28 Dec 2020

Investing in An Ergonomic Office Chair: What Are They, Are They Worth It and How Do You Go About Choosing One?

To many, the term "ergonomic office chair" might seem extremely foreign, especially if buying an office chair of any sorts has not crossed your mind before. Even if it did, you might only have an inkling of how the chair can help you... and it doesn't really make a strong case as to why you should get one.

In this blog, we would be touching on exactly that: What exactly is an ergonomic office chair, why it is worth your money to invest in one, and a detailed step-by-step guide on how you should go about choosing your ergonomic office chair such that it will be a bang for your buck. 

Table of Content

1. What exactly is an ergonomic office chair?

- Definition of ergonomic 
- History of ergonomic office chairs
- Parts of an ergonomic office chair

2. Why are ergonomic chairs so expensive?

- Research and Development: The Duality Of Sitting
- Craftsmanship
- Material Costs
- Packaging and Shipping Costs
- Warranty
- Miscellaneous Costs

3. What to look out for?

- Seat Height
- Seat Width and Depth
- Recline
- Lumbar Support
- Backrest
- Seat Material
- Arm Rests
- Swivel
- Headrest

4.How do these parts work to help you?

- The 6 Pointer Checklist to Achieving Perfect Posture

5. How to choose a chair

- What functions should my chair have?
- What is considered an excellent chair?
- Which parts of my chair should I take particular note of?

6. Is it worth it?

- Calculated cost of an ergonomic office chair
- Opportunity cost of not purchasing an ergonomic office chair



1. What exactly is an ergonomic chair?

When I first encountered the word "ergonomic", I myself was really confused as well:
Why not just call it "comfortable office chair"? Or something more bizarre like "the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious chair for your back"? To answer that question, we would have to first dive into the definition of ergonomic: How was this word even created and what does it even mean?

Definition of ergonomic

Founded by Polish biologist Wojciech Jastrzebowski in 1857, it comes from two Greek words, namely “ergon” and “nomos”. “Ergon” means work and “Nomos” means laws, hence it can be loosely translated into “laws of work".

Over the years, the usage of the term “ergonomic” has become more associated to the design of furniture. People then started relating the term to the design of furniture or equipment which makes it comfortable and effective for people who use it.

There are three types of ergonomics, mainly physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics. The ergonomics behind creating an ergonomic chair refers to physical ergonomics, which is closely related to studies in anatomy, anthropometry (the scientific study of measurements and proportions in the body), biomechanics and physiology. 

History of Ergonomic Office Chairs

World's first ergonomic chair.
Image Source: https://legnocurvatodesign.it/thonet-91-superleggera-gio-ponti/

The first ever ergonomic chair was invented in 1968 by Wilfred Dauphin, who was hired by a British company to observe the impact of the computer on office furniture requirements. He noticed that the number one complaint of most office workers, after sitting in front of their desks facing the computer screen for the whole day, was about the aches and pains from sitting, and was inspired to come up with a solution, thus coming up with the ergonomic chair. Back then, it only had two points of adjustments, namely the back height and seat height.  

In the 1980s and 1990s, more features were implemented to increase the comfort and convenience of using an ergonomic chair, including lower back support (also referred to as lumbar support), levers to adjust height as well as wheels. While they were not the most aesthetically pleasing, they met general ergonomic guidelines still. 

Today, following the leaps and bounds in technology, ergonomic office chairs have massively advanced in terms of aesthetics and functionality. For example, the ErgoTune Supreme offers up to 11 points of adjustments, featuring the unprecedented GyroBrace 5D ArmRest which is freely rotatable and ensures your arms and elbows will never be left hanging regardless of the activity you are doing.  

Summary:
An ergonomic office chair is one which serves to maximize your comfort, productivity and efficiency when using it in your workplace or at home.

A good ergonomic chair is one which should fit you perfectly and assists you in achieving the perfect sitting posture, which generally consists of:

1. Both arms being parallel to the floor
2.
Both feet being flat on the floor, with your legs ideally bent at a 90-degree angle
3. Your neck being in a relaxed and neutral position
4.
Your eyes being level with the top of the monitor, an arm’s length away from the computer screen
5.
A straight back 

Need a chair that gives you that all-day comfort? Get the top rated ergonomic chair today!

