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The Importance of Being Comfortable

If you're one of the lucky ones who is able to use their garden space as a home office, then there's a list of things that must be done to ensure that you have a productive and efficient workspace.

Things such as heat, light and a power supply are all basics, because in the depths of winter you really don't want a cold, dark space that you can only use for as long as your laptop battery will last. Keeping it a physically comfortable space to work is just a basic, but if you want to stop yourself from being tempted back onto the living sofa, one of the things that is often overlooked is a good quality office chair.

Although people put a lot of thought into the design and layout of a garden office, even down to colour schemes, sometimes furniture can be an afterthought, buying very basic equipment or even repurposing old dining furniture. This is rarely a good idea, as any Occupational Health Therapist will tell you! Companies are required to make sure that anybody working with screen carries out a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment to make sure that employees are sitting correctly and avoid upper limb disorders or back pain.

There are many factors that must be taken into account when choosing an office chair, such as height, weight and ergonomics as well as back and leg support. A good quality office chair will have a height adjustable seat, which has many benefits. Allowing a comfortable sitting position where feet are flat on the floor and your weight is spread evenly over the backs of the thighs stops various pressure-related problems. The height adjustable seat also allows forearms to be level with the desk, spreading the weight over a larger area; putting too much weight on the wrists can cause slouching and in turn lead to neck, shoulder and back strain.

As well as being comfortably cushioned, many good office chairs will have shaping on the back rest, to either cup or support the lower back. Lumbar support is very desirable when dealing with jobs that involved periods of sitting for longer periods, as it prevents muscles from being over-tense or strained. It can also help to correct previous bad habits of slouching or poor posture, avoiding exacerbating injuries further.

Most office chairs are also on wheels, allowing users to be able to move to a more comfortable position easily; without wheels it can take more effort to stand up and risk straining leg or back muscles.

There are a great range of options when choosing office furniture and most chairs are suitable from the petite to the very tall. The best option is to visit an office chair supplier and take a test drive, as there will be a perfect fit for you that allows you to work and stay safe and comfortable.

For the Health and Safety Executive's advice regarding DSE and working practices please visit www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse

Date: 15/06/2016 | Author: Roger Hedges