The Office of Today
During the 20th century, Europe witnessed a massive shift of workers from manual to administrative work. At the beginning of 20th century, about 10% of population worked in offices, however at the end of century, it was almost 2/3 of the workers’ population. This trend continues till today and the time of being sat down gradually increases with our changing life style. It may be up to 6 – 8 hours of sitting at work every day and then another 5 – 6 hours spent in the car, in front of the TV, by the dining table or in a theatre.
This brings us to the incredible combined number of 100 000 hours of sitting during our productive life. When creating working conditions in the office, the preparation of ergonomic working place is one of the most important factors that influences the health, performance and employee motivation.
Problems of long-term sitting
Wrong sitting may cause:
- Neck pain,
- Back pain,
- Compressed stomach,
- Compressed thigh muscles,
- Compressed thigh veins,
- Faults of popliteal blood circulation
One of the biggest problems to our health is specifically sitting in a numb position. The problems with back pain, headache, blood circulation, varicose veins, digestion and breathing can occur as well as convulsions and created tensions in muscles. The spine holds the whole body upright and it is involved in almost every movement – from picking up to walking. The double sigmoid curve is highly important for the body’s balance. In the five lower vertebrae the spine curve is the most significant and therefore they bear the greatest weight and also resist the most pressure. The muscles are of a great importance to the back pain and back disease. The interplay of individual muscles may be more or less affected in two ways: the muscles are often flabby but they are also often too heavily tightened. Although the back problems have usually muscular causes, they are mostly manifested by the damage of intervertebral discs and articular cartilage.
Cartilage contains no blood vessels. Basically, it gets nutrients from its surroundings while waste products resulting from metabolism are traveling in the opposite direction – as if one was squeezing the sponge. Drawing and squeezing the sponge must rotate periodically to ensure the best functioning of metabolism in the cartilage. During the static phase, as sitting for example, drawing is more frequent and therefore the cartilages are not nurtured sufficiently.
Intervertebral discs are continuously compressed while seated and therefore are exposed to enormous pressure that is 50% greater than when standing. When seated, there is a tension in the body. According to Scandinavian studies, the tension is doubled while typing. Typing on a computer keyboard delivers twice more tension!
Ergonomics in the office – RIM-CZ solution
Ergonomics (in Greek ergon work and nomos law) is the science dealing with optimisation of human activity, especially suitable sizes and shapes of tools, furniture and other objects.
RIM’s long-term mission is to develop and produce seating furniture adequate for mobility options, or dimensions of the human body. The marking stone of this mission is the maximal adjustability of the chair’s parameters as far as height, width, depth and angle of the backrest and seat goes.
The correct form of the seat and backrest support the spine upright position. The lumbar and pelvic support is also highly important.
Synchronous mechanism also allows so called dynamic seating. It is simultaneous movement of the backrest and seat with the possibility of individual adjustment of weight counterpressure. The seat and backrest follow the movements of the seated person synchronously at the correct angle, with individual counterpressure and allow changing the posture of the entire body with the chair. Usage as movable seating. Due to the movement synchronization, the chair optimally adapts needs of seated person and thus creates conditions for healthy seating which do not cause fatigue. Positive effect on the spine and intervertebral discs, activates muscles and promotes motivation.