Parts of an ergonomic office chair

A modern ergonomic office chair has the following parts: 

Arms

When typing, this part of the chair will be your best friend. Providing your forearms the support it needs, together with your arm rests (which we will touch on shortly), they primarily help to alleviate the stress on your shoulders and neck. In the market, there are predominantly three types of arms available:

- Flip Up Arms: Designed for convenience, these arms can be easily flipped up and out of the user’s way to allow him/her to enter and exit with ease. Alternatively, they could also be repositioned to ensure the user has the most comfortable sitting experience.

- T- Arms: Named after their appearance, these arms come in both fixed or adjustable options. In recent years, however, the adjustable option has become the more popular option given that it is more customizable and allows for a more tailor-made experience to the user.

- Loop arms: Fixed arms that do not offer any form of adjustment. While aesthetically pleasing in all office settings, their lack of customizability causes them to fall behind in terms of ergonomics.  

Armrests

The cushion for your arms, they help to provide additional comfort and support. Not only do they provide ergonomic benefit, they are also generally quite long-lasting and help to enhance the beauty of the chair.

Casters


These are the rotating “wheels” that you normally notice attached to the bottom of your chair, allowing you to move around easily. (Fun Fact: This was invented by famous English biologist Charles Darwin, who wanted to slide around and move while sitting!) The reason why “wheels” is in inverted commas, however, is because the wheel is only one component of the caster. A caster comprises a wheel within a mounted frame or fork, which come in three types:

- Soft casters: Usually made of urethane or soft rubber
- Hard casters: Made of hard rubber and plastic (nylon)
- Glides: Metal or plastic discs attached to a chair’s legs to help it move. 

Chair Base 

Helping to provide stability and movement, most chairs have a 5-point chair base (i.e they have 5 casters and thus have a 5-point contact with the ground). The larger the diameter, the more stability your chair would have. Bases are normally made up of either one of these materials:

- Polypropylene
- Aluminium
- Steel 

Chair Mechanism 

Depending on the chair’s design, the chair mechanism can be multi-functional and can vastly vary across different chairs. Primarily, the mechanism helps users to identify and customize the perfect, ergonomically correct position for them. Typically, more high-end chairs would be equipped with more in-depth chair mechanisms such as recline tension. 

Cylinder Cover  

Protecting the cylinder, which helps to bear the weight of the user, from dust, dirt and damage, the cylinder cover also adds an additional style to the chair.

Foot Ring

The foot ring is the circular metal base found at the bottom of your chair. It not only helps to provide foot support, but also helps to maintain the chair’s center of gravity such that it can be turned and shifted without tipping.

Headrest

If you are suffering from pesky neck aches and strains while working, the headrest is something you will really appreciate on an ergonomic office chair. The headrest provides a place to rest your head while relaxing or reclining if it is adjusted to/fixed at the correct height for you.

Lumbar Support System

The lumbar support system can be simply described as the deliberate curvature of the backrest. It helps to promote good posture by filling the gap between your lower back and the seat, supporting the natural inward curve of your lower back.

Seat Pad/Pan

The seat pad, also known as the seat pan, provides cushioned support for the user. Being easily adjustable, it helps to ensure that the user’s feet are firmly planted to the ground and his/her knees are bent to approximately 90 degrees. This is vital in preventing spinal or knee misalignments and relieving undue pressure on one’s joints, especially when sitting for long hours on end.  



2. Why are ergonomic chairs so expensive?

Now that we have a clearer picture of what "ergonomics" refers to, the next biggest question that comes to mind about these chairs is why they command such a high price point. For that, we would first have to look into the science of sitting down (yes, sitting down) and the amount of research and development required that goes behind it. 

