It is critically important that programmers have the right tools to succeed at their jobs. That goes beyond the computers and software: they also need strong chairs.
After all, one of the most common complaints of people with desk jobs is lower back pain (LBP). LBP ranked first among all causes of disability in the Global Burden of Diseases 2010. Only one other ailment, upper-respiratory infection, leads to more doctor's appointments than back pain. Half of all people within the US workforce suffer from back pain annually.
Since LBP is such a huge issue, it is important for developers to use chairs that will minimize their risk of the condition.
Why finding the best chair for programmers is important
Beyond the threat of back pain, Stack Overflow co-founder Jeff Atwood makes three arguments for why finding a great programmer’s chair is so important:
1. Chairs are central to the process of coding. You will probably log many hours a day in your chair.
2. Cheap chairs are simply not well-made and can make working uncomfortable.
3. Chairs could be with you a long time. High-quality furniture will often last longer than computers and other equipment.
When it comes to attributes, Atwood promotes strong ergonomic features. Cleveland-based full stack developer Mark Shust concurs, noting that the search for an ergonomic programmer's chair should begin immediately. "Put cost aside," he says, "and think of your health & the toll your daily office routine takes on you."
These two long-time coders agree that the best chair for programmers is a sturdy and high-quality chair that is built with ergonomic principles in mind.
2 keys of an ergonomic programmer's chair
Since the chair that will work best for coders has characteristics that lower risk of chronic pain, a chair built with ergonomics in mind is the right choice for seating. Here are two key features of an ergonomic chair, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
The chair should have a backrest that is easy to adjust. It should also support the user’s back in a wide range of positions. The backrest should include:
• A support for the lumbar spine that you can move up and down to fit the user
• Parts that allow the user to recline a minimum of 15 degrees – an adjustable feature that should include either substantial tension or a locking mechanism
• A component that makes it possible to move the backrest toward the front or rear of the chair.
It is important to have a seat pan that can be adjusted and that is sizable enough to allow a spectrum of postures. To reduce risk of chronic pain in coders, the seat pan should have these characteristics:
• The height should be easy to change
• It is best if the edge is rounded and there is padding
• The seat's width should be great enough to work for most hip sizes (or you can get an oversized seat pan as needed).
Choosing the right chair for developers
Are you trying to find the best chair for programmers at your office? At Beaux-Arts Group, we understand that today's coding chair needs to be equipped with advanced ergonomic adjustments and complementing style. See our task and guest seating. [task/guest product page]