IT Professionals: What to Look For in an Office Chair
Cybersecurity professionals can often spend long periods of time at their desk, their concentration locked into a puzzling task. IT professionals can spend anywhere from 8 hours to 15 hours at a desk, and with increasing demand for experts in the sector, this is becoming more of a reality for many in the industry.
It used to be that not much thought was given to the comfort and safety of office chairs, with many people believing it was unimportant. Most people will be familiar with photos of people in offices from the 1960s onwards, or seen depictions in film, where staff are sat on a simple hardback chair that looks like something straight out of Ikea’s budget range.
There were obviously a lot of factors that played into this; stocking an office is expensive, and companies will cut corners where they can, plus sitting on a simple, rigid chair, is fine for most people for short periods of time.
However, as time has gone on, we now recognize that just because people working in an office aren’t experiencing the punishing changes on the body that manual labor can produce, it doesn’t mean that uncomfortable chairs don’t have adverse health effects.
Sitting in a poorly designed or unergonomic office chair for long periods of time can cause several problems:
- Neck/back/hip pain
- Stiffness, aches and pains, numbness
- Muscle soreness
- Circulation problems
And of course, these problems become exacerbated if the user has any prior conditions or injuries.
Let us look at what factors to consider when buying an ergonomic office chair for cybersecurity professionals:
Longevity and Robustness
Firstly, if you are investing money in chairs, you want them to last. Many office chair providers offer long-term guarantees so you can be confident that if you have any issues you can have the chair replaced. This provides peace of mind with an expensive purchase. Also, make sure to check reviews, people often come back to review some months later once they have had the chair for an extended period of time and can comment on things like wear and tear and long-term comfort.
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s not just checking about whether it’s adjustable, but also what ranges it is adjustable by, and whether it is just height that is adjustable or whether you require the back support to also be adjustable. It goes without saying that if you are buying chairs for an office environment that you will need to pick that chair that best meets the needs of the most people. People come in all different sizes, so an adjustable chair is a must.
Ergonomics is important in order to provide the best lumbar support. If people are comfortable and have good posture while they sit, they won’t be in pain and their work performance and concentration will be better.
Luke Munro, Managing Director of Wellworking, a UK based office furniture retailer said:
“Ideally, look for a chair with lumbar support, seat depth adjustment and a free float tilt mechanism, as these will ensure that the chair can be adjusted to suit you as well as encourage movement. And for the same reasons, although it may cost you more, it’s also good to choose one with armrest adjustability and different size options. Second, find a supplier who will show you how to use your chair and fit it for you on delivery. Third, remember a good ergonomic chair should have a warranty of at least five years and should last well beyond that.”
Using Office Chairs Correctly
People often find that even with a fancy new ergonomic chair, that they still have had posture and back and neck pain. This is often due to improper use. Even if a chair is designed to give you all the support you need, you still need to position yourself correctly in the chair.
Firstly you need to adjust the height so that you are positioned correctly in front of the screen. Secondly, you need to make sure you back is positioned towards the back of the chair with a tilt so that the curve of your spine matches the curve of the chair. Your knees should also be slightly lower than your hips, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Many people find that they have additional needs, even with the best chairs, and this should also be accommodated. For example, some people with chronic neck pain need neck support or may need a footstool if their legs and back are uncomfortable under the desk.