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IF you are reading this post at your workplace or home studio, there is a big chance you are sitting in one of the most outstanding designs since the first Industrial Revolution- an office chair.
Today, we have taken office chairs in our workplace as granted. But do you know that the definition of an office chair didn't occur until the mid-19th century? Thanks to the first Industrial Revolution, massive administrative positions were created, driving the global workforce to migrate from the field to the office, and making office workers a mainstream economic resource for the first time. That is when capitalists keenly realized the value of making their employees sit comfortably.
Now, approximately 200 years have passed. Office chairs have become essential for office workers and students today since they protect our bodies from bad postures and contribute to higher concentration and achievements by allowing us to work comfortably.
Yaheetech, a dedicated home & office essentials supplier, works to provide customers with well-designed and solid living essentials. To that end, we've prepared a detailed list of everything you should know to take an overall look at this great invention and determine whether or how do you benefit from mesh chairs.
Before answering this question, let's first think about another question: why are they named office chairs? Is that simply because they are only for workplaces? This answer may not be wrong to some extent, but here is another interpretation that may be closer to the truth: they prioritize ergonomic design.
As a branch of science aiming to learn about human abilities and limitations, although there is suspicion of abuse, ergonomics is by no means a gimmick. It is a rapidly growing subject that works to improve people's interaction with their surroundings. In other words, it is about how to upgrade the living environments to minimize injury or harm to our bodies.
Back to the matter of office, as the above diagram shows, it is as plain as print how stressful bad sitting postures are to our lumbar spine. Let alone the damage by keeping bad sitting postures for more than eight hours a day, five days a week, it could be morbific. The office chair is a typical ergonomic invention that blends ergonomic learning into the structural design to provide a solution for long-time sitting populations focusing on their work hours under less spine pressure.
Not every chair in the workplace is a literal ergonomic office chair!
Ergonomic office chairs are the ones that could keep human bodies in a natural position — a stretch and lightened sitting posture that allows all our joints to naturally sprawl and align. Generally speaking, the office chairs that integrate ergonomic functions usually comprise the following basic structural features:
Tiltable & lockable & curve lumbar support
Body-adaptive structures: adjustable seat height and armrests (some also comprise adjustable headrest)
Padded or well-cushioned seat & backrest
Stable rolling base
Soft or skin-soothing texture surface
Have you ever experienced back stiffness and soreness after hours of an intense period of work? Recently, affected by the covid-19, a lot of employees of internet companies that have to work from home poured out woes on the misery of working on regular chairs. An ergonomic office chair, though costlier, is definitely a cost-efficient payout, especially in this era of the great epidemic, when the chances of working from home have increased dramatically.
In 1976, the first literally ergonomic office chair was introduced. That chair features a height-adjustable seat and a backrest to support users' spine. Now that decades have passed let's look at today's office chairs to check how they developed to provide us with better protection.
1.1 Reason for stiff spine and lumbar
First, let's figure out how our spine and lumbar get hurt from bad sitting postures.
Have you ever realized that our back is not entirely flat? If you observe your profile from the mirror, you can see that when standing upright, there is an inward curve on your lower back. That is precisely how our spine is naturally aligned like.
But do you know that our whole spine doesn't uphold us alone? It actually has good protection from wealthy muscle groups spread on our backs. When we sit down, the lumbar part bears more 40 kg/ 88 lb stress or even much more (if our sitting posture is poor) than ever. More pressure means our muscle group around the lumbar will fatigue more quickly. That is why we could feel much better on our lumbar to have extra support when taking a sit.
Proof by facts, long-time sitting still without any lumbar curve support, we'll end up slumping and slouching, which leads to contorting our natural curve and thus straining our lower spine muscles. Without the protection of healthy and powerful muscles, our lumbar will lose support, become less flexible, and get injured easily.
Besides the back problems, long-time keeping bad sitting postures may also harm our cardiopulmonary functions. That's because, except for holding us upright, another duty of our skeleton is to protect our organs. However, when we slump or slouch, our spine is not only incapable of keeping us stretched or protecting our organs but also squeezes their space, holding them back from functioning well.Office chair solution: full-length tilt adjustable & curve backrest
Protecting users' lumbar and making their spines comfortable is the essential function of ergonomic office chairs. By providing an angle-adjustable full-length backrest extending from the users' shoulders to their seats (some from head to seat for resting neck and midday break) with an inward curve on the lower lumbar part, the office chair can offer users a full custom fit for spinal curvature. Thus their spines can get fully relaxed and stretched, and the lumbar is well-upholstered.
Anyone who has an around-the-clock office job must have experienced the taste of the stiff neck and shoulders. Yes, not just the sore lower spine but also the upper back!
As we said above, our back spreads wealthy muscle groups to protect and pull our skeleton. Long-time putting our arms on the desktop or improper sitting postures like slouching and forward head would impose uneven muscle force and thus lead to fatigue, stiffness, or even pathologies, for example, cervical spondylosis and periarthritis of the shoulders.
Office chair solution: armrests x adjustable seat
The armrest is another feature of ergonomic office chairs. Some of them are even adjustable. The reasonably set armrests shall be under our elbows so that when not typing, our elbows can rest naturally on two sides of our body without causing tension or fatigue in our neck and shoulder triangle.
