What is an ergonomic chair?

The Market is full of chairs which may be labelled "Ergonomic". Buying one  just because it is labelled "Ergonomic" could be a mistake.
Finding the right "ergonomic" chair is a challenge commonly faced by people who want to purchase seating to make their work place safer and healthier.
Ergonomic chairs are designed to suit a range of people; however, there is no guarantee that they will suit any one person in particular. For example, a chair could be too high, too low or too wide for a short, slim person. Also, the chair may not be suitable for all tasks or arrangements at the workstation. A chair becomes ergonomic only when it specifically suits a worker's size (body dimensions), his or her particular workstation, and the tasks that must be performed there. It is possible to find the correct chair although it is not easy to do so.


How to select a good ergonomic chair?

Selecting the right chair is an important step in preventing health problems in people who work in a sitting position for long hours. Considering the ergonomics approach, sitting is viewed as a specific activity which is influenced by the way that a sitting person interacts with his or her working environment.

Some Basics Points to note:

  • One chair does not fit all. The users' body size must be used when selecting a chair so that it does not strain any one part of the body while fitting another.
  • Users body height is important. The optimal seat height is about one quarter of the body height. This is only a rule of thumb since the torso-to-leg ratio can vary widely.
  • There is no chair suitable for all activities. For example, computer operators require a different chair than do industrial workers.
  • One should take into account maintenance and repair costs. Read manufacturers instructions to inspect for and how often inspection should be done.