Research and Development: The Duality Of Sitting

In order to design an ergonomic office chair, a large amount of money in research and development must be invested by companies to ensure that these chairs fit their owners perfectly and that to them, they have made a sound decision to purchase their chairs. The research and development in question involves studying how to keep one comfortable and pain-free, even after sitting down for prolonged hours. 

This involves understanding this principle known as the duality of sitting. To many, the act of sitting in front of a computer desk is not that all complex. However, what goes behind that is the coordination of many complex systems – your bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and nerves are all collectively involved. Sitting is not as static as you think it is: Remember the times when you were sitting down and you felt a slight discomfort, so you decided to tweak your sitting position? Sitting involves both micro and macro movements, whether is it to maintain your own balance when sitting down or when you decide to move your arms or legs. Additionally, maintaining a seated position for hours and hours on end is not something our bodies are naturally acclimatized to as a large amount of pressure is exerted on the lower areas of our back and spine.

The research and development that goes into intrinsically studying these natural movements and healthful positions while sitting down, ensuring that your body is fully supported and your pains are fully alleviated for extremely long periods of time is one which is a challenging endeavor that requires large amounts of resources and time.

Take for example our flagship product, the ErgoTune Supreme. The ErgoTune Supreme cost nearly 2 years to fully research and develop, while incurring hundreds and thousands of dollars. But as a result, this chair can be easily customized to cater to users from various professions and the respective sitting positions they may adopt. 

Craftsmanship

In addition, you would also be paying for the cost to produce the components, ensuring that a high level of precision is achieved (i.e the components fit together perfectly during assembly) and everything works together smoothly. A high level of quality control is required to ensure that the chair is 100 percent safe to use and poses as little danger as possible. 

Material Costs

Adjustments 
The more adjustments you add to an office chair, the more expensive it will be. This is due to the sunk cost incurred from innovating new built-in tools to increase the customizability of the chair, which includes adjusting recline tension, increasing or decreasing armrest length and altering armrest angles to your preference. Despite the increased cost, it heavily simplifies the process of finding the perfect chair for the end-user as it eliminates the tedious trial and error process one must go through: to spend hours and hours researching which brand is the best and trying out a multitude of chairs just to find one that he or she is satisfied with.  

Upholstery 
Refers to the soft, padded textile covering which is fixed to the chairs. For companies, there will always be a tradeoff between price and quality when it comes to which material to use. While material costs are not a sole contributor as to why an ergonomic chair is expensive, price is still a good indicator when comparing the quality of the upholstery of ergonomic chairs. When it comes to ergonomic chairs, the common materials that are utilized are leather, vinyl, mesh and fabric.  

Leather: The most expensive on this list. Often seen on high-end chairs, some of the finest leather chairs can cost over $5,000. In some cases, the cost of the upholstery is so expensive that it usually costs as much, if not more, than the cost of the other parts of the chair itself. Leather is expensive due to the tedious process required to produce it, particularly tanning. On top of the level of difficulty when it comes to the tanning process, leading to high labor intensity, there is also a high amount of time spent when it comes to finding eligible, higher qualities hides which can be dyed. For example, vegetable tanning, which harnesses natural methods of coloring such as tree bark and tannin, takes approximately 20-30 months. Out of all colors of leather, white leather is the most expensive as it is the most difficult to produce, hence a white leather ergonomic chair would command a substantial price point.

Vinyl: A common substitute to leather, this material usually costs much less and is also more manageable when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. However, do not be too tempted when you see a vinyl chair that is too cheap to be true: low-end vinyl is known to have poor durability, a high tendency to peel and has an extremely distinct odor.

Mesh: Chairs made of mesh have two extremes: They can either be cheap (eg. $50 Amazon Chairs) or they can go up to thousands of dollars. The reason as to why mesh chairs can be this expensive is because they are weaved in with pricey elastomeric materials that gives the mesh high elasticity, which provides you with optimal support, as well as durability, allowing you to use the same chair for many years to come.

