You’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking; that employees who sit at their desks all day long are more prone to heart disease and other serious health concerns. But what about employees in professions like retail and banking who face the opposite problem? Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the court would define labor law in a way that now makes it very difficult for companies to deny workers a chair. Although California is the first to put this law into effect, it likely won’t be the last, and when it will take effect in other US states is simply a question of time.
Standing all day long is just as bad as sitting all day long, and some say it’s even worse. Standing for long periods of time can lead to back and joint problems, not to mention the pain it can cause the feet after eight hours of work! The key to healthy ergonomic working conditions is to provide employees with furniture that allows them to alternate between sitting and standing as they so choose. For desk jobs, that means the addition of a standing desk. For others, it’s a good quality seat. So what can your business do to provide employees with opportunities to sit on the job without radically changing the job functions or your existing furniture? These are three excellent options.
Employees who work as receptionists, customer service representatives and other positions where standing behind a desk is the norm may be best suited to sit at a 24/7 chair during times when customers are not being serviced. Why a 24/7 chair? Unlike most office chairs, 24 hour chairs are designed to be used, well, 24/7! This is an ideal option for employees in retail positions because 24 hour chairs are ergonomically designed to withstand continuous use by many different people over multiple shifts. That is to say, a 24/7 chair can be used all day long by an ever-changing schedule of employees for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if need be. Plus, this style of chair is typically rated at a higher weight capacity to accommodate a broader range of users, so all of your retail workers should feel comfortable using the same chair. In comparison, a standard computer chair is only designed to be used eight hours per day, five days per week by one individual weighing 250 pounds or less. A 24/7 chair such as the NBF Signature Series Overtime chair will support a broader range of users and last much longer, ensuring all of your employees will stay comfortable at work for years to come.
The problem with chairs is that employees who work at standing or counter height service desks can only use them when they are not helping a customer or working at their computer. If you’re looking to give your workers the option to sit at any time during their shift, an ergonomic drafting stool may be a better option. The seat of a stool can adjust high enough to reach the work surface of a standing height desk or table, so employees will be able to sit or stand at the same work surface. Most stools come with an adjustable foot ring for support, and there are even 24/7 ergonomic stools, like the Officient Omega Drafting Stool, for longevity and extra comfort.
Take comfort to the next level by providing employees with an affordable way to stay active while they sit or stand. Safco and Focal Upright have come together to produce a line of perching stools that provide the comfort of a stool while encouraging the user to fidget and move while they sit. On top of having health benefits for the employee, these leaning stools are beneficial to employers and customers as employees do not sink down into them, which means they can hop up to help a customer in mere seconds. The Mogo leaning stool takes excellent ergonomics another step further by providing easy mobility. The lightweight leaning stool can be easily transported from one place to the next so that a retail employee can use it behind the checkout counter or while stocking shelves, for example. Giving your employees the option to sit or stand when and where they want is what will make them happier people and more productive workers in the long run.
Have your own ideas for making employees who stand all day more comfortable? Share them in the comments! Then shop our full selection of ergonomic office chairs here.