Ergonomic Chairs: A History

History of ergonomicsLast week, one of my favorite ergonomics blogs posted a really interesting history of ergonomic chairs. The term ergonomics was coined in the 19th century by a Polish biologist, and since then the term–much like ergonomics itself–has changed according to our needs and perceptions.

Applying the term ergonomics to extended episodes of sitting wasn’t common until computer work became much more integrated into the workplace, in the 1980s. Since then, quite a bit of our assumptions and understandings of ergonomics relates to repetitive, and stationary, office work.

In the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of new types of chairs populating the marketplace. Many modern offices include kneeling chairs, exercise balls, and traditional curved back office chairs.

What kind of chair do you prefer to use?

Debunking Ergonomics Myths

Ergonomics Myths DebunkedThis week we were impressed by a recent article posted on the site Office-Ergo, discussing conventional vs. current views on certain ergonomics topics related to posture, positioning, and eye strain.

Especially interesting for Mobo users is the information on common keyboard myths. The article debunks the belief that keyboards must always be at a certain distance from the monitor, that they should be placed at a very specific height and angle, and that they should be slightly removed from the mouse.

For more information, check out the article here.

Chairs and Posture

Summary of “Chairs, Posture and the Alexander Technique,” by Robert Rickover

I first heard about the Alexander Technique several weeks, when integrative physician Dr. Weil briefly mentioned it on Twitter. The gist is this: trained specialists help you learn how to have good posture again.

While children naturally have perfect posture, over the years our ability to maintain good posture erodes, dramatically. The Alexander Technique helps you learn to reduce tension so that your posture improves and you no longer suffer the pain and health issues that come with poor posture.

While this article briefly mentions the Alexander Technique, overall the article discusses how if your posture is bad, no chair will save you. In fact, some ergonomics experts have created chairs that are actually worse for posture than old-fashioned straight back chairs were.

Read more here: