Posted In // Products Design Tips Office Ergonomics
Many of us feel that we need to be comfortable in order to operate at our highest capacity. That's true at work just as it is at home, with science backing up the idea that motivation isn't just about willpower: workspace furnishings matter. Well-designed office chairs, coupled with ergonomically friendly desks, are likely to generate rewards for a business that go beyond positive morale to enhance productivity as well.
Let's look at recent business management research that seeks to determine the relationship between comfort and productivity. Then we can specifically explore the chair as a fundamental element of comfort and well-being.
Science on comfortable office seating & furnishings
Until the recent past, scientists have had difficulty drawing a direct line from productivity to an environmental component believed to influence it, comfort. The Journal of Facilities Management published a 2002 article that reviewed all prior studies related to the subject. The authors emphasized the need for more rigid definitions and measurements in the field, but did state unequivocally the value of comfortable office seating: comfort – as created by carefully selected furniture and decorations can indeed affect productivity, they concluded.
In 2004, two related studies by Cornell University professor Alan Hedge helped to firmly establish the idea that comfort improves productivity. One study focused on temperature and how it impacts the number of employee mistakes, revealing that typing errors were reduced 44% when the temperature was raised from 68 to 77°F. Another study, specifically related to office seating, found that participants who were given a workstation that could be adjusted – moved up and down to allow sitting and standing – experienced average pain ratings 20% below those using standard desks (fueling stronger performance).
Why office chairs are particularly important
The above studies demonstrate that performance and comfort are integrally related, but chairs deserve special attention regarding comfort and long-term health for office employees. The Global Burden of Disease report from 2010 found that lower back pain (LBP) is the top cause of disability on the planet, with poor posture listed as one of its primary causes. Posture improves with the right chair in place to support your back and with measurements taken to apply an ideal ergonomic setup, as indicated by peer-reviewed back pain relief site Spine-health.com.
Selecting office seating for your environment
If you think that changes to your office furniture or general environment could benefit your business, contact Beaux-Arts Group. Offering a full range of space planning and interior design services we "understand" space.