Ergonomic Chair

There are many options available, but what is an ergonomic office chair? What features must it have? How do you make the right choice?

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There is a huge selection of ergonomic office chairs for sale in South Africa. So what is an ergonomic office chair and how do you choose one that best meets your needs?

1. What does "Ergonomic" actually mean?

Office Ergonomics is about designing office equipment to suit the people using it. This means that the chair, desk, monitor, keyboard etc, are designed and setup to reduce or prevent the user from suffering unnecessary fatigue, stress and injury. Office ergonomics is sometimes known as human factors engineering. Best practices for ergonomics in the workplace.

bad ergonomic office chair

Computers and related products, such as computer desks and chairs, are often the focus of ergonomic design. Many people use these products for extended periods during their normal working day. If they are poorly designed or incorrectly adjusted, they can have a detrimental impact on the person using them. The consequences of sitting on the wrong chair

2. How does Ergonomics relate to sitting and your office chair?

At the beginning of the last century, people realised that the wellbeing and efficiency of employees could be improved, and fatigue reduced, if workers were allowed to sit down while performing their tasks. This contributed to the study of ergonomics and a focus on designing chairs for work. According to one international studyoffice workers spend 75% of their waking hours sitting down, so it’s little wonder that sedentary workers experience all sorts of health ailments! How to Protect Your Health in the Age of the Office Chair.

Unfortunately, our bodies are not designed for sitting, and doing so for long periods can have a negative impact on our long-term health and wellbeing

According to Better Health (Vic), the most common health-related issues caused by sitting for extended periods include: 

3. How does Ergonomics effect the selection of your office chair?

Ergonomic chairs sold in South Africa are designed to suit a range of people. However, there is no guarantee that they will suit any one person in particular, in other words, there is no, and never will be, a one-size-fits-all.

A chair becomes ergonomic only when it specifically suits a worker’s size (body dimensions), their particular workstation, and the tasks that must be performed – CCOHS 

a. Your body shape and size

We are not all the same height, we do not weigh the same, our arm and leg lengths are different, and so the list goes on. With this in mind, purchasing a chair for yourself becomes a very personal thing as the chair needs to meet your physical requirements. As an example, if you are “big and tall”, a heavy duty chair may be more suitable for you. What is a heavy duty chair?

Not only must the chair match your physical size and shape, but it should also take into account any special requirements that you may have.

For example, are you suffering from lower back pain, muscle strains, tendonitis, etc? Does the chair suit these special needs? Do you require a heavy-duty or an Orthopedic office chair?

b. Workstation setup

Your workstation is critical when selecting a chair. How high is the workstation? Can the chair be adjusted accordingly? Is there sufficient space below the desk or table to accommodate your legs? Can you place for feet in a comfortable position? Is your movement restricted? What is the correct height for my desk, computer monitor and office chair?

c. The task you perform

What work do you perform at your workstation? For example, will the chair be used in an officelaboratory or factoryhome office or for gaming? Will it be used by a single person or will there be multiple users? What desk or table will be used? Do you have to perform physically demanding tasks like lifting objects at your workstation?

Only once you understand your physiological shape and size, workstation setup, and finally the task that you need to perform, can you select the correct office chair.

Ergonomic office chairs in South Africa and elsewhere, are adjustable and are designed to accommodate most people, viz. 90% of the population. The shortest and tallest 5% of people may need custom-made chairs. When it comes to chairs, there is no one-size-fits-all.

When it comes to ergonomic office chairs on sale in South Africa, look for ones that have multiple adjustable features.

4. Features that SHOULD be found on every ergonomic office chair for sale in South Africa

features of an ergonomic office desk chair for sale in south africa

Remember: An office chair becomes ergonomic only when it specifically suits a person’s size (body dimensions), their particular workstation, and the tasks that they have to perform.

With all the possible adjustments, there is a chance that the chair may be setup incorrectly. Unless you have some prior knowledge, correctly setting up a chair that has all the adjustable features like seat height, backrest height, backrest angle, lumbar support, seat depth, armrests, etc, can be quite daunting. The Perfect Office Chair and Desk Setup

5. Ergonomic office chairs for Sale in South Africa from Karo


How to select the best ergonomic office chair from all those available in South Africa, requires a basic understanding of office ergonomics. The chair must have the necessary adjustment features you require for your workspace setup. A good office chair will only be of benefit to you if it has been adjusted correctly for your specific needs.

Get professional help to setup your chair if you have an underlying medical condition. An incorrectly adjusted chair may aggravate the condition, or cause additional complications. Contact us for advice.

By the same author:

John Karle

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