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How To Choose The Best Ergonomic Chair

How To Choose The Best Ergonomic Chair

Needless to say, sitting for a long period of time is unhealthy, and sitting on a non-ergonomic chair makes it even worse. Prolonged sitting on non-ergonomic office chairs overstretches and stiffens your glutes. It can also add stress to the spine which can, later on, lead to compounding back problems.

As non-ergonomic chairs promote bad posture, the spine does not get the sufficient support it needs which could potentially lead to spinal musculature. Moreover, bad posture due to prolonged sitting on a non-ergonomic chair also messes with the alignment of your spine.

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Poor posture can easily develop into a habit which can also aggravate episodes of neck and back pains. The good news is that with ergonomically designed chairs, you can have better control of your posture. Before you experience these chronic pains, it is better to switch to an ergonomic chair right away. Here are the top features you need to check:

Adjustable Seat Height

When shopping for chairs, it is better to find those with adjustable height. For instance, a pneumatic type of chair is more ideal for office work as it would allow you to have your feet on the floor and your thighs at a 90-degree angle. Here’s a quick hack: to figure out the ideal height of your chair, stand in front of it then adjust the seat height at the same level as the lower end of your knee cap. If you are optimizing your work space ergonomically, this trick should work.

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Backrest with Optimum Width

The best ergonomic chair also comes with a backrest of the optimum width of between 12 to 19 inches. The design should also be able to support the spine’s natural curve. If you prefer an ergonomic chair with a detachable backrest, then see to it that both height and the angle are adjustable. It should also come with a locking mechanism to secure it once the appropriate angle has been determined.

With Sufficient Lumbar Support

The backrest should also provide supplemental support to the lumbar region. The lack of support to the lumbar spine tends to flatten its natural curve, straining the lower structure. When choosing an ergonomic chair, find one that has an adjustable lumbar support in terms of depth and height to ensure that users of any height can get the maximum lumbar support.

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Comfortable Seat Width and Depth

Chairs usually have a standard width between 17 and 20 inches. If the user needs a wider seat, having the chair custom-made is highly recommended to ensure ergonomic support and comfort. The depth should be spacious enough so the user can lean against the backrest comfortably. There should also be around a 2 to 3-inch space between the back of the knee and the edge of the seat to ensure maximum support.

Seat Padding and Material

The best ergonomic chair should be equipped with sufficient padding for added comfort, especially for prolonged seating. The use of breathable cloth is also recommended for a harder surface. Chairs that are made from Neoprene or an expensive synthetic rubber are soft and built with a comfortable cushion.

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Swivels and Armrests

Two aspects that are often overlooked when finding the best ergonomic chairs are the swivels and armrests. An ergonomic chair should easily rotate to avoid straining the back and shoulder muscles when trying to reach any area of the desk. The armrests should also be adjustable to allow the shoulders to relax and the arms to rest with ease and comfort.

Consider Custom-Built Ergonomic Chairs

Another effective method of getting the best ergonomic chairs is to have them custom-built. Users have different needs, sizes, and movement mechanisms. A customized chair that would accommodate your every need can help relieve back pains and discomfort. Another advantage of going for a custom-built ergonomic chair is that you can have them reconfigured as your needs evolve.

Whether this is for office use or home use, purchasing the best ergonomic chair is a good investment. The use of ergonomic chairs does not only add comfort to the users but also helps in boosting the users’ productivity. They may be slightly more expensive than regular chairs, but as the cliche goes, you can never put a price tag on health and comfort.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Bilal Khoja

System Engineer

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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