WANT TO BE HAPPIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE? – GET AN ERGOCENTRIC tCENTRIC HYBRID
Every morning when I wake up, I have a renewed sense of hope. There’s a spring to my step, a transformed vigour and endless energy to my being. When I visualize my day, I always imagine it to be productive during every single hour of my workday. On top of that, I pleasantly conceive of an evening that has plenty of time dedicated to either attending social events, seeing dear friends or spending time with loved ones.
Every day, my schedule is packed and I’m raring to go yet at night, it’s a totally different story. Come nightfall, I can barely trudge another step and all I want in the entire world is to go home and slump right onto the sofa.
COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED, DRAINED AND IRRITABLE
My lack of energy in the evening has been bothering me for a while, so I thought it would be wise to do an internal check and dive deeper into my current state of affairs to determine what could be causing this extreme fatigue.
Firstly, my 9-to-5 work is not traditionally seen as labourious and in fact, it’s far from physical work. It’s more of an intellectual type of work that involves a lot of thinking, conceptualizing and writing. Hardly manual labour as you can see.
Secondly, I am generally very fit. As a matter of fact, I have been a Fitness Instructor and a Yoga Teacher for more than 10 years and to this day, I still teach classes every week. In addition to that, I do my own work out and regularly attend a variety of group classes, so lack exercise is out of the question.
Thirdly, I have no current illnesses that I know of, physical or mental and fortunately, I’m not going through any personal crisis nor suffering from depression or anxiety attacks.
Why then do I feel kind of depress-y every day when I leave work to go home? Why then do I feel sore and utterly tired all over like I’ve carried on the burden of moving tons of bricks and mortar at a construction site all day long? Could the answer be staring at me in the face?
It turns out… it’s the other way around!
I couldn’t see the answer because I’m sitting right on top of it!
I spend a good 8 to 10 hours every day in the office. That’s 5 days a week from Monday to Friday, 12 months a year… compound that over time, that’s thousands and thousands of hours spent where?
You may have guessed it by now… sitting on an office chair.
When I read the article by Certified Ergonomist Pam Grill “Your Job Isn’t Slowly Killing You. Your Chair Is.,” the message truly hit home. So, I decided I’d have a chat with Pam to learn more.
WHY THE WRONG WORK CHAIR IS HARMFUL FOR YOU
First of all, comfort is essential for creating a productive working environment. Employees who aren’t comfortable in their workspaces (specifically their office chairs) are more likely to have their attention focused on their discomfort, rather than on their work. Proper office ergonomics ensures employees are adequately supported and that they are sitting in the right posture.
ergoCentric shared the results of a recent poll they commissioned and I’m not alone in feeling lethargic at the end of a workday. In fact, 69 per cent of Ottawa-based office workers said that they feel their office chairs have an impact on their productivity and energy levels.
Not to sound like an alarmist, but according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, sitting on chairs that don’t adequately support your body type or those that are not adjusted to suit your needs can pose significant health risks from the occasional back pain to numbness in your arms, soreness in your shoulders, improper organ function and over time, can even cause nerve damage. This is one of the messages that was highlighted to me by Bob Cimon, a Regional Sales Manager at ergoCentric Seating Systems when I visited their showroom for a fitting to determine how one of their chairs could be adjusted to suit my needs.
I don’t know why I didn’t realize the reason I am constantly passing out in complete exhaustion at the end of the work day is that I’ve been sitting on the wrong chair. I mean, now that I know what I know, it doesn’t take a genius to link my persistently aching shoulders and lower back pain to having a chair that’s way too big for me where my elbow does not even properly reach the armrest while I’m working. And now I know, we certainly don’t need a rocket scientist to deduce that the office chair we sit on at work directly impacts our energy levels.
No wonder I am so darn exhausted, drained and irritable at the end of a workday.
WHY THE WRONG CHAIR IS HARMFUL FOR YOUR WORKPLACE
Now imagine a whole bunch of people in that poor physical and mental condition in the office, how do you think that would affect their productivity and their ability to focus on their work.
