When it comes to working in the office, you’d probably imagine yourself sitting for long hours in front of a computer. And assuming you work eight hours a day for five days a week, you’d clock 40 hours a week. Which amounts to approximately 2,080 hours clocked a year. Now imagine the burden and stress placed on the structures of your back from all those sitting. APOL.
Taking today’s circumstance in consideration where the bulk of the working community is working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. You’d likely see yourself desk bound in your home study for the long haul too. Which is why it is paramount to sit on a chair that not only helps to alleviate the stress placed on your back, but also prevent other compounding back problems from developing.
Recently, hoolah managed to speak to the founders of A Piece Of Lifestyle (APOL), a Singaporean start-up that proffers ergonomic chairs. Together, we reveal what you need to know when buying the perfect ergonomic chairs for your home study or office.
Ergonomic Chairs Are Pricey
There are furniture that come cheap and there are those that don’t. A good ergonomic chair is likely to come with a high price tag. But think of it as an investment, like what you’d do when you scour for a mattress. After all, you’d find yourself sitting for a third of your life, you’d want to make it a good one. “It is an investment you’d want to make,” says Jason Lin, the Founder of APOL.
Comfort Levels Vary with the Individual
We are born with different physiques. And with that varying notions of comfort. The idea of one chair fits all is an impossible one to fulfil. You should still head on down to a showroom to try them out to yourself. “Comfort is subjective,” Jason adds. “Always choose the chair that suits you best.”
A good ergonomic chair will ensure that your lower back is well-supported. Our lower spine is curved and sitting for a prolonged period without one can lead to slouching. Most ergonomic chairs do so by adding a curved extension that allows the curve of your back to rest comfortably on. “Chairs with good lumbar support can make a lot of difference in productivity,” says Jason.
Experts have weighed in that your elbows ought to be adjusted to the same height as your keyboard. This ensures that your shoulders and arms would be placed in a relaxed position while you type. Having adjustable armrests would thus be a point in consideration. The armrests ought to be close to the body too.
More Adjustability: Seat Height
Another point to take into consideration is how your feet should be comfortably placed perpendicularly to the ground and parallel to the hips. It comes as no surprise that the height of your chair should be freely adjustable too.
Notes on Recline-ability
Ergonomic chairs should allow you to reach your keyboard without straining your shoulders or eyes as they recline. Plus, reclining will help reduce some pressure of your spine. “Most ergonomic chairs are ‘recline-able’ and this allows your body to move freely with some flexibility,” says APOL’s other co-founder Toh Leong Chin.
Materials that allow the cushion to breathe, such as cloth, are more preferable than those with a harder surface. Essentially, you’d want to prevent heat from trapping in the cushion and allow some air flow as you sit and work over long hours. At APOL, chairs are made from the label’s signature CloudTech Foam that is encased within a premium soft fabric.
“Fabric upholstery is generally more breathable than PU leather. However, there are ‘pores’ on the PU leather seat base to help on the airflow. The form retains the shape better as compare to traditional sponge,” Jason adds. “In other words, CloudTech Foam is long lasting.”