Ergonomics in Interior Design

So we’ve all heard that ergonomics is essential for our health, wellbeing, and productivity. But, do ergonomics have a role in good design?  Based on various studies, the answer is a resounding yes! Here are four reasons why.

  1. Humans find comfortable design more appealing. This should be intuitive, but research shows that people perceive more value in devices, objects, and materials that are easy to use, comfortable, and high-quality. According to a study by Accenture, 32% of a consumer’s motivation when considering a product is the quality and ease of use, which translates to great design. When a product simply “feels right,” you assign a higher worth to it, believe it is higher quality, and naturally trust it to work better. Suppose you set two chairs side by side and one is ergonomically correct, and the other is lacking. The ergonomic chair will consistently be viewed as a better design and overall product. The Lilly is the perfect blend of ergonomics and style. The classic design is complemented by a lumbar supporting backrest and a wide range of finish options, including a rocker base for a fun alternative to the traditional office chair.

2. Ergonomic furniture helps calm the mind and promote focus. Mental health is more important than ever, finally getting the attention it has always deserved. When your body is comfortable, and in a good posture, the mind has one less distraction, improving focus. Research from Indeed shows that a focused mind increases productivity, reduces stress, and improves quality. 

One of the first steps to focusing your mind is the right task chair that feels right and doesn’t distract the user with pain points or constant adjustments. When you need to choose the best ergonomic option, the award-winning design of the HÅG Capisco is a perfect fit. Designer Peter Opsvik crafted this innovative and fun chair to think outside the box of “normal” chair design.

Need something more traditional? Check out Neo. Available as a task chair, stool, conference chair, or executive seating, it’s a genuinely versatile office chair that offers excellent value. Who knew your office chair could make you more focused and happy!

3. Happier employees perceive their environment more positively. With the return to in-person work well underway, many employers face pushback from workers who prefer to work from home. This Harvard Business Review study shows that employees want to work from home on average 2.5 days a week. Generous WFH policies are becoming a significant perk in a tight labor market. So, when employees are in the office, companies are desperate to keep them happy and keep a positive view of the office environment. Studies vary, but this Forbes article shows that the average American adult sits approximately 15 hours per day, so an ergonomically correct task chair is crucial to health and perceived happiness.

4. Enhance the attractiveness of your organization to new hires. This last one is broad but applicable. Given the extremely tight labor market, employers have to be creative and aggressive when recruiting employees. After pay, benefits, and WFH policy, many workers consider the physical environment when choosing a company. Is it up to date? Does it have a relaxed atmosphere? Are there amenities besides the traditional break room? Great design plays a critical role in defining an environment’s overall look and feel, and ergonomic chairs, desks, and accessories help deliver a positive environment.

Whether you are planning a new build, managing a renovation, or simply upgrading old furniture in the office, remember to keep ergonomics and design in mind. Balancing the two leads to happier, healthier, and more productive employees. Not sure where to start? Feel free to reach out to chair experts at 9to5 Seating for assistance. 

Why Ergonomic Chairs Matter

If you owned a factory, you would never allow a worker to operate a dangerous machine without safety shields. If you owned a trucking company, you would never send out a driver in a vehicle without brakes. If you owned a fleet of fishing boats, you would never let your fishermen sail without lifejackets.

So why would you let your office workers sit in old or unhealthy office chairs that lack proper ergonomic adjustments? A lot of time and effort goes into making offices look good, but are you paying enough attention to the health and wellness of your most valuable asset — your employees?

 

There are two aspects of a complete workplace well-being program. First, employers must look at the ergonomics of the office — the physical space,  tools, furniture and office chairs you give employees to work. Second, employers must design and implement a comprehensive wellness program. Before we get into the details of these two key elements, let’s take a look at why it matters.

If you are on the fence about investing in the well-being of your employees, consider these facts:

  • OSHA has cited that musculoskeletal disorders and ergonomic injuries have direct costs of between $15 billion-$20 billion per year.
  • According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, which reviewed 250 ergonomics case studies to reveal the impact of ergonomics on business goals like cost savings, productivity and product quality, companies that invest in the wellness of their workers see a 59% average reduction of musculoskeletal disorders; 75% reduction in lost workdays; 68% reduction in worker’s compensation costs and a 43% decrease in labor costs.
  • Since Johnson & Johnson implemented an employee wellness program in 1995, the company’s leaders estimate that wellness programs cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs in a decade and the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.
It is helpful to divide ergonomics and health and wellness programs into two related, but separate baskets. Think of ergonomics as the healthy space a company creates for its employees. It is the healthy thinking behind the space and the tools used by workers. Wellness programs give employees incentives, tools, social support, privacy and strategies to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. Employers design them, but participating in wellness programs is usually the employee’s responsibility.