When I consulted Pam about why the wrong chair is harmful for your workplace, here’s what she had to say:
“Having such low energy levels and incessant physical discomfort can not only hinder an employee’s ability to deliver work to their highest capability, it can also lead to increased sick calls and workplace injury claims,” said Pam. Moreover, “a reduced staff due to injuries and illness has a direct negative impact on the office or the department’s overall efficiency and morale.”
WHAT’S THE ONE THING EMPLOYERS SHOULD DO TO PROMOTE HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that employees come in all shapes and sizes. I have colleagues that range from 4’5’” 95-lbs to 6’3” 250-lbs and everything in between, yet we are all provided the same chair.
At any given government office in Ottawa, employees normally work an 8-hour shift, most of which are spent sitting on a desk chair. It is the employers’ responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for staff. Part of this responsibility is to provide an ergonomically correct workspace and chairs that can be customized and tailored to suit every individual staff’s needs. This helps ensure employees are physically supported and that they feel comfortable when they park their tushes on their chairs during the workday.
Fortunately for employees, in 2017 the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Office Ergonomic Guideline was updated and elevated to a Standard to reflect modern work environments. This means it’s no longer just a suggestion or a guide but rather a standard for employers to provide a work chair that “SHALL match the relevant anthropometric characteristics of each user, allow movement through multiple postures, provide stable body support, and be appropriate for the tasks or activities being performed.”
Through investing in ergonomically correct chairs and workstations and working closely with ergonomists and health practitioners, employers (which I really do hope ALL of them would read this very important blog post!) not only cultivate a safety culture but can send the message to employees that they care, and that health and safety is an absolute priority for the company.
THE ONE CHAIR THAT RULES THEM ALL – THE tCENTRIC HYBRID
But wait a minute, with thousands of office chairs available in the market today, how do you choose THE ONE?
An excellent question in and of itself because the reality is, while office chairs are designed to suit a range of people, there is no guarantee that they will fit any one person.
ergoCentric’s team of Canadian engineers understand this and created the most modular approach to ergonomic chair design.
The tCentric Hybrid combines design and ergonomic function to fit more people than any other chair on the market. The chair contains patent-pending Airless Cushion Technology, 5” of infinite back height adjustment, 3-way adjustable armrests, and much more, all with an aesthetically pleasing mesh fabric that delivers the benefits of airflow with ergonomic comfort.
The level of standard, easy adjustment available is fantastic. For example, the armrest contains patented components and is available with 3 levels of adjustability. That’s more adjustment possibilities than on any chair I have used in the past. Additional features such as a headrest can be added or removed depending on the person’s taste and needs. And for individuals who need more than the standard adjustment features, the tCentric Hybrid can be configured to a person’s exact needs. For example, maybe you don’t like a mesh seat? That’s no problem as you can choose to have an upholstered seat instead.
You’re probably saying…wait, but I don’t have back problems, therefore I really don’t need an ergonomic chair!
Well, hold up. Don’t you want to keep it that way, your back… pain-free? Remember, an ergonomically correct chair is not just for people with back problems. That’s an old myth from a time gone by where it was considered kind of taboo to request ergonomic assessments. Today, government departments and agencies as well as most companies have integrated ergonomic needs for the health and well-being of employees into their corporate policies.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER YOU AND A HEALTHIER AND SAFER WORK ENVIRONMENT
As Pam taught me during our conversation, just because you now have a beautiful ergonomic chair that you could sit on for hours on end, it is vital to also stand up, move and walk around throughout your workday. If you can, head to the gym for a quick workout. At the very least, get up from your desk for a few minutes at least every hour or so to give your body a brief break. Grab some water and do some quick stretches to relieve tension and stress on your neck, back and legs.
Pam also emphasized the importance of providing employees with the proper training from certified ergonomists to fully understand all the features of your chair. Wouldn’t it be a shame to get a spectacular ergonomic chair with all the bells and whistles and not know how to use it? Teaching people how to properly adjust a chair to fit them perfectly can make a big difference in the user’s comfort and ease of use.
Since comfortable employees results in healthy and productive employees, which in turn increases productivity and efficiency in the workplace, it’s easy to see how an ergonomically correct office chair like the tCentric Hybrid plays an especially crucial role in ensuring your well-being at work.
I’m sure you all will agree with me, I reckon we’ll call this a WIN-WIN scenario!
For more information, please visit: www.ergocentric.com
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