Fabric: The prime driving force behind expensive fabric chairs is the extremely high durability of the material. The highest tier of fabric chairs, which can last up to 10 years or more, have a double rub count of over a million. To put things into perspective, a double rub simulates someone sitting down and up. In other words, it takes 1 million sits or more on the chair during its lifetime for it to see any observable wear and tear! The colors you are looking for in a fabric chair would also lead to a much higher cost- bright, multi-color designs or those that offer intricate patterns will cost much more than your average, basic colored chair. Basically, the more design that goes into a fabric, the higher the grade it is and the more it will cost you.

Packaging and Shipping Costs

These costs vary depending on size and brand of chair. For ergonomic office chairs, the packaging cost can range from $15 to $60, which is a relatively small price to pay if you are looking at high-end ergonomic office chairs which can go up to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. The range of shipping costs can also go from $20 to $100.

The price of packaging would depend on how the chair was packaged prior to delivery. Assembled chairs, for example, would probably take much less packaging than chairs which are shipped in its parts. Additionally, some chairs might contain bigger and bulkier parts than other brands of ergonomic chairs. The quantity of parts also determines how much packaging to use and therefore how much packaging costs are.

Additionally, some companies, as a form of branding, would invest more money into creating packaging that is extremely fancy or unique to create a more exciting experience when unboxing your newly bought chair. However, this also results in a more expensive chair due to the additional packaging costs. 

Warranty

Another reason why the price of a chair appears to be expensive is because of the warranty behind it.

A warranty ensures that for its duration, you would have access to a fully functioning chair no matter what happens to it. For ergonomic office chairs, the price point you are paying for might seem costly, but the matter of the fact is that you are also paying for a strong warranty that ensures you would not have to break the bank just to buy another chair in a few years, or even in a few days’ time.

Additionally, higher end chairs like ergonomic chairs also have a lower chance to breakdown when compared to low-end chairs, giving you the best of both worlds.

For example, the ErgoTune covers you for up to 10 years for its different frames, up to 5 years for its lumbar support/central mechanism and 3 years for more complex mechanisms such as the armrest, casters and gas lift.  

Miscellaneous Costs

Mark-Up
In the supply chain of an ergonomic office chair, it makes business sense that everyone wishes to earn money: From the supplier who provides the raw materials for the chairs, to the manufacturer who produces and assembles the different parts of the chair, to the retailers who assist in the sales and promotion of the chair. What happens as a result is that there would be increments in price through the supply chain as each partner would want to sell at a higher price than what they have spent to the next partner. This eventually results in the final product being much more expensive than its cost price due to it going through these middlemen.

Retail
Some companies might also choose to sell via retail, which further increases the price point of their already expensive office chairs. This is because for retail, there are high overhead costs that need to be borne, such as rental costs, administrative costs and operating costs. As a result, in order to bear these costs, they are passed on to the customer through increasing the prices of their products.

Marketing Cost

For companies to make their chairs known, a significant amount of money is usually invested into marketing. This can come in the form of broadcast advertising, website development and even printing materials such as newsletters or flyers. As a result, for companies to make a sustainable profit, the price of their chairs must be higher in order to compensate for what was invested into marketing it.

Brand Equity
Brand equity refers to the perceived value a customer has of a particular brand name. If customers deem a brand to be of certain prestige or of a high quality, this results in customers being more willing to spend higher amounts of money. In the case of office chairs, this results in high-end chairs being more expensive as customers associate their brand with quality, highly ergonomic chairs that are worthy of a long-term investment. 



3. What to look out for

As daunting as it seems, what to look out for in an ergonomic chair is relatively simple. Here are some of the functions you should look out for and why they are so important:

1. Seat Height

First, check if the office chair seat height is easily adjustable. Normally, seat height is adjusted using a pneumatic adjustment lever, where pressurized air is utilized to lift or lower the seat to your preference. Ideally, the seat height should range from about 40cm to 50cm off the floor. This is so that your feet would be flat on the floor and your knees bent at a comfortable 90-degree angle. 

2. Seat Width and Depth

Make sure the seat has enough width and depth to support you comfortably. As a gauge, if the seat of the chair is around 45cm to 50cm, it should be good to go. Besides that, the depth of your seat must be deep enough to the extent that you can comfortably sit down and lay your back against the chair’s backrest, while leaving around 5 to 10 cm between the back of your knees and the seat of the chair.

