myths about ergonomics you need to forget

I read this great article in “Interiors and Sources” and thought it would be useful information for everyone to see.

  1. I know everyone has been instructed to “sit up straight”. From your mother to your school teacher. Well guess what, sitting upright forces the body to slump forward creating poor seating posture and unnecessary stress on the shoulders and lower back. You should choose a seat back that reclines slightly and offers proper lumbar support.
  2. Firm seats are uncomfortable. While everyone wants a cushy soft seat to sit in, over a period of time that type of seat decreases circulation and comfort. Chair contours need to be well understood for proper seated health and improved productivity.
  3. One chair configuration fits all. Not true. People need to move and adjust their positions as the days goes on. Changing positions frequently relieves stress and pressure points on the body. It’s ok to play with the controls on a task chair – in fact, it’s encouraged.
  4. Comfort and ergonomics are the same thing. Many people think of good comfort as good ergonomics, but that can’t be further from the truth. Proper ergonomic seats may not be “comfortable” to start, but it’s critical for long-term health.
  5. Chair mechanisms are all created equal. Chair manufacturers provide so many different types of mechanisms, it’s no wonder some buyers are confused. Some mechanisms provide outstanding ergonomic benefits. However, many mechanisms – especially those found on lower price imported chairs will cause significant discomfort over time. A synchro mechanism provides a natural ergonomic recline versus a 1:1 ratio which raises the knees when reclining. When it comes to chair mechanisms, an informed buyer is a smart buyer.
Picture of Janna Paulson, RID, IIDA, LEED AP

Janna Paulson, RID, IIDA, LEED AP

President and Founder of PPDS since 1989, Janna directs and oversees company activities and personnel.