The design of the office and its use reflects how the organisation is structured. There’s been a rapid development, from the traditional offices of the 60s and 70s with separate and individual rooms to the computer based work of today in an open and activity based office landscape.
The demands on dynamic and adaptable office chairs are very high in these environments. Apart from the functions and characteristics of the chair it is crucial that the chair is put into context. They should fit many different individuals with different body measurements and weight, their movements and other needs they may have.
Furthermore the chair should blend in, be able to be used in different types of workspace designs and be flexible when the interior and work changes. It should also fit in with the technical equipment, the shape and coloration of the room and the light and lighting.
When there’s demand for a uniform design in the interior of the workplace, in case of a task force for example, it is important that the different parts of the chairs are interchangeable in order to adapt to many different individuals.
The dangers of sedentary work
Computer work in the office is physically easy. If seated the body is relieved by the chair’s seat, backrest, armrests and, in some cases, neck rest. Arms and hands are also supported by the table top or by a forearm support connected to the keyboard.
The muscles maintain good posture and stabilize the head, neck, shoulders, arms and the upper part of the back. This kind of muscle work is easy but if not alternating, unilaterally.
Long periods seated without variation and pauses results in unilaterally, tiring and, in the long run, painful muscle work and joint strain. This means that even if sedentary work is, what some would call, easy where the only organs doing the work are the fingers, hands, eyes and brain, there is a risk the body is unilaterally tired and strained, something that increases the longer you work sedentary.
Research shows that all kinds of sustained sitting without sufficient breaks results in a unilaterally and, in the long run, harmful load on the body. Deskbound work may also result in obesity and an overall worse condition.
If we get our way however, we change position and posture often and naturally, that is several times every hour. A really good office chair offers its user the possibility to change between several ways of sitting.