Ergoland was recently contacted by Natalie Khoo from The Edge Property digital publication to do a short interview on ergonomics and its importance for its 15 May 2020 issue. We couldn't be prouder, that ergonomics is a growing and recognizable trend, as well as being picked up by a reputable publisher!
Ergoland has been championing for better care for our bodies while working for over 15 years, but it's still humbling when people seek us out to be the authority on ergonomic furniture in Malaysia. Below is a brief summary of the article, but the full link to the article can be found here.
Harnessing the benefits of ergonomic furniture
Long office hours in a chair has been causing back pains and neck aches for a while now for office worker, leading to serious health complications in the long run. However, this risk could be mitigated with correct sitting posture in an ergonomic chair and desk.
According to Ergoland Alliance managing director Evonne Ng, for a chair or desk to qualify as ergonomic furniture, it needs to fit two criteria — comfort and efficiency.
“When we talk about an ergonomic chair, first of all, you need to look at the back care of the chair. Can the chair support your body perfectly and fit your body contour? The key is whether it can provide you with dynamic seating — which means it allows continuous movement (the back support moving together with your back when movement is made) while you are sitting down. The advantage of dynamic seating is that it reduces pressure on the back,” Ng tells EgdeProp.my.
An ergonomic chair provides you with dynamic seating — which means it allows continuous movement (the back support moving together with your back when movement is made) while you are sitting down. (Photos by Low Yen Yeing/EdgeProp.my)
Being adjustable to the person's height means the workstation as a whole is able to conform to that specific's individual's body shape, with the ideal height of the desk being two fingers above the user's navel, with focus on not being too low or too high, to prevent neck and shoulder strain.
“When we slouch, you become tired and your back becomes strained without you even realising it. When the desk height is suited to your body height, it prevents you from slouching, making you more efficient in delivering your work,” she says.
Growing awareness on its benefits
With rising awareness, interest and demand for ergonomic furniture have also increased but compared to Scandinavian countries for instance, Malaysia is still far behind in terms of usage.
“Over there [in Scandinavian countries] , eight out of 10 corporate offices use ergonomic furniture such as a sit-stand desk. They know the long-term benefit of using furniture such as these because they understand that our bodies are not meant to be sat down for long hours. Usually, you sit for two to three hours and then you can work standing up to reduce the pressure on your back. Not only that, when you switch between sitting and standing, you also lose calories when you are standing up. But for Malaysian companies, only one or two invest in ergonomic solutions,” Ng notes.
She says it is human nature to find a solution only when a problem occurs.
“As we all know, prevention is always better than cure. In my perception, it is always better to prevent future health problems which may incur a lot of medical cost. Another reason for the lack of ergonomic furniture usage is the pricing factor as most people have the perception that ergonomic furniture is expensive. But one should not look into the initial investment made. Instead, focus on the overall lifetime cost..
“A good quality ergonomic furniture has a life span of four to five times more compared to a normal furniture. If you go to a normal furniture shop, an office chair easily costs you RM700-RM800. Not only it may not be comfortable, after 1-2 years there may be wear and tear which needs additional replacement cost. The lifetime cost may be even more expensive in the end,” says Ng, adding that most ergonomic furniture for children can be used all the way to their teen years or even adulthood.
Prices range from RM1,000-RM5,000 depending on size and specifications.
When buying ergonomic furniture, look for authenticity and consider the after sales service.
“Make sure the desk or chair really come with full lumbar support and fully adjustable to suit each specific individual. Suppliers like us also provide a warranty of 10 years for our furniture so, it is important that customers look for responsible sellers who could provide after sales service should they have further enquiries after they buy the furniture. It is important for us to educate people and make sure the furniture is used correctly so that the maximum benefit can be harnessed from their usage,” she concludes.
This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my pullout on May 14, 2020. You can access back issues here.