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How To Choose The Best Ergonomic Chair

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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.

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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 January 13, 2022

15 Best Places for Expats to Live (And Why)

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15 Best Places for Expats to Live (And Why)

Many of us dream of living abroad but can often be scared to make such a big change to our routine lifestyles and leave our home countries behind. Daunting as it may be, living abroad can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor and can give you the quality of life you have been looking for.

From a warmer climate to a more easy going way of life, there are many foreign countries favored by expats who stay for a long time – and sometimes forever. Taking into consideration livings standards, opportunities and social aspects, here are our top 15 best places to live as an expat and why.

1. Thailand

A hot spot for expats, the ‘land of smiles’ as it’s commonly known offers expats a tropical climate, a huge array of sandy beaches and islands to explore, and a rich culture. The cost of living in Thailand is extremely low, and when combined with the friendly tax system means that disposable income can be very high.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, offers expats great employment opportunities.

2. Switzerland

Another popular destination for expats, Switzerland offers exciting employment packages and a high standard of living. It’s great for those who love the outdoors, as there are many beautiful lakes, mountains to hike in and skiing in the winter. The school standards for expats are also excellent, making it appealing for those with children. English is also widely spoken so day-to-day living can be stress free.

Unemployment in Switzerland is low and expats moving here don’t need to worry too much about finding a job before they arrive.

3. Australia

Many foreigners who visit Australia don’t want to leave as it offers a great quality of life, beautiful beaches and a warm climate. Making friends in Australia is easy too, due to the lack of language barrier and the large number of expats who already live here. Australia is a great place to move to if you have children because of its wide range of schooling possibilities and recreational outdoor activities.

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Low population levels and high quality of life are two of the main reasons expats choose Australia as a place to live.

4. Singapore

Expats in Singapore can benefit from generous financial packages, great career opportunities and low tax rates. Although education is expensive here, it is rated one of the top places for raising children abroad due to the quality of the education system and the array of schools.

Public transport such as buses and MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) are cheap and very reliable in Singapore.

5. South Korea

South Korea offers expats a unique range of opportunities and a very different way of living. Jobs for expats are easy to find and usually very well paid, with apartments provided by the employer on the most part making living costs even lower. There are also many tight-knit expat communities in South Korea, making it easy to socialize and meet new friends. The excellent education system is also a pro for families wanting to move to this culture-rich country.

South Korea has a cheap public healthcare system and offers great medical care, with most doctors speaking English.

6. New Zealand

New Zealand is constantly on the lookout for skilled workers to expedite to the country – especially those under the age of 30 – and skilled migrants can be granted a stay for up to five years. It offers a good climate and although income levels can be lower than other countries, quality of life is high, with its awe-inspiring scenery, low crime rate and state sponsored healthcare.

New Zealand is great for those looking for a laid back and active outdoors lifestyle.

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7. Canada

Its national healthcare system, friendly locals and very high quality of life are just a few of the reason expats choose Canada as a place to live. It’s very welcoming to expats and skills shortages encourage foreigners to move here in order for the country to grow economically. It’s easy for expats to feel comfortable quickly in Canada due to its multicultural environment.

Canada was largely unaffected by the economic crisis, making it a very popular country for expats.

8. Qatar

Qatar is becoming increasingly popular among expats with an estimated 500 new arrivals every day. The salaries are generous and are tax free too, making disposable income very high. Car and housing allowances are part of many remuneration packages, and education for your children and airfares are often included.

The cost of living is lower in Qatar than in other UAE countries but salaries can still be just as generous.

9. Hong Kong

Where east truly meets the west, this bustling island has a population of over seven million people. If you’re looking for a fast-paced environment and an active nightlife, Hong Kong is definitely the place to be. Benefits for expats include its advanced healthcare system and elevated standards of schooling for children, along with great employment opportunities. The cost of living in Hong Kong can be high, so trying to negotiate a housing allowance with your employer can be beneficial.

Hong Kong is great for those looking for high incomes and career advancement.

10. Japan

As an expat destination, Japan offers a rich culture and a chance to experience a very different day-to-day life. Currently around two million expats live in Japan, and in the larger cities such as Tokyo a large portion of the population speaks English. English speakers are also in demand and there are a large number of opportunities for language teachers, especially in the capital.

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Japan offers a high standard of living for expats and a good education system for those with children.

11. Spain

Spain is a very popular destination for expats due to the high temperatures and year-round sunshine. EU residents don’t require a visa to work here, meaning the move can be a lot easier. Skilled foreign workers also continue to be in demand with jobs such as engineering, customer service, skilled trades and language teachers widely available.

A huge 14% of Spain’s population are expats from a variety of foreign countries.

12. Dubai

Two of the main attractions of moving to Dubai are the tax-free salaries and the warm climate. Some of the most popular jobs for expats are in construction, banking, oil and tourism. You can also enjoy a busy social life in Dubai as the expat community is thriving. Although it can be an expensive country, the tax-free salary means you experience a higher quality of life than in other countries.

You will need a work permit, residence visa and an Emirates ID card to live in Dubai as an expat.

13. Germany

Germany is one of Europe’s most populous countries, with around 82.4 million people. It’s a lively and inexpensive country to live in as an expat, and if you have children the education system is great and healthcare is to a high standard. An estimated 250,000 expats live in Germany currently, with the numbers rising every year.

If you are already an EU citizen, you don’t need a visa to live and work in Germany.

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14. The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a great place for expats who love the outdoors. Cycling is one of the main modes of transport and looking after the environment is widely recognized. There are a lot of English speakers in the Netherlands too, but learning the language can work to your advantage and make day-to-day life that little bit easier. Skilled expats can also benefit from a tax-free allowance equivalent to 30% if they meet the correct criteria.

It is often more important to be able to speak fluent English than to speak Dutch when looking for employment in the Netherlands.

15. China

China offers expats great employment opportunities with little competition. Those who embrace the culture and decide they want to live in China long term can see a host of employment opportunities as its economy is growing rapidly every year. Economists predict it will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2018. China also offer expats low living costs and high disposable incomes, which is why many look to live here for a higher quality of life.

Shanghai and Beijing are the most popular destinations for expats who live in China.

Featured photo credit: Saulo Mohana via unsplash.com

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