How the right seating can improve productivity

January 16, 2019

Whether you are providing seating in a work place, or a learning environment, you need to be aware that the seating you choose can affect the productivity of the people who use it. This is important if you want to achieve the best results from your business, organisation or learning institution.

Caring for employees or students, by making sure they are comfortable while they work, is essential if you want to optimise productivity. Providing the right seating is an important part of this. There are several reasons why choosing the right seating is so imperative.

The importance of good posture

Everyone remembers being told to sit up straight by parents or teachers, and feeling fed up because of it. It turns out that this was good advice. The way you sit can have a big impact on your posture, and good posture is important if aches and pains are to be avoided. If you provide seating that does not promote good posture, the people using it will end up feeling uncomfortable and are unlikely to be as productive as possible.

Good posture means that the effect of natural gravity is distributed across all areas of the body so that no one area is over-stressed. Well-designed seating allows this to happen, promoting comfort and enhanced productivity.

Improving the flow of oxygen

The cells in the human body need a consistent flow of oxygen, transported by blood, in order to survive. As the blood brings oxygen to the cells, it also takes carbon dioxide away from them. This exchange is measured by a process called tissue perfusion. If the soft tissues of the body are compressed for a significant length of time, this process can be adversely affected. The end result of this is that cells can die.

The body naturally takes action to prevent this from happening when a person is seated for a while. They fidget a little in order to move weight around and make themselves more comfortable. Problems start when people are unable to achieve a comfortable position and need to stand. In a workplace or college, this can affect their level of productivity. Having the right chairs in place, providing the required level of flexibility and support, helps to relieve this problem.

Relieving pain in the lower back

Both of the issues we have mentioned can result in pain in the lower back. This is a common problem in many workplaces. If the work involves people sitting for long periods of time, they tend to remain in a static position. If the design of their chair is not adequate, people tend to bend forward as they sit. This position puts strain on the discs, ligaments and muscles of the back, causing pain.

You cannot afford for this to happen to people employed by your business, or studying at your institution. Most importantly, you have a duty of care which you need to carry out. Discomfort is also likely to reduce the productivity and success of individuals, and the business or institution overall.

Helping reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders

There are many work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in existence, including tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. They are generally caused by the overuse of certain parts of the body, in a repetitive manner. The pain caused by these conditions can make it difficult for an individual to carry out their work duties as effectively as possible. This can have a detrimental effect on productivity.

These conditions can affect many parts of the body, including the back, neck and wrists. All of these body parts are used daily when someone has a job which involves sitting at a desk for long periods of time. As an employer, you want to reduce the risk of WMSDs happening. There are two main reasons for this; you want to maintain a healthy and safe working environment and you do not want productivity to be adversely affected by illness and absence.

Providing the right seating for people to use can help with prevention. If seating is designed in the right way, people are able to complete their work without having to overstretch. They can also easily adjust their position, so that the repetitive nature of movement can be reduced.

It’s easy to not think clearly about just how important the right seating is, when it comes to productivity. You need to remember that the more comfortable and supported a person is, the more likely they are to be fully productive.