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A QUESTION OF ADJUSTMENT
Interstuhl    19.03.2018     1101

EVERY OFFICE CHAIR CAN BE A PERFECT SEAT

A high-quality and modern office chair is the best prerequisite for healthy work at a desk. However, it offers no guarantee that the employees are actually sitting on it properly. Only by making the perfect adjustments can the office chair be individually adapted to the ergonomic requirements of the person sitting on it. And that's what it all comes down to. After all, no body is designed according to factory settings. That's why the new mantra is: Don't just sit down, adjust your chair correctly first!

 

THERE'S SITTING. AND THERE'S HEALTHY SITTING.

Although more and more people are earning their money in front of a screen, hardly any of them pay any attention to what they can do to counteract the typical consequences of sitting incorrectly. We all know that sitting for a long time can cause tension and circulatory problems as well as back problems. We also know that joints, muscles and the circulatory system are put under particular strain due to sitting for long periods of time.

But hardly anyone knows that making the right adjustments to your chair can significantly alleviate many of these impacts. Often, we simply sit down on an incorrectly adjusted, or completely unadjusted chair - on which our body isn't only having to contend with sitting in itself, but also with compensating for a completely unsuitable posture.

We each have a different basic constitution, a different physique and different requirements in terms of support. That's why the concept is simple: Everything that can be adjusted on a modern desk chair should actually be adjusted.

 

THE SEAT HEIGHT: KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND!

Lots of employees go straight for the height adjustment. But they usually set the height by feel - or by the height of their keyboard. And then it's often the case that their feet are left swinging in the air or their knees are unduly angled. It should be possible to have both feet placed on the ground while the knees are bent at an angle of about 90 degrees. The bend in the arms should also make a 90 degree angle when the hands are on the keyboard. The effect can be felt immediately. The shoulders are not pulled upwards but hang relaxed and straight. Because the feet aren't swinging, there is no tension on the musculature of the back.

Very important: When setting the seat height, your bottom should not be perched on the edge of the seat, but should be pushed back close to the backrest. In this position, the stress on the back is also significantly relieved by the backrest. The body is the measure of all things. Not the piece of furniture.

 

THE BACKREST: RELAX!

The backrest is usually used in the position it arrives in. And the negative consequences of this are vast: If the body is not in contact with the backrest, the back is under constant strain. In addition, many employees lean forward while they're working. In fact, the spine forms a slight S shape, which becomes increasingly upended due to poor posture. The so-called lumbar supports, i.e. the curve in the backrest at curve height, should prevent this change. But to do this, the seat back must always remain in contact with the entire back.

You will have found the ideal position if your back is in full contact with the backrest, in an upright position, and does not separate from the backrest even during slight movements. The lumbar support should be sitting practically unnoticed directly in the S curve.

 

THAT'S THE ONE FOR ME!

Not every office chair is suited to every body - even though many functions can be adapted. So employees should always request an individual model from their employer. The seat depth ensures that the person's bottom is positioned fully on the seat, without obstructing the circulation of blood to the legs. Larger persons will therefore often need deeper chairs. In terms of firmness, the same thing applies as for mattresses: The heavier the body, the firmer the seat should be. Otherwise the body will sink in, the pelvis will shift to the rear, and the back will automatically become crooked. If the backrest is too soft, it too fails in its support function. Here too, the user's own body weight plays a role - in particular due to the pressure on the backrest.

It's also worth taking a closer look at the armrests. They should help you to keep your arms at a 90 degree angle without strain. People with very wide shoulders have different requirements in terms of the width of a chair (and the distance between the armrests) than people with a narrower build.

By the way, it's always worth checking your chair adjustments again after a certain period of time: Is it still right for your body? Is it still performing all of its tasks? If the answer is no, it's time for a replacement.

But even the perfect chair is worthless without its owner: The user should check their posture deliberately when they start work and, if necessary, change their sitting position. As soon as they have found the perfect position on the chair, many desk workers notice that the day at work has taken much less of a toll on their body.


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