What should you consider when creating an ergonomic work setup?

10.08.22

June is “Safety Month” in the US, focusing on safety in the workplace. We wanted to bring this partly to the UK, by looking at ergonomics.

While working on a computer, we spend a lot of time sat down, however 6 out of 10 people work from a chair that does not fit them. This can be detrimental to their health, causing injuries from bad posture and undue pressure, so it’s important to consider the ergonomics of your setup for working both at home and in the workplace.

We have had the pleasure of partnering with Ergochair for 13 years, supporting their IT and growth. They have over 18 years in the industry, manufacturing bespoke work chairs suitable for every size, shape and an array of medical conditions and postural problems, so we spoke with their Managing Director and Sales Director, Rob and Nick, to discuss what people should consider when selecting an ergonomic chair.

What does ergonomic mean?

Ergonomics is the process of designing things for the user and purpose intended. It aims to minimise risk of injury or harm.

However, the term ‘ergonomic’ is largely overused. Whilst many work chairs can have some adjustments, the reality is that these chairs can only be adapted to fit a central band of people, rather than all. Using ill-fitting work chairs long-term can lead to poor posture and undue pressure to the spine, so its important to ensure your work chair is well-suited.

What things should people consider when selecting an ergonomic setup/chair?

Critical dimensions of the user should be used to help specify the perfect ergonomic chair. These dimensions should determine:

  • The height of the back – this should be calculated to fit the back of the user
  • The width of the seat – this must be considered to accommodate the size of the user so they can safely and easily get in and out of the chair whilst being able to have the armrest pads underneath their shoulders
  • The height of the armrests – the user should not need to lean while using them as this produces undue pressure on their back
  • The location and size of lumbar support and air cells – these can be added to enhance back support and mitigate the risk of poor posture
  • The user’s weight and seat depth – this can be altered to allow for pressure absorbency
  • An understanding of the way you work – this is also key when considering your work chair. In the past few years, work tasks have moved to video calls, which means you may adapt your posture throughout the day, compared to when you are sat working at your desktop

Good ergonomic chairs have multiple adjustable features that can be personalised from person to person, however it’s not always necessary to have all the features.

Ergochair have an assessment service, easiSpec, created with Computer Geeks, which utilises these critical dimensions and allows you to get a prescription for a chair that is unique to you and has exactly what you need.  easiSpec will help make recommendations and show compatible choices when prescribing your chair based on the information you have given.

If you would like to find out more, visit Ergochair’s website www.ergochair.co.uk or email hello@ergochair.co.uk for enquiries or any information. Their friendly team are happy to advise you further, point you in the right direction or help you get an appointment for an assessment.