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The Evolution of Office Chairs

According to new health studies, sitting is the new smoking. What this means is that sitting for an extended period of time and the sedentary lifestyle that it promotes can have the same hazardous effect on your health as smoking does. If you’re worried, the battle is not lost. You need to re-think your desk chair design and find one that promotes better posture and reduce strain on your lower back and neck. With the evolution of office chair designs and trends in the industry, it is now possible to find one that can accommodate your needs.

To better understand how to choose from various office chairs, it is important to consider what goes into each design process. It is also important to know what options are available in the market so you can make the right choice.

How Office Chair Designs Evolved

Office chairs are a lot like shoes. They both serve a purpose and often reflect your status or taste. But perhaps the most important thing to take away from this is that both have direct impacts on your body. If you do not get the right fit, then your body will suffer from chronic aches and pains.

The concept of ergonomic office chairs started out in the 80’s. Unfortunately, while the design continues to evolve, the industry has not quite found the perfect formula for an ergonomic chair just yet.

History records and documentation reveal that the first ever chair with a body-conscious seating position was built in 3000 BC. Another design came out in Egypt during 712 BC, which developed from the first design and focused on aiding the body’s seating position to support lower back and overall posture. The fact that chair designs with an ergonomic support has been created during the prehistoric and ancient times reveals that humans have been seeking chairs that combine comfort and productivity for a long time. In fact, a book entitled “A History of Seating, 3000 BC to 2000 AD” outlines the evolution of chair designs during those time periods, although the earlier designs were focused on creating chairs built for a specific task.

Fast forward to the 19th century, studies were continually being done in order to come up with the ideal office chair design. At this point, chairs were designed for functional purposes, as well as comfort.. By the 20th century, more modifications on office chair designs were introduced. The term “ergonomics” was revived and features like backrest and seat tilting were added. Style and aesthetics were also becoming an important factor in the design conceptualization, especially in the 1990s. Modern executive chairs are an example of this long period of evolution of chairs. It is one of those designs that offer superior lumbar support and comfort.

Office Chairs and Productivity

Understanding the evolution of office chairs is not enough. It is important to comprehend which features were discarded and which were implemented into modern office chairs. The logic behind the development of new designs is to cater to the need for ergonomic support, which in turn can boost productivity.

This is not a myth: there are several studies out there that will support the claim that office chairs can impact employees’ productivity within a work environment. The same is true with office and work station design. Employee comfort is one of the primary reasons behind this. If you are not comfortable on your chair, your mind will be distracted. You will be unable to focus on the task at hand since you are dealing with physical pains and aches. Hence, it is important to choose office chairs that will adapt to the physical requirements of every individual. You should be able to adjust the height of the chair and it should provide adequate support for neck and back.

The long term effect of bad posture and lack of spinal support can also hamper productivity. When you are forced to leave from work due to chronic pain or illness, it will stall work in the office and result in backlog. Employers have to consider all of these factors when choosing the best office chairs to provide to their employees.

Style and Branding

The importance of ergonomics cannot be overlooked when investing on office chairs. However, newer models of office chairs released into the market are also bringing modern styles that will reflect the company’s brand or image. This is where office fitouts and custom furniture services came about. Buying pre-made designs is not enough despite the many options for styles, colors and designs. Custom chairs allow companies to create their own designs that will be consistent with their branding efforts.

When investing in office chairs on sale, you have to think outside the box. An ergonomic chair that provides support and comfort is the best way to go. However, style should not be a compromise in the process. An inspiring work space should not just be organized; it should reinforce your brand image too. When clients or associates walk into your office, they must be able to recognize your branding message. Any branding expert would strongly advocate that you take the design and style of your office space into account. And that also includes chairs and other furniture. Hence, the best kinds of chairs are the ones that deliver in terms of ergonomic benefits, comfort, productivity and company branding.