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Understanding Ergonomics and Ergonomic Furnishings


In the realm of contract furniture, the term 'ergonomics' plays a significant role. Ergonomics is defined as a scientific discipline that focuses on studying the interactions between individuals and various elements within a system. The term is also closely related to human factors engineering (HFE) and is derived from the Greek words 'ergon' (work) and 'nomos' (natural law).

Ergonomics covers a broad spectrum of studies due to the diverse systems present in the world. It can be broken down into sub-fields including:

  1. Physical Ergonomics: This sub-field examines how the human body interacts with physical items such as tools and furniture. The goal is to ensure these interactions are natural and safe, reducing the risk of physical harm.

  2. Cognitive Ergonomics: Focuses on optimizing systems and processes to enhance understanding, memory, and interpretation for individuals.

  3. Organizational Ergonomics: Studies how individuals interact on an organizational level and aims to improve communication, processes, and hierarchical relations among people.

In this article, the emphasis is on physical ergonomics, particularly in relation to contract furniture. The history of ergonomics dates back to the earliest days of humanity, where the need for ergonomic tools and furniture became evident as humans interacted with their environment. The concept of ergonomics has been present throughout history, evident in Hippocrates' recommendations for an efficient and safe surgeon's workplace.

By the mid-20th century, ergonomics evolved into a formal discipline, leading to the establishment of societies such as The Ergonomic Society in the UK and The Human Factors Society in the US. Today, ergonomics is a well-established discipline with various companies employing ergonomic and human factors engineers to ensure the design and functionality of products are optimized for user comfort and safety.

Understanding ergonomics is essential when choosing contract furniture, as it ensures that the furniture is not only aesthetically pleasing but also promotes comfort and well-being for individuals interacting with it.

Enhancing Workplace Ergonomics

Ergonomics principles are applied in various industries to improve the design and manufacture of products and services. Some of the industries where ergonomics is commonly applied include:

  1. Automotive: Ergonomics principles are used in the design of car interiors and control systems to optimize comfort and safety for drivers and passengers.

  2. Construction: Ergonomics is applied in the design of tools, equipment, and workstations to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improve worker safety.

  3. Furniture design and manufacture: Ergonomics principles guide the design of furniture to promote proper posture and reduce the risk of discomfort and injuries.

  4. Healthcare: Ergonomics plays a crucial role in healthcare settings to optimize the design of medical equipment, patient handling systems, and workstations for healthcare professionals, aiming to enhance safety and efficiency.

  5. Telecommunications: Ergonomic principles are essential in designing user-friendly and comfortable communication devices, such as smartphones and headsets.

  6. Electronics: Ergonomics is applied in the design of electronic devices, such as computers, laptops, and gaming consoles, to ensure user comfort and prevent repetitive strain injuries.


Furthermore, ergonomics is widely applied in office environments. With the majority of workers spending long hours sitting at desks and using computers, ergonomic principles are essential in designing office furniture, workstations, and equipment to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and enhance productivity.

The introduction of ergonomic office furniture gained momentum in the 1970s due to increased awareness of workplace injuries and legislations promoting workplace safety. As a result, modern offices typically feature ergonomic furniture to provide a safer and more comfortable working environment.

The Rise of Remote Work: A Paradigm Shift in the Workplace

The shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of ergonomic furniture in home offices. Many people who previously had access to ergonomic office chairs and workstations suddenly found themselves working from uncomfortable kitchen chairs, sofas, or makeshift setups. As the realization set in that remote work could be a long-term arrangement, people started seeking more comfortable alternatives.

This has led to a significant increase in searches for ergonomic furniture, particularly ergonomic chairs. As indicated in the Google Trends data provided, the demand for ergonomic furniture has remained higher than before the pandemic.


People have become more aware of the importance of creating an ergonomic home office setup to improve their comfort and productivity during extended periods of work from home.

Ergonomic furniture, such as adjustable chairs with proper lumbar support and adjustable desks that allow users to switch between sitting and standing positions, can help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improve overall well-being while working from home. It is an essential investment to maintain good posture, prevent discomfort, and promote long-term health, especially as remote work continues to become an integral part of many people's working lives.

Remember, when looking for ergonomic furniture, it's important to consider factors such as adjustability, support, and comfort to find the best options that suit your specific needs and preferences.

Ergonomic furniture refers to the furniture items designed to support the body in a healthy and comfortable posture and apply ergonomic principles to ease the physical stress on muscles and joints when one interacts with these furniture pieces. Ergonomic furniture reduces workers' discomfort and injuries resulting from prolonged sitting. The most well-known ergonomic furniture is the office chair that provides the necessary back support and reduces pressure on the spine, but other pieces of furniture design exist with ergonomics principles in mind.

