Our bodies weren't built to sit at a desk on a computer all day. The sedentary lifestyle that most traditional office settings demand is hard on our joints, back and posture, and studies have linked sitting for long periods of time to many health complications later in life.
In order to adapt to this reality, and enhance the comfort of employees, many offices have opted to replace their normal furniture for those specifically designed to improve posture, encourage movement and be gentler on the spine and muscles.
Ergonomic furniture takes a human-first approach to interior design and keeps you feeling your best and staying productive for longer. Here's the case for why your office should make the switch.
Ergonomic office furniture is designed for and around humans for maximum support and comfort. The way something ergonomic is designed takes into account the way the human body is shaped and built, and how to best support it. Some of the most popular examples are chairs that support your spine, active-sitting alternatives to chairs to keep you moving, keyboards shaped to fit your hands, or convertible desks to support standing while working. All of these products are meant to optimize the safety and efficiency with which we interact with our furniture and appliances. By using them, you can improve your health, productivity and longevity, in the workplace and beyond.
There are several benefits of ergonomic design, for both employees and employers. They include:
To start your ergonomic conversion, here are 7 products you should try to maximize the comfort and mobility of your office space.
Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk – Fully, $449
Flexispot M2B 35" Sanding Desk Converter, Amazon – $280.99
If you get restless during the day, a standing desk may be for you. Don't worry — it's not an irreversible decision. Most standing desks move up and down, either manually or with a motor, so you can decide throughout the day whether you want to sit or stand. And if you're not ready to make the commitment to a full standing desk, opt for a converter that can take any normal desk to the next level. It's usually a cheaper option, too.
In addition to improving energy, productivity and active movement at the office, standing desks can also help your posture. Again, human beings aren't meant to be sitting in chairs all day. Give yourself a break with the option to stand.
Motion Stool – UPLIFT Desk, $98
Tic Toc Chair – Fully, $225
Active sitting, also called dynamic sitting, keeps you from slumping over your desk all day, unmoving. Active sitting options ignite your core and allow you to move and fidget – which helps a lot of people concentrate better. With a motion stool, you have a full range of motion, and the backless design will improve your core muscles and overall posture.
Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Ergonomic Drafting Chair – Amazon, $120.49
A more classic ergonomic design, this chair supports the natural curve of your spine and lets you rest your feet on the bottom ring to alleviate stress on your lower back. It adjusts in height, so no matter how tall your desk is, you can reach it comfortably.
KT1 Ergonomic Under-Desk Computer Keyboard Tray – Amazon, $80.99
The angle at which we normally type — with our hands and fingers tilting up toward the computer screen, goes against how our bodies are shaped. It strains our wrists and arms to type upwards, with our arms raised to desk height. This under-desk adjustable keyboard tray lets you extend your arms naturally downward and type without over-extending your wrists. It helps to alleviate stress in the hands and any cramps that accompany it.
Variable Balans by Varier – Fully, $399
Considered "the original kneeling chair" the design of this kneeling chair encourages movement and supports you through it. Designed to improve posture and alleviate the stress that sitting puts on your back, kneeling chairs offer a unique and different way to incorporate dynamic movement into your day.
Just as the angle at which our keyboards sit on our desks is not conducive to the way our wrists move, normal, flat keyboards are not optimal for typing. Our hands naturally turn in towards each other and curve in order to type — the same goes for using a mouse. This set curves according to the natural way our bodies do and minimizes muscle strain and over-extension in the wrists and hands.
Ballo – Fully, $299
McLean Exercise Ball Chair – Wayfair, $136
Sitting on an exercise ball has its perks — increased core strength, better posture, a more active workday overall. It also has its downsides, like rolling to the other side of the cubicle as soon as you look away. Level up with these exercise ball chairs that won't run away, but will keep you working your core as you work on your to-do list.
Try out these ergonomic options in your office and see if they work for you. Hopefully, they'll bring a new dynamic into your workplace that will have you feeling energized and productive.