Office Chair Injuries and How To Prevent Them
Office chair injuries are more common than you may think. Statistics show that two of the most likely causes of a fall in an office are due to either reaching for something while sitting in an unstable chair and using a chair as a ladder. I think we can all agree that chairs are not ladders and should not be used as such. However, reaching for something while sitting in a chair feels uncommonly routine.
What To Do to Ensure Your Safety
We’ve compiled some tried and true tips on how to ensure your chair is the safest and best option for you.
Assemble Your Chair Correctly
Follow the instructions, they’re there for a reason! If you are personally assembling your office chair, be sure to follow the instructions to a tee. No two chairs are built exactly alike, and for good reason, as they each perform differently. So even if you’ve built tons of models of chairs before, always follow the instructions to ensure excellent usability.
Just like a car, you have to do routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Every few months, check to make sure that the screws, nuts, and bolts are all tightened and secure. If it’s a chair that’s used all day every day, like in a hospital or 24-hour facility, check for wear and tear even more frequently.
Height and Weight Considerations
You don’t want to order a chair, have it delivered, assembled, and installed only to find out you’re 2 inches too tall or too short for this model. Always look at the height and weight considerations when choosing your office chair. This will allow for comfortability, improved posture, sustainability, and productivity.
What Not to Do
Our first tip is to not use your chair as a ladder. But building from that, here are some other tips on what to avoid when considering chair safety.
Don’t Tip Your Chair Back
I don’t know about you, but my parents would yell at me when I’d tip my chair on the back two legs at the dinner table. And for good reason! A fall from this can injure someone significantly. Keep the base of the chair on the floor at all times to dramatically decrease the potential for injury.
Don’t Overwork It
Going back to a “Do” list item, routine maintenance will ensure that you don’t overdo it with your chair. If the chair is used often, replace its parts or the chair itself routinely.
Don’t Sit in Uncomfortable Positions
Don’t sit too far forward or too far back in your chair. Sitting in these positions can put undue stresses on your hips, legs, arms, back, neck, shoulders…well, really your entire body. Stay balanced in your chair. Sit upright, keep your feet on the floor, your legs and arms comfortable, and your computer monitor at eye level.
Considerations to Look for in an Office Chair
When looking for the best office chair for you, there are a few things to consider. Height, comfortability, arm rests, and the base/casters. Neglecting one can make the rest irrelevant, as each facet is built upon another.
Not all seating is adjustable. If you prefer to have a stationary seat rather than an adjustable one, make sure your feet can lay flat on the floor and your knees are at a 90° angle. If the chair is too high for you, you can use a footrest. If the chair is too low for you, you can use a cushion.
With an adjustable seat, ensure your feet are flat and your knees are at a 90° angle, just like you would in a stationary seat.
Goldilocks was right – nothing too firm and nothing too soft; it’s got to be juuust right. Ensure your seat cushion is right for you. You wouldn’t buy a mattress without lying on it, would you? Do the same by testing your office chair.
Arm rests can reduce the amount of strain on your lower back as you work. Make sure that the armrests are not too far forward, too far to the side, too high, or too low for you. Most models of office chairs have adjustable arm rests available. Find the one that works best for you.
Base and Casters
The base of your chair should be sturdy and strong. If there are casters or wheels, you want to make sure that the chair features a 5-point base. This will allow for even distribution of weight. If it’s a stationary chair you seek, a strong base will ensure that your chair does not easily tip front-to-back or side-to-side.
Finding The Best Office Chair For You
With so many considerations, finding the best office chair can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. OSI has so many great options available for your workspace. If you need them quickly, we’re here for you. If you’d like to set up an entire workstation, we’re here for you. Whatever you need, we’re here for you.