Ergonomics help employees stay more comfortable and ergonomic solutions can increase productivity by as much as 25%, according to multiple studies. Ergonomics is important because when you’re doing a job and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, extreme temperature or repeated movement your musculoskeletal system is affected. Your body may begin to develop symptoms such as fatigue, discomfort and pain, which can be the first signs of a musculoskeletal disorder. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are conditions that affect your body’s muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves.  MSDs can develop over time or can occur immediately due to overload.

In addition to being a literal pain in the neck for the employee, ergonomic problems also cost employers a lot. According to the Oregon OSHA, the average direct cost of a workers’ compensation claim for an MSD is $14,120. The indirect costs involved bringing the total average claim cost to well over $32,000.

A wellness program is any kind of organized activity in the workplace designed to improve and support the health and fitness of employees. Wellness programs could include fitness programs, health screenings and preventative care and include activities like stress management education, smoking cessation programs, exercise programs, weight-loss competitions and wellness assessments.

 

According to the Society for Human Resource Management Employee Benefits Survey, about 64 percent of employers provide wellness resources and information, and 58 percent of organizations offer wellness programs in general.

Employers can promote a healthier, more productive work environment by offering employees the means and the educational tools to take control of their wellness. A well-executed wellness program can reduce health care costs, augment productivity and increase employee retention, providing further support for the correlation between personal health and job satisfaction.

Creating a healthy workplace is a journey for most companies. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it doesn’t take much to get started either.

Take a look at your furniture. A good place to start is a review of your office chairs. The main feature to look for in an ergonomic seat is adjustability. The more that you are able to modify the chair, the better you can customize it to suit your individual needs. Look for a chair that supports your lower back. The seat pan — the part you actually sit on — should have enough width and depth to support the user.

Just because you are sitting does not mean the experience should be static. Active or dynamic sitting allows the worker to move while seated, which is important since the human body is not meant to stay stationary for long periods. Static seating can cause joint stiffness, circulation problems and back and neck pain.

Picking the right chair makes all the difference.

 

9to5 Seating’s lineup includes two best-selling European task chairs that certainly fit the bill. The company distributes HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls, two chairs designed by Peter Opsvik that perfectly blend movement and a comfortable seat. HÅG Capisco is fully upholstered and well designed for desk work. The HÅG Capisco Puls is a plastic frame chair with upholstered seat or seat pad options intended for shorter sits.

Because of its award-winning ergonomic design, the HÅG Capisco chair stimulates intuitive and natural movement in a variety of seated postures. You can sit on it with the seat back behind you or facing you. The wings on the back let you rest an arm while you meet with a coworker or simply need a new position. The innovative base is designed as a footrest and an optional ring makes sitting even more comfortable.

The 9to5 Seating Luna Collection is another great choice. The Luna Collection includes task, task stool, and side chair models, all built with comfort and movement in mind. All Luna models have a pull handle that makes them easy to move. They also feature a mesh back that flexes and adjusts as you move. An optional height-adjustable lumbar provides additional back support.

Another option is Sol. Sol is a task chair that seamlessly integrates technology and supports all the postures we assume as we read on tablets, text on phones, video chat or draw. A slim layer of upholstery or mesh cushions the back while allowing easy movement. Sol uses responsive pivot-back technology for total support regardless of how much you move. The pivoting back mirrors your natural posture changes, letting you settle in or sit up, or even move side-to-side.

With the right office chair in place, it is time to turn to the rest of the workstation. To improve workstations, make sure all the worker’s joints are properly aligned in the neutral position, the office chair is adjusted correctly, the back is supported and the computer monitor, keyboard and mouse are at the right height and aligned.

Ergonomics and wellness should be at the core of every company’s workplace strategy. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also improve productivity, save money and boost employee morale. If you were the coach, you wouldn’t send a football player on the field without a helmet. Don’t send your employees to the office without protection either.

HÅG Capisco Impresses this Marketing Agency

Pleasantly surprised and impressed – Dallas marketing agency MG Marketing shares their thoughts on adding the HÅG Capisco to their office.

