 150 kg), while our really heavy-duty chairs rate up to a 44 stone capacity. We strongly advise you to check that your chair is suitable for weight and use, and perhaps also allow for some fluctuation too? (It’s coming up to Christmas after all!).

Does your chair measure up so far?

We have a  free downloadable checklist to help you give your chair an ‘MOT’  and the Health & Safety Executive offers a free downloadable guidance booklet: the ‘Seating Guide’ providing additional FAQ’s to consider when ‘Assessing whether seating design is suitable and safe’.

We’ll be discussing some additional features such as armrests, castors vs gliders and head/neck rests in an additional post soon –  Please sign up if you’d like to get future posts straight in your inbox!

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