Why You Need An Excellent Office Chair
The office chair you’ve been eying may look sleek and modern but it quite possibly will leave your back feeling prehistoric.
Unlike any other piece of home or office furniture, aside for the mattress, it is of utmost importance, both fiscally and physically, that consumers take the time to educate themselves before making an office chair purchase.
First things first, as you browse chairs online or in the store, the voice in your head softly humming, “a chair is a chair, is a chair, is a chair…”, is most likely lacking both empathy and buttocks. Although all chairs are (supposedly) constructed for the same utilitarian purpose, sitting and bar fights, chairs can differ drastically in comfort and the long-term support they offer.
As an example, shoes offer an excellent lesson in how important it is for consumers to do their research before making what may turn out to be a most regrettable purchase. In looking to alleviate pain and increase overall comfort, consumers often spend countless hours and thousands of dollars in search of properly fitting shoes and orthotics, buying and trying numerous pairs until they find the one that works best. People suffering foot pain will often see podiatrists, orthopedic and sports doctors until they find a satisfactory solution for their chronic foot problems.
Sitting at a desk eight hours a day-five days a week, week in – week out, can cause a myriad of health and pain issues if one is sitting in a chair lacking adequate support.
So here’s the question: Why do we pay so much more attention to the shoes we wear than the chairs we sit on? We don’t hike in heels or run in Allen Edmonds, yet many of us sit on what, in terms of support, essentially equates to a fancy looking folding chair.
I suspect the answer is quite simple and lies in the way we think about things in general and specifically our health. As humans suffering from human nature, we are more aware and concerned with the now than the later, with today rather than tomorrow; hence the phenomenon known as hangovers. We know that smoking can kill yet everyday there are people trying a cigarette for the first time and others continuing to succumb to their lifelong addiction. Yet we generally do not identify smokers as suicidal- as their disregard for the more serious long-term consequences of their habit is in keeping with this tendency to regard the present more than the future.
The primary and obvious function of the foot is to support us while we stand or walk. When experiencing foot pain we can safely assume that the pain is caused by a deficiency in some aspect of our bipedal arrangement, if not the foot itself then most likely the shoes. When hiking in heels or wearing sandals in snow, it doesn’t take very long for one to realize they are lacking the appropriate footwear. The pain is immediate and the cause is readily identifiable.
Our backs are an entirely different story. As a central part of our body, our back is involved in virtually all our moving and physical activity. Often our initial reaction to experiencing back pain is to try and recall incorrectly lifting something heavy, rather than examining other aspects of our everyday life. Even after experiencing a traumatic event such as a car accident, often the pain is not felt immediately and only manifests itself hours, days or even weeks later.
Sitting without proper support for extended periods of time can cause different forces to continually and gradually stress different parts of the back. As with the smoker, we may not be concerned or even aware of how we are incrementally harming our bodies when the affects only become truly apparent with the passage of time. It is the slow accumulation of stress and tightening that can make it so difficult to recognize the cause of what may result in a sudden climax of debilitating back pain.
Hopefully this post should bring you one step closer towards understanding why using a “task chair” as an “office chair” is a bad idea. Over the course of the coming weeks, in a series of posts, we will examine the nitty-gritty of what makes an office chair excellent, and how to make sure it’s working best for you.
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