Ensure that your seat pan also has a waterfall (rounded) front edge, which distributes the pressure over a larger area around your thighs.

3. Recline

The forward and backward tilt of the chair should also be adjustable in order to support your movement when seated. Unless you are fully aware of your sitting style (i.e you know you tend to rock back and forth every time you sit down), it is always ideal to get a chair with adjustable recline so that you will be able to adjust your chair according to how you would like to sit for every moment.

Often, features like an extended recline angle (eg. 180 degrees) should not be a priority when it comes to recline features as they serve no purpose besides for lying down, which is a function your bed already serves to do. 

4. Lumbar Support

One of the most, if not the most important, your chair should also have lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) in order to support the natural curve of your lower back. In order to determine if your chair truly provides good lumbar support, it is best to test it out in a showroom first. Ideally, the lumbar support should flush against the small of your back, which is the curve just above your buttocks and prevent your back from slouching.  

5. Backrest

Your backrest should be around 30 cm to 50cm wide, with your back feeling fully supported especially when it comes to the lumbar region. Your backrest should also be adjustable in terms of height so that it provides optimal support to your back, no matter which seating position you decide to adopt when working.

6. Seat Material

Your backrest should be around 30 cm to 50cm wide, with your back feeling fully supported especially when it comes to the lumbar region. Your backrest should also be adjustable in terms of height so that it provides optimal support to your back, no matter which seating position you decide to adopt when working.

7. Armrests

Your backrest should be around 30 cm to 50cm wide, with your back feeling fully supported especially when it comes to the lumbar region. Your backrest should also be adjustable in terms of height so that it provides optimal support to your back, no matter which seating position you decide to adopt when working.

8. Swivel

Any ergonomic office chair should have this function, so that you can easily rotate and reach out to all areas of your desk without having to strain yourself.

9. Headrest

This is usually optional as not all ergonomic office chairs come with this, but is still very useful, nonetheless. If you personally suffer from neck strains after extended hours of working, you will want to consider getting a chair with a headrest to support your neck whenever you feel tired. However, do make sure that the headrest you are getting from purchasing your chair can be adjusted in terms of height and angle, as headrests which are not customized to your body shape might worsen your neck ache problem.

Need a chair that gives you that all-day comfort? Get the top rated ergonomic chair today!



4. How do these parts work to help you?

In order to fully understand how these parts can help with your posture, we would have to scrutinize what the ideal posture to sit in is.

The 6 Pointer Checklist to Achieving Perfect Posture

1. Knees bent at an angle of approximately 90 degrees
2. Feet flat on the ground
3. Back of knees at 2-3 fingers’ width away from seat pan
4. Lumbar Spine Fully Supported
5. Forearms and Wrists flushed with desk, elbows flexed at approximately 90 degrees
6. Headrest angled to fit your neck and lower half of your head  

Seat Height

With an adjustable seat height, you will be able to easily raise or lower your seat such that you can comfortably sit at an angle of 90 degrees and your feet will be flat on the ground. Sitting with your knees at a 90-degree angle takes away pressure from your hips, preventing upper body aches, whereas having your feet flat on the ground relieves pressure in your knee joints and prevents any spinal or knee misalignment. Sitting for a long period of time with your legs crossed may also cause shoulder arthroplasty, forward head posture, and pelvic tilt.

A whopping 75% of our bodyweight is loaded onto just 8% of our body’s surface area (Trumble, 1930), which includes our posterior and both our feet. Thus, having both your feet placed flat on the ground is vital to prevent adding additional pressure onto your knees and lower back.

Seat Depth

When you can adjust your seat depth to 2-3 fingers’ width away from the back of your knees, what happens is that you potentially prevent upper body aches and more serious issues such as weakened abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

Also, having a seat pan that is too shallow would result in a focus of pressure onto a small part of your thighs, which can be very uncomfortable for the user. Likewise, having a seat pan that is too deep makes it difficult to access the backrest, leading to a lack of lumbar support, and puts stress on both the back of the nerves and tendons at the back of your knees. Having a seat which is adjustable in seat depth allows you to find that perfect balance without having to compromise your comfort or your health.  

