What is the most common office furniture in the world? The desk chair. But we’ve been sitting on plain old chairs, which may or may not be comfortable, for far too long. In today’s digital age, our work environment and pattern of sitting has gone through radical change because of computers and screens. The change is not only in the type of work we do, but also in the way we sit for that work.
A lightweight and ergonomic chair and standing desk are more than a trend. The rise in the popularity of these chairs over the past few years has been so significant that most office furniture manufacturers have at least a few models in their catalogues aimed towards an office chair-centric customer base. Here are a few reasons why you should consider switching your work chair to an ergonomic one:
- Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition that specifically damages the joints. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.5 million adults in the United States suffer from RA, which is considered a relatively rare autoimmune disorder. Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, avoiding tobacco smoke and alcohol consumption, and keeping stress down can help avoid developing RA later in life.
Treating symptoms of the disease usually involves medication that reduces pain and inflammation. For some, a combination of medications is required to relieve symptoms at their most severe.
- Reduce Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition affecting the nerves and soft tissue in the wrist that can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the hand. The most common symptom of this ailment is numbness or pain in the thumb, index or middle fingers. People who are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome may also experience symptoms including tingling, weakness and loss of sensation.
While doctors are not entirely sure what causes this condition, they do know that it most often affects women who work with repetitive motions. More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome over their lifetime according to statistics collected by the CDC.
- Improve Upper Body Posture
We all know by now that sitting for long hours hunched over with our heads forward in front of a computer screen increases the chances of developing back problems like disc herniation, spinal curvature, and muscle strain. Besides the physical symptoms that result from poor posture, sitting in a hunched position is not only embarrassing but also makes you feel self-conscious about how you look to other people.
If your inability to maintain good posture is due to your work environment, don’t worry since there is an easy solution: replacing your chair for an ergonomic office chair can improve poor posture and increase comfort in your work environment.
- Reduce Back Pain
More than half of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lifetime that could be as a result of poor posture while sitting or as a result of doing manual labour, or both. As with carpal tunnel syndrome, it is difficult to pinpoint one single cause of back pain since it can be caused by anything from old age (degenerative disc disease) to an injury you suffered previously and never completely recovered from.
Almost all cases of chronic lower back pain have weaknesses in the body’s musculoskeletal system and tendons that cause the back muscles to overwork themselves while trying to compensate for the weakened area.
- Prevent Neck Pain
Plastic surgery is a common treatment for neck pain. As it addresses the structural changes caused by cervical spine and core muscles, a procedure such as this usually requires that you wear a neck brace and sit upright all day long.
The main cause of neck pain is poor posture in which you hunch over when sitting at your desk. The same thing happens to patients who have had a previous surgery for an injury to the cervical spine: they develop muscle imbalances and tightness in the shoulders and trunk, which can also affect your neck.
The importance of sitting well and doing your job comfortably should not be overlooked. It directly influences your health, quality of life, and performance. A good ergonomic chair can make all the difference in the world when it comes to avoiding such common problems associated with poor posture. Research into different chairs is important to ensure that you select one that works for your body type and work schedule.