Dauphin Chairs and seating
For the complete range of Dauphin chairs contact us on 0845 124 9955 (UK local rate). The range is select and stylish and promotes well being and correct posture, with the trade mark mechanism these quality chairs provide long lasting comfort and are easy to use.
Suitable for in all walks of industry and education.
Sometimes referred to as human factors, ergonomics is the science of fitting the tools and equipment of the workplace to the worker, or fitting the task to the individual. Ergonomics takes into account the human’s physical, physiological, biomechanics and psychological conditions; by changing the workstation’s air, light, acoustics and physical environment, ergonomics can improve worker health and safety, increase productivity and job satisfaction, and reduce work related injuries.
Frequent and long periods spent sitting behind a desk can have a lasting, detrimental effect on your physical and mental well being, and thus negatively influence personal performance. In fact, cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs), defined as physical injuries that develop gradually over a period because of repeated biomechanics and physiological stresses on a specific body part, have risen dramatically over the years.
A few figures:
- CTD cases have risen twelve-fold, from 22,600 (in 1982) to 276,600(in 1997) Source: U.S. Department of Labour
- Over half the general office population suffers from back pain
- One-third of all 35-50 year olds already suffer from chronic backache
- According to CTD News the total cost of a back injury without surgery is $9,000; back injury with surgery is $30,000; carpal tunnel syndrome without surgery costs $6,000; carpal tunnel syndrome with surgery costs $20,000; the total cost of carpal tunnel is $100,000 (includes medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost productivity)
We spend up to 80,000 hours sitting during our working lives in training and on the job; and the time spent sitting behind a desk keeps increasing. This in turn means growing strain on the backs of seated employees. Studies show that nearly two-thirds of office workers sit incorrectly; clearly, something must be done about it.
Knowing how to sit is just as important as what we sit on.
One of the most important insights of ergonomics research is the apparently paradoxical finding that sitting requires a considerable amount of muscular activity. It is not so much sitting itself that is hard work, but the activity of the supporting muscles. The muscles in the back are primarily responsible for holding the human spine upright. In its normal, upright position, the spine can take a lot of strain. However, when subjected to stress by bending (due to weak supporting muscles or poor posture), the health of the inter vertebral discs can deteriorate, resulting in harmful effects ranging from acute pain to chronic degenerative diseases.
Clearly, healthy back muscles are essential to good posture. Unfortunately, today’s work conditions, where we spend long periods sitting at a desk, lead to unhealthy permanent tensing of the back muscles, which can develop into muscular hardening. Other muscle groups are also affected. For example, lifting the shoulders by as little as a few centimetres when typing or mousing can produce tenseness in the neck and shoulder region. This can result in a build up of acidic substances, which leads to “hardened” muscles. As a result, over a period, the muscles’ ability to support the spine is reduced: the spine is no longer held upright, and the sitter develops a rounded back. This posture can result in real problems such as backache or tenseness in the shoulders and neck, plus fatigue, a lack of concentration and digestive complaints.
However, we can prevent muscular tenseness by developing healthy posture, stretching, and doing exercises. An essential element is “dynamic posture”: dynamic posture means permanently moving from the central axis to a forward-leaning or reclining position. Good posture results from the rhythmic interplay between muscular contraction and relaxation, which occurs when we move forward and backward.
A good office chair promotes dynamic posture. The sedentary worker should sit “dynamically” to avoid the muscle cramps and tension that result from static posture. We should all aim for a healthy balance between tensing and relaxing the different muscle groups. To do this the chair you select must permit all seated positions: it must be able to support and follow all the movements of the user.
How to Sit
Sitting is, in fact, hard work for our back and puts particular strain on the inter vertebral discs and muscles. A good ergonomic chair helps reduce the strain on your back and makes you feel better in general, too. The idea is not to sit on, but with your chair.
Here are the most important basic rules:
- Always sit to the rear of the seat, with your back firmly supported by the backrest.
- Change your position often, by moving the upper body as frequently as possible to avoid muscular cramps (dynamic posture).
- Keep the angle at the knees, elbows and hips at least 90.‚Â° or greater. If possible, tilt the seat forward when leaning over the desk.
- Use the supporting features provided by your chair.
Changing positions and actively moving at your desk improves the way you feel and can increase your ability to concentrate. Posture must become dynamic rather than static. Exercises at the desk are also a good way of supplementing this. For recommended exercises, please request our brochure on (:ergonomics).
Looking for help?
Here is a list of non-commercial Internet resources that will provide more plain and simple information about ergonomics and CTDs: