Right from the Stone Age, man has spent more than half of his gainful time in the sitting posture. This could be a valid reason for the Darwin’s monkey to lose its tail and transform into a homo-sapien.
The onset of 21st.century is witnessing the information technology engulfing the universe as a whole. We are in the midst of internet cloud. Most of the jobs connected with IT need a patient sitting for hours together. This plays have on the ergonomics of a person on the job. He must have a perfect office chairs made for each other.
The Government of Australia has set up the Australian Research and Development Institute at Tasmania to provide standards, testing and product certification for sellers and buyers of furniture including office chairs. This non-profit technical institution has set up several norms and standards for quality, durability and ergonomics that an work chair must have.
A person searching for a perfect office chair should first assess the features that he would like to have such as:
• Type of chair
• Load bearing capacity
• Work station requirement
• Seating and Back-rest material
• Seat height and tilt adjustment
• Back tilt
• Arms height
• Lumber adjustment
• Swivel properties etc.
Selection of office chairs type depends upon the nature of work for which it is going to be used. As individual, this may be related with long sessions on desktop computer, long session of sitting at the reception counter, class room sessions for one hour duration or more and similar other assignments.
The load bearing capacity of an office chair is important for persons in the higher weight range. A chair crashing down may be very serious more so when the person is over-weight.
Work station requirement is also important. At some places, there is excess humidity and heat resulting in sweating and heat discomfort. There are chairs with micro-perforated cushion material which can breathe. This produces a cooling effect. One must check about the seating and back rest material.
One should be very particular about the ergonomics of the office chairs. An unscientifically constructed office chair may hurt the back and neck. It may tire the wrist and the thighs. Injury and pain to the spinal curve is most common.
The Check list
1. The work chair must support the spinal curve.
2. It should have good height, tilt and swivel mechanism to give the best comfort.
3. The material used for back rest and seating should relieve stress and provide comfortable temperature.
4. The head rest should perfectly match individual requirement.
5. The height of the arm rest should adjust as per need.
6. The shoulder should get enough relaxation.
Almost all furniture sellers provide free trial of the office chair to be bought. One should take enough time in assessing the features vis-à-vis his requirements.
Needless to say, while buying an office chair, an individual must ask for the certificate from the Australian Research and Development Institute (AFRDI). Level 6 is supposed to be an excellent choice in terms of ergonomics, durability and various other qualities.
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