Ergonomic Chair Back Support — How History Shaped Modern Solutions
Modern ergonomic chairs with back support are the latest in a lineage of ergonomic tools that have always been a part of human history. As far back as ancient Greece, humans have devised tools that not only make work more efficient, but more user-friendly as well. Though modern office jobs don’t require the backbreaking labor and tools engineered by craftsmen long ago, sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time while staring at a computer screen can still take its toll.
New challenges and dangers to human health have called for new solutions. Modern solutions for ergonomic back support for office chairs have evolved into some sophisticated designs that are transforming the way we do office work. Read on to find out how linking our past to the present helps us understand the principles of ergonomics that have led to the creation of modern ergonomic office chairs with back support.
The History that Led to Ergonomic Chair Back Support
The Ancient Greeks
Archaeological evidence suggests that the ancient Greeks were among the first to engineer tools for human use that were designed specifically to increase the ease with which humans could operate them, rather than simply increasing their efficiency. The science of ergonomics came into its own in the 20th century, but humans have long known these principles.
The ancient Greeks thoughtfully designed utensils, construction tools, and theaters with ergonomic principles in mind, even if they didn’t have any concrete science attributed to them. Modern principles of ergonomics can be observed in their early work.
Early Aviation and the Development of Modern Ergonomics
It was in the early 20th century, the years leading up to World War I and II, that modern ergonomic terminology came into common use. This is largely due to the emerging technology of aviation at the time.
Up until World War I, little research had been done on human limitations with regard to hand-eye coordination and driving. The emergence of mass-produced cars by Henry Ford led to a tidal wave of research on driver behavior, and the growing need for sophisticated aviation technology for modern warfare led to the development of what we now know as the science of ergonomics.
Aircraft controls were designed to make operation as intuitive and “fool-proof” as possible, leading to fewer crashes and better overall well-being for pilots, which was vital for their continued military service.
Human-Computer Interaction and the Ergonomic Chair with Back Support
As the twentieth century progressed and technology continued to evolve, the modern workplace began to take shape. The cult classic film, Office Space, lampooned modern workplace culture and drew much-needed attention to the challenges of modern office workers.
Faulty and complicated printers that never seemed to work, stuffy and uncomfortable beige cubicles, and lack of human interaction became defining characteristics of office culture at the turn of the 21st century. Ergonomics had not yet caught up with modern working demands.
At present, numerous companies around the world offer a wide range of products, from standing desks to ergonomic back support for office chairs. These products have revolutionized the way we do work, the standards that we expect from our employers, and the potential for wellness and productivity in the workplace.
Modern Ergonomic Chairs with Back Support
Though there are now limitless types of office chairs to choose from, most of them fall under these three main categories: ergonomic desk chairs, ergonomic executive chairs, and alternative ergonomic office chairs.
Ergonomic Desk Chairs
These chairs are used for extended periods of time at workers’ desks. Many modern workers spend hours on end at their desks, and these chairs are built specifically to ease the strain that desk work can inflict on the human body over time.
Height-adjustable armrests ensure workers’ arms have a place to settle while reducing strain on the neck. The seat is also height-adjustable, to accommodate varying workers’ physical stature. A reclining back and a swivel point provide additional mobility and flexibility for office workers to move from one item to the next in a limited area.
These chairs’ backs are often made of mesh to allow the human body to breathe, while still supporting good posture with a firm lumbar curve support in the back rest. One such ergonomic chair with back support is the MyoChair from Autonomous, which incorporates all of these elements with an elegant design to suit modern workers’ needs.
Ergonomic Executive Chairs
These are the creme de la creme of ergonomic office chairs with back support. Premium, durable materials set these chairs apart, which can often cost $1,000 or more. They offer additional forms of adjustment and ergonomic features not available in standard ergonomic desk chairs.
Amazingly, Autonomous features two very budget-friendly options that have all the benefits and quality materials you’d find in much more expensive office chairs elsewhere. The popular Kinn Chair with its advanced ergonomic reclining back is among the best options in the market that fit this category.
Alternative Ergonomic Office Chairs
A variety of alternative seating solutions are available to encourage good posture and “active” working, which reduces the amount of time people spend motionless at their desks. Various types of stools and standing desk solutions have been devised to this end.
The ErgoStool from Autonomous creates an “active sitting” experience that activates users’ core and back muscles while promoting a healthy, comfortable posture. These are a great alternative that can be used in lieu of traditional chairs, or simply used periodically throughout the day to break up the monotony of sitting down for hours on end.
For those who prefer to stand, anti-fatigue mats reduce strain on the knees to provide a comfortable standing experience. Even more innovative, the Autonomous Flow Board combines fitness with active standing for better posture and balance. It can even be used for home fitness and recreation when office hours are over!
Modern ergonomics have come a long way from their earliest inception in the civilization of the ancient Greeks. Ergonomic back support for office chairs is critical for the health and well-being of modern office workers, and their productivity as well as the quality of their work may depend on it more than you might think!