Another way to pose this question is;
Do you value your ability to stand up, to walk, to run, to be mobile? If so, then how much do you really value your spine?
Humans are built to stand upright. Our heart and cardiovascular system work more effectively this way.
Increasingly though, due to work, traffic, technology and lifestyle, we are spending less and less time upright and more time in a seated position which is arguably the worst position in which we could spend up 30-60% of our adult life (think about it – university, work, public transport, driving, eating and travelling).
There are many ways in which incidental exercise and better health can be promoted in the workplace and I will detail that in another article however as sitting is likely to remain the major posture for office workplaces across Australia, the quality of your office chairs is critical and a cost on which scrimping should not be an option.
If you have just signed a lease for 5 years and your staff will be sitting at their workstations or desks 5 days a week 8 hours a day, then don’t expect that a cheap, imported chair is going to do the job.
Chairs that fall into this price bracket may have their place but it is our professional belief that that place is not in a commercial office.
So how much is the minimum spend for an office chair?
There is not a “one size fits all” answer to this question. Many aspects including but not limited to the following must be considered;
- The role of the person using the chair
- The frequency of the chair use.
- Is it part of a hot desk workstation used once per week or is it used in a 24/7 call centre?
- The configuration of the work and office space
- The style/design of the work and office space
- Personal taste and preference
The benefits of a high-quality office chair are well documented and include;
- Better posture and therefore natural protection of your spine
- Marked reduction in back pain
- Increased neck support
- Armrest reduce arm and carpal tunnel strain
- Multiple height adjustments allow for the perfect seating height for each individual
- Improvement of work output due to reduced physical pain and stress
Although there are a myriad of choices for your office chair needs, we always suggest the following as a basic rule of thumb;
- Always try to purchase Australian made or at the very least, chair with a large Australian-made content. Australian made chairs are of a very high quality and any opportunity to support Australian made is better for the nation as a whole.
- Look for seating that has an AFRDI (an independent Australian furniture testing body) rating suitable for the use you are planning. For example, for heavy use task chairs, we don’t like to go below Level 6.
- Ask for expert opinion – your Office Design and Fitout Company will be armed with testimonials from other clients and will have the latest and most up-to-date industry information for you.
- Always ask for demonstration chairs that you can test for a period of time.
- Much like a mattress, a chair may seem comfortable at first, however, you may change your mind only a few short hours later.