Worksite International Blog

Ergonomic Chairs

Six Office Chair Features You Can’t Do Without

Posted by Connor Flynn and Alison Heller-Ono on June 11, 2019

If you work in an office, you know what sitting all day can do to your back. It aches, you’re stiff, and your legs are tired mostly because you didn’t get up often enough or take any long walks. This can all be attributed to poor ergonomics, poor body awareness and a poorly designed office chair. When you know your job requires sitting for long lengths of time, you need to choose the perfect ergonomic office chair. If you can’t control what chair you get, no worries. Here are some tips on what to look for in a proper ergonomic chair.

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When an Office Chair is On Its Last Legs

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on May 21, 2019

Industry organizations have developed widely accepted ergonomic guidelines for the set up of office workstations and the design of ergonomic chairs. What’s missing — and very much needed, I argue — is an objective methodology for making the decision to keep, repair or replace task chairs once they’re in the workplace.

Despite recent trends toward promoting more standing in the workplace, average sitting times now exceed 7.7-10 hours per day or longer in the workplace, not including commute time. Most employers do not yet have widespread capacity for sit-to-stand workstations. As a result, far more emphasis needs to be placed on selecting chairs and the ongoing use of an ergonomic chair.

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To Arm Rest or Not to Arm Rest… This is the Dilemma!

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on April 22, 2019

Become a Certified Office Ergonomics Specialist in 2020. Online course begins  January 14-March 6, 2020. Learn More.

Perhaps one of the most controversial ergonomic actions in the workplace is whether to use armrests or not. I see many employees with chairs that previously had armrests but now do not. When I ask where the armrests are, the employee typically states, "The last ergo evaluator told me to remove them." To which I ask if that was helpful? Typically, employees report continued problems despite this action.

The question is why remove them? Is it necessary or helpful to use armrests with computer use? Is it bad to use chair armrests? There are many myths and half truths around the use of armrests. In this blog, I separate fact from fiction and help identify whether armrests are truly helpful or harmful.

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How Chair Aware is Your Ergonomics Program?

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on April 15, 2019

Chairs matter a lot. A bad chair matters more. But a good ergonomic chair matters the most!

Why do I say this? Because as a professional ergonomist, I’ve come to realize chairs are foundational to seated work. If the chair isn’t right, then the ergonomics will never be right, and your employees will never truly be comfortable!

So often I see companies with no specific plan for buying chairs for their employees. Typically, they are old, worn, outdated, poorly assigned, non-specific to task or employee stature, don’t work and employees have no idea how to adjust what they have been provided. Chairs are undervalued and underappreciated in the workplace! They are a forgotten asset!

Which brings me to ask you, “Are you chair aware?” Chair awareness is complex. The best way to explain it is to see if you can answer these ten questions.

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5 Strategies You Need to Know Before You Invest in New Office Chairs

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on March 11, 2019

When your employee tells you they have back pain from sitting, do you immediately think you need to replace his/her chair? And if you do replace it, do you worry about whether their cubicle neighbor to the right and left will want one too? Then before you know it…many employees are reporting the same; bringing in therapy balls or asking for ergonomic evaluations to justify replacing their ergonomic office chairs.

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Sitting Preferences Aid in Chair Selection and Fit

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on September 13, 2017

Are your employees constantly complaining about their chairs? Are you routinely guessing at what chairs to buy employees, using cost to drive your selection? Or perhaps you’ve experienced a high volume of seated work injuries?

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Rethinking the Ergonomic Chair for the Chair Addict in All of Us

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on February 3, 2017

I know we have come a long way in ergonomic chair furniture design. The mechanisms are smoother, more intuitive to our bodies, improved fabric and cushion comfort, more sustainable, but when is someone going to make a "smart chair" for all us chair addicts?

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If you can’t measure it, you can’t quantify it, therefore you are guessing!

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on September 9, 2016

The purchase and implementation of your ergonomic chairs shouldn’t be a guess! Yet, I’ve seen over and over how many employers seem to do just that… guess. Random selection based on pictures in a catalog or based on an arbitrary budget and no objective criteria seem to be the drivers behind choosing standard chairs at most workplaces.

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Chair Misfits

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on January 21, 2016

Oxford Dictionary defines a misfit as something that does not fit or that fits badly.

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Are Your Ergonomic Chairs an Asset or a Liability?

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on September 18, 2015

Do you know what you’re sitting on these days at work? What if the chairs your organization provided could give you a boost in energy and productivity? Or on the flip side, contribute to your aching back or neck? How would you know and what would you do?

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