Conferences and meetings are an integral part of everyday office routines. For them to be as effective as possible, areas where meetings are held should be furnished in a way that promotes work output and sustains attention levels. One condition for achieving this is to allow people to satisfy their natural urge to keep moving. No problem with the right furnishings!
Meetings held with people standing up are more efficient and healthier with far greater motivation rates, as has long been proven by occupational health studies. A standing/sitting workplace is known to boost motivation and creativity, as the brain works up to 20% faster when standing.
Those keen to make the most of these positive effects should provide their staff with corresponding furniture, including height-adjustable conference desks, for example. Another good alternative consists in conference desks with a constant standing height (high desks) - but only in combination with adjustable high desk chairs.
Fully variable, intuitive sitting height adjustment that encourages the user to alternative between standing and sitting is a basic prerequisite for a back-friendly Counter chair (high desk chair). Everyone at the meeting can then decide spontaneously whether they would rather stand or sit.
Back-friendly high desk chairs also have a comfortable foot ring that can be adjusted in height. It must be possible to support or rest the feet comfortably on the foot ring which therefore has to be robust enough. It should also be quick and easy to adjust the foot ring.
High desk chairs are only used for a limited time and usually by different people. The seat and back rest therefore have to be designed for an average body size.
These chairs are back-friendly when they have an ergonomically designed backrest, a seat tilting function and a spring-based cushioning effect. This prevents jolting of the spine when the user sits down. A tilting seat will tip the pelvis forward slightly as soon as the weight is shifted toward the desk, resulting in a natural position for the spinal column. Generally the chair should adapt to three-dimensional posture changes.
Non-slip covers for the seat and backrest are just as beneficial as permeable or breathable fabrics.
If a high desk is not adjustable, then three factors are important.
The high desk chair can be complemented by stand-up aids and activating standing seats. They can be used in many various ways and encourage people to alternate between standing and dynamic sitting. The chapter on conference workplaces provides more information on conference room furnishings.
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