Is Sitting Dangerous to your Health?

Question: Is sitting dangerous to your health? Before answering, consider a little historic data.

  • In the 19th century, coal miners were given smaller and lighter shovels and production increased. It was also noted that work related injuries decreased.

  • In the 1900s, when industrialization amplified, the first time-and-motion studies were made to increase workplace efficiency and lower injury.
  • In WWII, a study of pilot errors led to the design of a more user-friendly cockpit.
  • In the twentieth century, workers who spent long hours sitting at a desk in an awkward position stressed the lower spine and created musculo-skeletal disorders. The ergonomic office chair was developed. Today, ergonomic chairs are viewed as an investment that benefits both the user and the work.

Answer: Yes. Sitting can be dangerous. But it doesn’t have to be!

Ergonomics is the study of the effect of interactions between humans and their surroundings. In each of the historic cases above, production improved when the workplace environment improved. It is a simple principle; people work better when they are not in pain!

Ergonomic chairs offer support to the lumbar spine and encourage healthy posture. Ergonomic chairs are made for office use, as well as for specific purposes– drafting chairs, laboratory stools, executive chairs, and conference chairs. There is a chair for everyone, but the same chair is not right for everyone. A chair should be individually fit to each person. There are specific qualities one should consider before purchasing an ergonomic chair:

  • Seat height—This should be easily adjustable, so that the user can sit with his or her feet flat on the floor, thighs horizontal and arms level to the desk.
  • Seat width and depth—The user should comfortably fit into the width of the chair, with 2-4 inches between the back of the knees and the chair seat, while sitting flush to the back of the chair. It should have an adjustable tilt forward and back.
  • Lumbar support—The chair should support the natural curve of the lower back.
  • Backrest—The backrest of the chair should be wide enough to fit the user and adjustable forward and back.

  • Seat material—The seat should have enough padding to be comfortable over long periods. Fabric seats are preferable because they are more breathable.
  • Armrest –-The user should be able to sit with relaxed shoulders as the elbows and lower arms are supported by the arm rests and the forearms are off the armrest for typing or writing.
  • Swivel—The movement of the chair should allow the user to reach all areas of the desk without strain. (

Maybe the traditional chairs isn’t exactly what the user wants. Many ergonomic chairs have unique styles.

  • Kneeling chairs. The user sits with legs folded at the knees, the shins supported on a cushion. This chair doesn’t have a back support, but the position of the user encourages good posture and strengthens back and abdominal muscles. This chair is lightweight and portable.
  • Orbit petal stools. This stylish stool allows the user to exercise while they work at their desk.
  • Air Ball Chair. Colorful, Italian made ball on castors with adjustable height.
  • Muvan- This seat allows for supported sitting, standing and leaning. It is perfect for higher desks used by receptionists, architects, and counter workers.

A work day can be very long. Everyone deserves to be comfortable. Maybe it is time to investigate a better chair.

Chairco in Paddington has provided quality seating that fits the individual body since 1984. Chairco has a wide variety of office chairs, specialty chairs, desks and accessories that can transform any workplace to comfortable space.