Do you have an office job? If so, you are one of 17.6 million people who spend a great deal of time behind a desk every day(1). This number keeps on growing. Desk work often leads to a lack of movement and people working in such jobs frequently do not get enough exercise. Meanwhile a lack of exercise is considered the number one risk factor for many ailments, in particular back pain and cardiovascular disease. The human body is simply not built for hours of sitting. Office furniture concepts that enable agile work, even in jobs that are typically performed sitting down, are therefore urgently needed.
Agile work is considered the concept of the future in many fields. Well-being at work and the mental agility of employees will be just as important for a company's success in the future as their social satisfaction and their physical and mental health. This in turn means that more complex workplace concepts are needed to account for human diversity.
The central assumption of the agile work concept is that requirements are always changing and rapid adaptability is the key to success. In day-to-day work, this means that projects are divided into short segments called sprints. Self-organised teams work together in these sprints, continuously improving their working processes to handle complex tasks so that a productive result can be obtained purposefully and quickly. However, this future-oriented concept cannot be realised while always sitting behind the same desk. An agile office furniture concept is needed.
Movement and the office have long seemed mutually exclusive. But with corresponding ergonomic furniture that is multifunctional and supports mobile applications, a great deal more movement is fact possible – which is particularly beneficial for back health. The following products transform a conventional office into a smart working environment that makes room for physical, mental and social movement:
First off, if you are using a classic office chair that can be adjusted to your needs, you are not doing anything wrong. Yet there are active-sitting chairs available today that are flexible in application and bring more movement to the office routine. They have to be adaptable to various parts of the body, permit movements in all directions and nevertheless be stable. The back and abdominal muscles are exercised thanks to the small compensating movements you make to stabilise yourself in the active-sitting chair, continuously loading and unloading the intervertebral discs and musculature (preventing muscle tension). This stimulates the circulation, prevents fatigue and helps maintain the ability to concentrate.
Multi-purpose chairs are perfect for quick meetings, briefly taking notes and group work. Their seat height, depth and width is ideal for short-term sitting. Multi-purpose chairs have to support the torso and promote active sitting with an angled seat bottom. A spring-loaded seat bottom similar to a cantilever chair is beneficial on a multi-purpose chair. This absorbs impacts while sitting down and prevents a rigid sitting posture so you can be relaxed while sitting.
The pommel horse seat is not just an eye-catcher but very useful in every office. It helps you rest your legs during short conversations, in meetings or presentations. As a mix of chair and standing aid, it has to let you support yourself with an open angle of the hip joint. When it also encourages you to spontaneously reposition yourself, that is another major benefit and adds vitality to any space.
Relaxation is important. We need time to catch our breath, recharge, come up with fresh ideas and prepare for the next task. Naturally this happens much more easily and effectively with back-friendly lounge furniture. The backrest has to be angled slightly to the rear. This results in an opening angle considerably over 90 degrees in the hip joint and positions the torso's centre of gravity behind the body's centre of gravity. Both are essential for truly relaxed “hanging out”. The backrest and seat bottom have to harmonise so that entirely different people have a sufficient supporting area for the thighs. This guarantees good sitting pressure distribution.
Standing up to work part of the time is becoming increasingly popular. Efficiency is improved, especially in group work. Here the agile work concept offers various solutions that can be used individually. Height-adjustable desks that are equally suitable for sitting and standing tasks are probably the most familiar.
High tables used individually or in combination are another good option. With a height of 105 to 110 cm, they are well suited for almost all body heights. However, they do need to have a support for the feet. This allows you to change the supporting leg every now and then so you can stand easily. Locking casters ensure easy adaptability to the respective work situation. By the way, such casters are advantageous on all tables used in this concept. Tables that can be used as a worktop or presentation space are one example. Casters allow them to be repositioned easily for any work situation.
1 - https://www.zeit.de/arbeit/2019-03/bueroarbeit-sitzen-arbeitsplatz-auswirkungen-gesundheit-bewegung
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