In addition, the adjustable seat, a fundamental function of office chairs, allows us in different body heights to find the most proper position in front of the desk. Postures like shrugging and head forwarding or bending can all be effectively prevented when adjusting the seat to the appropriate heights.
Beyond that, an adjustable seat could also prevent us from overloading the tiptoe or excessive knee bending when sitting. The precondition for maintaining proper sitting postures is to rest our feet firmly on the ground and keep the lower legs perpendicular to the earth and the thighs parallel to the chair face.
Tip: Avoid those office chairs with a raised front seat edge, or your back lap will get cut or feel extremely uncomfortable.1.3 Forgotten overwhelming hip & Its savior
Concerning the body pressure or damage of our office workers, the second back-busting region is the hip, although it is usually ignored. Firmly carrying the upper body's weight while with the bottom closely contacting the chair surface, the muscles, whole pelvis, and the skin of our hip and part of the laps undergo severe tests no less than our spine.
The traditional hard-seat chairs are unlikely for office employees to focus on their daily work hours as no one could sit still without feeling ass pain.
Well-designed ergonomic chairs usually have bouncy seats covered by soft materials, such as leather, PU leather, or mesh fabric. The padded seat and backrest have an excellent cushion effect that evenly unloads the force that distributes on your hip.
When choosing an office chair, pay particular attention to the seat filler. Make sure that the material can resist deformation and won't lose cushion in a short time.
Prioritize the surface cover with better breath-ability. When summer days come, you will appreciate your wise decision.1.4 Functional easy reach
Swivel, a have-to-mention function of office chairs, was, in the very beginning, come up by Charles Darwin as he upgraded his chair for flexibly swiveling among all specimens in the lab.
Today, this function is still kept for office chairs. With a mobile office chair, we can easily reach areas in the office around us, meanwhile protecting the floor from scratches.
Ensure the wheels of the office chairs you choose to reach the industrial grade because the quality wheels are smoother and noiseless during movement. Meanwhile, as the most vulnerable components of an office chair, the solid wheels can save a lot of trouble later. Although expensive, they can save your cost and time of repair and maintenance.
Now that you have an overall recognition of ergonomic office chairs let's look at mesh office chairs, one of the most popular office chairs at the moment.
Why mesh chairs? Because they are distinctive existence among all ergonomic office chairs for its adoption of revolutionary ventilation material, solving sultry, one of the significant misery for long-time sitting populations.
Well, as an evergreen player among office chairs, good ventilation is not the only pro the mesh chairs boast.
The worst part for office workers is undoubtedly the feeling of stickiness and stuffiness on those hot, muggy days. Grasped by heat, added to a nervous, stressful schedule, we can hardly be in a good mood and state to concentrate on our job.
The mesh office chair works as a perfect solution to this problem. Benefiting from the multi-hole knitted cover structure, this chair boasts excellent ventilation and air permeability, allowing our skin to stay cool and dry while sitting still for hours.
You may have been through the awkward situation when standing up from leather or PU leather chair: your sweaty skin tears apart from the chair surface and generates a harsh sound. If you stand up from a mesh office chair, you can be spared from that.
Although not as soft as leather surfaces, blending breathable material and a body-customed flexible structure is still a potent combination capable of creating a cozy, pleasant working environment for us.2.2 Durable
As one of the costly office supplies of high usage frequency, the durability of office chairs is just as important as their comfort level. In this aspect, mesh office chairs also perform pretty well.
The tightly woven construction mixing the tear and wear-resistant fabric ensure mesh office chairs' durability. Though it is only a single tier of cloth, the joint support of elastic filler and the metal frame is strong enough for the chair to stay in good shape and intact to hold your body for years.
If it has to compare the mesh office chair with its leather counterpart, the mesh chairs can have a longer service life because the leather surface is easier to get wear and tear.
Unlike private belongings that would be maintained now and then, office chairs are unlikely to have specialist maintenance. The materials asking for less or effortless care are clearly more advantageous.
Mesh fabric, featuring good air permeability and sweat, which is easy to keep clean, added with excellent wear and tear-resistant property, ranks high on the list of easy-maintaining office chairs. They barely require cleaning or extraordinary maintenance, like applying nursing oil. To refresh a mesh chair, a damp cloth is all you need!2.4 Vibrant outlook
Compared to the luxurious expression of leather office chairs, mesh chairs enjoy an airy and more vibrant outlook, more suitable for workplaces with younger employees.
Besides, mesh chairs are usually less costly, which is also why they are popular.
Cons to be noticed:
Well, nothing is perfect, and neither does the mesh chair. There are two cons about it have to mention:
1. Compared to its leather counterpart, the mesh chair is less soft. If you require a super high level of comfort, do not have a problem with high temperatures, and are generous in the budget, we suggest you prioritize the leather office chairs.
2. The mesh material is not as friendly to expensive clothes as leather does because this fabric is not that smooth and soft. If you usually wear delicate garments for work, like silk, maybe mesh chairs are not your best choice.
This text comprises everything you should know on determining or choosing a comfortable office chair.
As a dedicated office supplies producer, we strongly recommend ergonomic mesh office chairs. Among all ergonomic office chairs, the mesh one is just like a straight-A student who performs well in almost all aspects, from ergonomic functions, skin-friendly ventilation, durability, cost, maintenance, and appearance.
If you have any experience to share with us, please leave your comment in the following section~