Do you experience fatigue and discomfort at the end of your work day? Many factors contribute to a loss of energy and pain such as your stress level at work, your food choices, your fitness level or past injuries…but have you ever wondered what impact your work posture has? Whether you work sitting or standing, bent over or squatting, these postures can become damaging, especially when held over long periods of time. There are many solutions to counter the ill effects of these restrictive postures; the use of an ergonomic stool is one such solution.
This article will guide you in choosing the right stool among the many options available.
Work in an upright position
Certain jobs require the worker to remain standing during long periods of time, such as sellers, equipment operators or production line workers. Because this is a natural human position, standing is not a problem in itself. However, remaining in an upright position during many hours within the same work day can cause swelling of the lower limbs, lower back pain, joint stiffness and general muscular fatigue.
In view of these negative effects, it becomes important to look for solutions to improve worker well-being. Sit-stand stools may be the answer.
Using an ergonomic sit-stand stool allows rest and recovery between standing periods. In effect, alternating between a rest posture and a standing posture reduces discomfort and decreases the strain placed on the joints of the ankles, knees, hips and spine.
Work done in front of the computer screen has considerably increased over the last years. This has led to a higher rate of musculoskeletal disorders. An inadequate seated posture, repeated daily, often causes severe muscular tensions that may lead to other major health issues. In light of this growing problem, the ergonomics industry developed ergonomic stools in an attempt to reduce the effects of a static seated posture.
One of these innovations is the ergonomic kneeling stool, also known as a Swedish chair. This type of stool offers a non-conventional posture; the user is on his knees and the back remains completely straight. Although this stool is innovative, it does have certain weaknesses. Some users complain of serious discomfort caused by the constant pressure placed on the knee joints. In addition, this type of seating does not always offer lumbar and back support which causes the user to slouch after a few minutes.
On the other hand, If you have an adjustable table, it is beneficial to use an ergonomic sit-stand stool. Alternating between standing and seated reduces discomfort and encourages you to remain comfortably standing during longer periods.
Choosing an ergonomic chair that provides optimal comfort while offering adequate support of the back and upper limbs is the best option to reduce discomfort. If your work tasks involve being seated all day long in front of your computer, adopting healthy work habits that make everyday tasks more dynamic is your best ally.
Work close to the floor
Certain jobs require work to be done close to the ground either kneeling, crouching, bent over or sometimes a variation of all of these postures. This is the case for mechanics, welders, electricians, etc. These demanding and tiring postures can hamper worker health and productivity. That is why access to ergonomic chairs suited to each work task can benefit both the worker and the business.
Certain ergonomic stools are specifically designed to accommodate work at different heights. Others offer back support to accomplish tasks close to the ground such as work under objects. These chairs also promote better blood circulation in the lower limbs by limiting knee flexion.
Here are some pictures representing different work positions possible on a stool designed to work close to the ground :
Mats are used in certain work environments to reduce the discomfort associated with work done on the floor in difficult postures. These work mattresses are efficient for tasks in confined areas where it is impossible to use an ergonomic chair. However, these mats do not provide proper back support and do not prevent crouching or bending over.
The risks associated with laboratory work are often attributed to the manipulation of hazardous material. However, one should not forget the risks related to restrictive postures, most notably those relating to prolonged standing. In effect, many back and upper limb injuries are reported in this type of work environment. In addition to ensuring proper work practices, certain ergonomic stools reduce the discomfort and the risk of injury.
Ergonomic sit-stand stools may be a practical solution for laboratory workstations requiring the worker to remain standing in front of a high counter. Certain sit-stand stools offer the added benefits of a backrest to reduce discomfort and even contribute in facilitating precision tasks. For superior comfort and optimal posture, consider a high ergonomic stool with both a footrest ring and a backrest. This type of stool allows for multiple component adjustments (seating, backrest, footrest…) for a comfortable posture no matter the user’s size.
In conclusion, ergonomic stools make work less demanding on the trunk, upper limbs and lower limbs by limiting the movement range required for each task. In addition, these chairs reduce discomfort, especially in the back area. Training can guide you on how to properly use and adjust your ergonomic stool to make the most out of the benefits it can bring to your environment. It can as also help you correct your posture habits.
Do not hesitate to contact us for an assessment of your needs!