Furniture design may have more of an impact on office workers’ happiness than was once believed. Bearing in mind that workers spend a significant portion of their lives sitting in office chairs, ergonomic design makes a huge difference. Spending half the day sitting in an ergonomic chair adjusted specifically for your body is preferable to sitting hunched over in an unsuitable chair of an older design. Forcing people to spend hours in uncomfortable chairs or assuming that one chair model will work for everyone is a recipe for unhappiness.

Ergonomic Chairs

Sitting puts stress on the structures of the spine. A chair with little support can result in compounding back problems over time. This is due to the significant stress put on the lumbar area as a result of sitting.  Ergonomic chairs are designed to offer lasting, comfortable support while sitting. These chairs protect the back from uncomfortable aching, align the spine to encourage good posture and prevent upper body soreness with properly-adjusted arm rests.

Optimal sitting position   - Img:
The endless adjustments work in harmony to make a flexible chair. Modern ergonomic chairs have minute adjustable features (see below): seat height, seat rest height, seat tilt, back rest support, back rest depth and synchronised seat and back.

Img: Ergomat
Approaching the workforce with an eye towards customisation should be applied to office furniture, including chairs and desks. When possible, workers should be allowed to choose their own chairs as the world is full of differing body types and proportions. Employee satisfaction with comfort is all but guaranteed when people are responsible for their choice of furniture. Keeping employees happy and satisfied will motivate them to stay on task and can increase productivity.


For a high risk job, it is unthinkable to allow someone to work without the proper safety equipment. Imagine a construction worker on a job without a reflective vest. Office workers should be concerned with the quality of their chairs. An ergonomic chair will minimise injuries stemming from sitting. A well-adjusted ergonomic chair can reduce orthopaedic damage.

A lack of neck support during a long bout of sitting can cause undue stiffness in the neck and shoulders. 

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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