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Bum's the word: Why you need a quality office chair

We tend to spend quite a bit of time on our rear end during our working lives. When virtually the whole world was working from their kitchen / spare room / home office during lockdown, I wonder how many people went out and bought a task chair to replace the £19.99 chair that was only ever intended to be used for an hour here and there. A quality task chair can make or break the working day—in the home or in the office.

There seemed to be an awakening (pun #1) a few years ago that mattresses were suddenly a bit more important than we’d previously imagined. You spend approx. 7–8 hours of every day in bed which adds up to a lot of time. Thus, it didn’t make too much sense to scrimp and save on something that can contribute positively (or not) to your general sense of wellbeing.

For ‘mattress’ read ‘task chair’. For ‘7–8 hours of every day’ read ‘7–8 hours of every day’.

Why then, when you walk in to so many offices do you see lots of poor quality task chairs?

So please, better chairs for your staff – show them you care. And once they have these new chairs, train them how to configure the chairs properly. Investing a little more in the quality, making them quick and easy to adjust will pay dividends in the long run, potentially reducing the occurrences of musculoskeletal injuries.

These bog-standard, one size doesn’t fit all chairs are just going to create more musculoskeletal problems in the long run. The response of “I’ve a bad back and it’s my chair—I don’t want to have to adjust it every time I come in to work” is frankly pretty lame (pun #2). Nowadays, good-quality task chairs do so much more for you automatically—tackle the problem, not offer a solution. They are designed according to sound anatomical research and have adjustments that are robust and very simple to use.

I’ll use an analogy. When they change drivers on the bus during your morning or evening commute, do you see the driver standing at the side of the road with his or her own seat? No, they use the same seat and spend a few seconds adjusting the position of the seat, the steering wheel and their mirrors. And then they drive off with £100Ks worth of shiny metal around them and a lot of very expensive human cargo. They then stay seated for up to 90 minutes at a time before they get a break. Appropriate equipment + training = solution.

So, the humble office chair. It has an importance that goes way beyond its function (which is to stop your bum hitting the ground).

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