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Time to change your chair! February 14, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Management.
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Winners sit upright.

Confident people demonstrate a winning posture wherever they move. Be it on field or in office. When it is in office it becomes all the more important to keep a winners body language. It’s time to review – How do you sit & which chair you sit in?

There is a huge variety of office chairs available in the business mart but which of those is the most appropriate chair? The best chair for you is the one which makes you feel confident and keeps you healthy. Think & review: what is the chair that you use to sit in your office? Definitely the kind of chair you sit on in your office contributes a lot towards your productivity, success and happiness. You should be using the best quality of chair to sit on in your office hours. The best quality of chair does not mean the most costly chair. Cost does not necessarily have a direct relationship with quality.

Rotating chairs should be avoided in office until unless the nature of job demands for it specifically. In case a rotating chair is must, the feature should be used very selectively and never in public appearance. It looks very odd & disgusting when you have guests sitting in front of you and your chair gyrates! It is also important that we do not use thickly cushioned and luxurious comfort seats in our office. Luxury in sitting feature should occasionally be used at work. If need be it could be designed in the form of a separate sofa or couch in the visitor’s area. When at work it makes sense to sit straight and alert. This helps one to focus on business. The function of the right chair is akin to that of the soldiers wait belt, it keeps the soldier alert and energetic till such time he is on the field!

A good chair to sit in the office has to do with dimensions. It should go proportionate with the table that you are using, your height and the available chair space for your cubicle. Preferably one should use an upright chair in the office because an upright chair ensures that you have a straightened up spine all the time you are on the chair. Neurology experts confirm that a straight spine supports the efficient working of the nervous system which in turn delivers faster synthesis and analysis of information in the brain. This is very important for better decision making.

Well if the chair you use is straight back and upright, it is all the more important to ensure that your sitting posture is in coherence with the chair back. Your hips should be touching the deepest end within the seat. It is also must that the level of your knees should not be above the plain level of the chair seat. Mostly the chairs available in the market come with an adjustment lever which can be used to align the height as per need.

Most of the office chairs have a screen based working now a days. Now that you have the right sitting angle, next important point to be noted is the computer screen. If one spends most of the office time gazing data on the screen the wrong chair setting can make you sick & inefficient! It should be ensured that the chair height is such that your eye level is straight in front of the screen and not at any extreme angle. Like wise if you are using a mouse it should not be of a huge size. A mouse fitting in the palm grip and just below the level of your ankle on the table is the best fit. Anti glare screens and / or eye glasses should be handy when you work on computers. Do ensure you have enough light (preferably sunlight) coming from the back side of your chair. This helps to keep strain away from your eyes.

Specially if you have sedentary job style, it is all the more important to manage your sitting time in the office. There are various diseases associated with such a work style say for example obesity, stress, blood pressure, pain in joints & bones etc. It is advisable that when you have such a work nature, you should avail frequent breaks to make some leg movements. While designing the office layout one should always plan in such a way that the photocopier, the coffee vending machine, the fresh rooms are strategically located at a distance from your sitting area. In case you do not have the luxury to alter the sitting place on your own, do not worry – there are readymade solutions for you aswell. There are various knee & wrist movement exercises which you can perform even while sitting on your chair. I know of a HR head in a company who uses his mobile alarm as a tool to remind him to stretch up and do exercise every twenty minutes.
Small alterations can sometimes give us differentiating results! Chair is one such aspect which can deliver an efficiency edge to you at work. If you think you are not settled into the right chair in your office it’s time to change your chair and if you think you are in the right chair, just get going!

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
FS Management (I) Pvt. Ltd

The author can be contacted at : info@fsindia.in

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