Lumbar Support and Backrest

Having an appropriate lumbar support to fill the natural curvature of your back, on top of an adjustable backrest which allows you to flush your lower back’s natural c-shaped curve against the lumbar support allows you to achieve full support of the lumbar spine.

This inhibits potential spine deformities from occurring and prevents your back muscles from being overworked.

Without the appropriate lumbar back support, what happens is that both the lumbar spine and the large muscles in your lower back work harder to support the proper curvature and alignment of your back. Over time, these muscles tend to become weak and this results in an overreliance on slouching to maintain balance of the body, which leads to ugly posture. It also flattens the natural curve of the back, which is the number one reason for lower back pain.

On the other hand, having good lumbar support helps to alleviate the work done by the same muscles, reducing your tendencies to slouch and helping to maintain a natural curvature of your back even after being seated for a long period.

Armrests

Having adjustable armrests that can increase or decrease in height enable your wrists and forearms to be flushed with your desk’s tabletop, with your elbows in an L-shaped posture of approximately 90 degrees.

The main benefit of this is that it guards against tense shoulders, muscle fatigue and even carpal tunnel syndrome (which in very layman terms, refers to chronic pain in your wrists). This is because this position minimises the pressure and strain on your wrist by shifting the bearing of the weight of your forearms from just your wrists to the armrests and desk.  

Headrest

By having a headrest that is both adjustable in height and angle, you would be able to adjust your headrest such that it is both angled to fit your neck and lower half of your head. This way, the neck strains that have been bothering you for ages will not reappear ever again when sitting for long hours, along with the pesky tension headaches as well as muscle contractions.

This is because fundamentally, neck strains arise from injuries to the muscles and ligaments in your neck. Naturally, these injuries do not happen easily, but poor posture while sitting causes additional weight to be borne by the neck, causing them to happen. For every inch the head shifts forwards, an extra 10 pounds is added to the muscles in the upper back and neck. A 5-inch forward shift results in 50 extra pounds of force.

A properly positioned headrest ensures that the proper posture of your head is maintained, allowing your neck muscles and ligaments to support a healthy weight. This, in turn, greatly reduces the chances of injuries and hence the possibility of straining your neck.



5. How to choose a chair

In summary, your ideal chair should be one which can perform all these functions to your satisfaction:

1. Support your body ergonomically
2. 
Support the different activities you do on your chair
3. 
Promote and encourage the natural movements of your body
4. 
Contribute to improved performance when working on it  
5. Be easy to use, and of course
6. 
Do no harm to your body (i.e by restricting your movement into unnatural positions) 

This can be ensured by following international ergonomic standards, which include the following:

Height: Feet are flat on the floor, with knees at an approximate 90-degree angle
Width: At least 2-4 fingers between edge of thigh and edge of seat pan
Seat Depth: 2-3 fingers’ spacing between front of seat and back of knee
Back: Optimal back support for lower to middle back  

To determine if your chair is one which is good, use these factors as a checklist:

Adjustability
Like how a tailor-made suit looks and feels superb to wear, a chair that can adapt to your body shape and the type of activities you do on the fly constitutes a great ergonomic office chair. The more adjustable the various parts of your desired chair, the better it will be for your ergonomics.  

Seat materials used
Look out for materials that are comfortable for extended periods of time. Make sure the seat padding is sufficient and of high-quality. This prevents the misalignment in the hips, imbalance, back pain, fatigue and discomfort from sitting in the long run.

If possible, avoid unbreathable synthetic materials, which feel uncomfortable, sweaty to sit on and become warm easily in Singapore’s climate.

Ideally, a mesh backrest is good as it keeps the user cool by encouraging air circulation, while easily contouring the body and spreading your weight across a large area.  

Movement and Stability
Your chair should maneuver and rotate with ease, allowing you to grab anything on your desk without straining your muscles. On top of that, it also helps to accommodate the dynamic position everyone adopts while sitting. (Remember when we said sitting is not as static as you always thought it is?).

