Ergonomics is the study of optimal human interaction with an object for our bodies, or in other worlds, the study of ‘human factors’ (Also known as人体工学 in Mandarin, Ergonomik in BM). Ergonomics is more than the fact car seats have a curvature to fit your back or that modern knives have groves for the fingers to easily slide into, it’s about understanding the design that involves people, products, systems, and environments, in order to protect their bodies.
It might seem like a non-issue, but when anyone in an office spend on average 6 hours a day in their chairs at their desks, that’s 1700 hours spent sitting down, leading to many diseases such as musculoskeletal disorder, heart disease, cramps and sores in the neck and shoulders. Malaysia even has conducted its own study on its workers, stating that over 53% of office workers suffer from cramps, back pains, neck and shoulder soreness, with less than 10% of private office workers having the knowledge on ergonomics at all. This alone could cost the company or individual hundreds of thousands of ringgit in productivity, medical bills, etc.
But ergonomics isn’t just tied to office workers, it affects even children, as they increasingly spend more time on computers and in sedentary positions. Left unchecked, children with bad posture can develop carpal tunnel and various other musculoskeletal diseases. That’s why it’s so important to ensure good sitting postures and habits, by encouraging them with the flexibility an ergonomic chair can provide.
The body exerts 100% of its weight on the back when one is standing. However it is no less strenuous when one is sitting. The weight load on the upper body when sitting down, is 1.5 times the weight exerted on a standing body and 6 times the weight exerted on a person who is lying down. Prolonged improper sitting posture causes chronic back pain or spinal problems. To prevent backaches, it is ideal to keep your spine in an S-like posture and sit deep inside the seats, hence the role of ergonomic chairs.
It is never too late to invest in your back care. Studies show that even a 30 month swap from regular chairs to ergonomic chairs shown improved health of the lumbar lordosis, as well as sharp reduction in complaints of neck and shoulder pains.
Malaysians should start to recognize the dangers of sitting in poor postures, and recognize that the act of sitting down for long periods of time will have its own problems. Here at Ergoland we believe that comfort for your back makes for a healthier body, and that only your body will know what’s the right solution for you.