The following are some different types of ergonomic furniture items:

  • Office chairs: One of the most commonly known ergonomic furniture, designed to provide necessary support to ensure proper posture, prevent injuries, and enhance comfort during long sitting hours.

  • Desks: Specially designed desks like sit-stand desks that offer height-adjustable options to create opportunities for sitting or standing and promote more movement throughout the day.

  • Stools: These are chairs that promote dynamic sitting that helps to engage core body muscles, relieve spinal pressure, and facilitate proper body alignment.

  • Saddle chairs: Suitable for dental or other medical practices that require assistants to sit for long periods. Saddle chairs let the legs straddle the seat's center portion, which helps keep the spine in a healthy curve, reducing tension in the back and legs.

  • Kneeling chairs: These chairs have a forward-sloping seat and knee supports that relieve pressure on the lower back and thighs and improve proper spinal alignment.

  • Ergonomic accessories: These are add-ons that enhance comfort and help improve posture, including keyboard trays, monitor arms, footrests, and document holders.

What to consider when selecting an ergonomic chair

Key Considerations for Choosing an Ergonomic Chair When it comes to selecting ergonomic furniture, especially chairs for either home or office use, there are several crucial factors to keep in mind. As ergonomic chairs are among the most prevalent types of ergonomic furniture, our purchasing advice primarily focuses on them.

Understanding Body Movement Before delving into the selection process, it's essential to have a comprehensive understanding of how the body moves and its critical pressure points.

The human body moves along three primary planes:

  1. Frontal Plane: This encompasses side-to-side movements, also known as the coronal plane.

  2. Sagittal Plane: Covering forward and backward movements, it refers to the right and left halves of the body.

  3. Transverse Plane: Encompassing twisting movements, it pertains to the top and bottom halves of the body.

Additionally, knowing which parts of the body require ergonomic support is crucial:

  1. Lower Back: Arguably the most vital area requiring support, a quality ergonomic chair should offer lumbar support. This support maintains the spine's natural 'S' shape, promoting a posture known as the 'lordotic' posture, which is optimal for the lower back.

  2. Upper Torso and Neck: Premium ergonomic chairs typically feature headrests to provide support to the upper torso and neck.

  3. Arms and Shoulders: For individuals engaged in prolonged tasks such as typing, ergonomic chairs should provide support to the arms and shoulders through armrests.

  4. Hips and Legs: Adequate support for the hips and legs requires an ergonomic chair that is sufficiently height-adjustable and equipped with an appropriately sized seat pan.

Understanding these factors enables you to make an informed decision when selecting an ergonomic chair.

Seat Fit An ergonomic chair must fit the user properly, contrary to the misconception that office chairs come in a standard size.

When assessing fit:

  1. Seat Pan Width: The seat pan, where one sits, should be at least one inch wider on each side of the user when seated.

  2. Seat Pan Depth: When seated, there should be a one-inch gap between the back of the knees and the edge of the seat pan, allowing the user to sit with their back against the back pad comfortably.

A chair that is too narrow can lead to hip pain during prolonged sitting, while inadequate seat pan depth can cause discomfort and circulatory issues by pressing against the backs of the legs.

What are the advantages of ergonomic furniture?

You've just learned about the features to consider when choosing ergonomic chairs. But, is it truly worthwhile to invest in ergonomic furniture? How does it differ from more standard furniture options?

Here at Procuremeno, our resounding answer is yes!

Below, we outline the primary benefits of ergonomic furniture:

  • Compliance with statutory obligations: Employers have a legal duty to safeguard the health and safety of their employees. Ergonomic furniture aids in fulfilling this obligation by providing supportive and comfortable seating options.

  • Enhanced comfort and reduced risk of injury: Ergonomic furniture promotes better posture and reduces strain on the body, resulting in decreased likelihood of injuries and subsequent time off work.

  • Increased productivity: Ergonomic furniture is designed to support the body during prolonged periods of work, facilitating deep concentration and focus. This ultimately leads to higher productivity levels among employees.

Where to find top-quality ergonomic furniture? If you're in search of ergonomic furniture, particularly for public spaces such as offices, you're in the right place.

At Procuremeno, we offer an extensive range of ergonomic furniture, including premium office chairs, task chairs, and sit-stand desks, all tailored to enhance comfort and productivity.

We understand that choosing the right furniture for your space is a significant investment, and we're here to assist you every step of the way. Feel free to contact us via phone at +357 99 099 263 or email us at for personalized assistance and guidance.

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