Your chair should also have 5 spokes or more to ensure that your chair is stable, and make sure the wheels are of high quality so that no damage is done.

Finally, make sure the weight capacity is appropriate and can bear your weight.    

Warranties and Certifications
As buying an ergonomic office chair can be a large investment for many, make sure it comes with a good warranty as well, which not only covers for all important parts of the chair but for years as well. On top of that, a benchmark to determine the quality of your chair also comes from the relevant certifications, which increase the credibility and value of your chair. For example, when it comes to the ErgoTune Supreme, our materials are all ISO certified and we were also awarded with the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, which stands for customer confidence and high product safety.

Depending on the context of your environment and your own self, there are certain parts of your chair that you should take note of as well:

Casters
Different casters are used for different types of floors to prevent scratching. There are 3 types of casters, namely soft casters, hard casters and glides. Soft casters are made of urethane or soft rubber and can only be used for hard surfaces, hard casters are made of hard rubber and plastic (nylon) and are generally used for carpets/carpet squares, and glides are metal or plastic discs to be used on commercial carpets and floors.

Chair Bases
Depending on how frequent you’ll be using the chair; the material of the chair base also matters. For average, light to medium use, a polypropylene will work, whereas steel is ideally used for heavy use and/or users with a bigger build. Aluminum is the most flexible and can generally be used in the office setting.  

6. Is it worth it?

At this juncture, you have seen the multitude of benefits to including an ergonomic office chair in your homely workspace, but you might not be fully convinced on whether it is worth it to buy an ergonomic office chair.

While we do admit that the initial cost of purchasing a chair can be very off-putting, in the long run, we strongly feel that investing in an ergonomic chair is not as expensive as you perceive it to be.  

This is why:

Calculated Cost

Let us use the ErgoTune Supreme as an example to make our case.

Currently, the ErgoTune Supreme is priced at $599 with a warranty of 12 years. Assuming you would be using the ErgoTune Supreme for its entire lifespan (why not, right?), it would cost approximately $50 per year for 12 years, which already sounds like an extremely affordable amount.

Then, taking into consideration the amount of time per day an average person sits on the ErgoTune Supreme in front of a computer screen, which is about 3 hours, we would be spending a total of 1,095 hours per year on the ErgoTune Supreme.

This means that we are spending just 50SGD for 1,095 hours of usage per year! And this equates to barely 5 cents per hour of usage of the ErgoTune Supreme, which is really affordable when you put things into perspective.  

Opportunity Cost

Furthermore, investing in an ergonomic office chair, which helps you to maintain a healthy posture, could prevent incurring costs that come along with bad sitting posture. Take for example carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs due to excessive pressure on your wrists, specifically your median nerve. In the worst case scenario, surgery would have to be done to treat this and costs can range from $2,191 to even $2,996 without any subsidies. Even if you do not require surgery, the pain, numbness and weak grip experienced from this syndrome could lead to a much lower productivity rate at work, affecting your quality of life extensively.

In more extreme cases, spine deformity could also occur from poor sitting postures, the most common being postural kyphosis, which may develop into lordosis. In extreme cases, these spine deformities are not only extremely painful, but can also lead to severe breathing problems and even surgery to reduce the excessive spinal curve molded by years of unhealthy sitting posture. 

Summary

As cliché as it sounds, prevention is always better than cure. In the long run, investing in an ergonomic office chair is not only something that is affordable for the average working adult, but also prevents you from spending multiple times more on healthcare costs. Especially in a COVID-19 world, where working from home is becoming the norm, this necessitates a better equipped and much more ergonomic working space at home, and a great starting point would definitely be to get your first ever ergonomic office chair.

Particularly with the ErgoTune Supreme, which keeps its prices low while being as functional as other high-end chairs through omitting costs such as mark-up cost, retail cost, marketing cost and brand cost, the choice to improve your health and boost your productivity at work has never been this simple.

Need a chair that gives you that all-day comfort? Get the top rated ergonomic chair today!