When we first received the  HÅG Capisco & HÅG Capisco Puls, the team was skeptical. It’s different to say the least, and I wondered if these task chairs were really going to be comfortable or more of an over-the-top attempt at ergonomics gone wrong. I’ll cut to the bottom line for those in a rush. The only thing wrong was my faulty assumption about this clever task chair. These chairs are amazing! Read on…

First off, the unique saddle shape for the seat by Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik really helped nudge us toward better posture. Throughout the day each of us found ourselves naturally more upright and less slumped. But not in an exaggerated, unrealistic way. Instead, it just felt comfortable and right – refreshing. The treaded footrests seemed to help anchor us and keep the body aligned. I’m not sure if this is connected, but I noticed one employee using the chair at the max height with his sit/stand desk raised, and he rarely uses his desk above normal height.

Second, the padding and cushioning in the seat and backrest of the HÅG Capisco was like the Goldilocks story – not too soft, not too firm, just right. HÅG is known for their commitment to sustainable, premium materials and precision construction, and 9to5 Seating delivers on sustainability during the upholstery and distribution process. But don’t just take my word for it. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) has certified HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls LEVEL 2, a rigorous classification that requires third-party testing and certification. Our team felt great in the chairs and even better knowing these office chairs were responsibly and sustainably manufactured with over 50% recycled material.

Last, the “flip” was the surprise move with both chairs that really has our team convinced that these are the ultimate task chairs. What am I talking about? Just spin the chair around, rest your chest against the backrest, and use the ergonomic cutouts as armrests while working at a desk. I heard comments like “It felt good on my arms”, “seemed to help keep my posture up”, and “it was just fun to mix it up!”.

So if you’re wondering, “are these chairs really worth it?”. Our position is definitely yes! Besides the ergonomics, sustainable materials, LEVEL 2 certification and 9to5 Seating quality, these task chairs are just fun and really add a conversation-starter element to the office. Kudos to HÅG, designer Peter Opsvik and 9to5 Seating for a truly innovative product in the traditional space of office furniture.

NeoCon 2021 Recap

9to5 Seating had a great NeoCon this year! Despite the lower attendance for the show overall, the buzz over 9to5 Seating at this year’s show was electric.

This year, 9to5 Seating moved to a new and larger showroom (Ste. 1095) reflecting our growth, passion and values that continue to drive us. The larger space allows 9to5 Seating to display our broad portfolio of products as well as entertain and host events, like our Monday night Sips + Seating party!

Also, this year, 9to5 Seating won two prestigious product design awards for the HÅG Capisco: the Interior Design Magazine’s HiP Award and Metropolis Magazine’s MetropolisLikes x NeoCon award. 9to5 Seating is proud to receive these two distinguished awards and will continue to add more high design products to our portfolio, like Jax, Kip, Mila and Sol.

For a virtual tour of the new showroom, click the image below. Remember to roll over the hot spots to learn more about each of the products in our showroom.

Check out more photos from the new showroom and Monday’s Sips+Seating party.

Also, a huge thank you to our staff, operations team, factory teams, Bear Construction and Kuchar Studio for pulling this showroom together!

 

 

Pictured from left to right: HÅG Capisco, Vox, Sol, Mila
Pictured: Vox
Pictured from left to right: Luna Side and Luna
Pictured: HÅG Capisco Puls

Pictured: Sophie series
Pictured: Luna series
Pictured: Jax series
Pictured: Lilly lounge series and Offect Carry On ottoman
Pictured: Ellie Pro
Pictured from left to right: Vault, Cydia, Kelley and Kip
Pictured: Lilly counter height stool
Pictured: Clary, Neo Lite and Neo
Pictured: Sol and HÅG Capisco Puls

 

HÅG Capisco Wins Two Distinguished Design Awards

9to5 Seating is honored to announce two more prestigious awards for the innovative seating product, HÅG Capisco—the Interior Design’s HiP award and the MetroposLikes from Metropolis magazine. Both honors were announced at NeoCon 2021, to recognize the very best in pioneering design.

HÅG Capisco’s unique ergonomic design has made the chair an international award winner for decades. The HÅG Capisco allows for self-directed comfort, encouraging movement and natural repositioning with supportive treaded foot plates on the base. Designed with a curved seat to promote organic upright positioning, it strikes a perfect natural angle to extend the spine and opens the chest, for comfort and beating fatigue.

Interior Design’s HiP award recognizes innovative products and highlights achievement in product design. MetropolisLikes from Metropolis magazine spotlights groundbreaking design from around the world.

“We are proud to receive the prestigious HiP and MetropolisLikes awards for the HÅG Capisco. These awards exemplify 9to5 Seating’s continued commitment to providing high design products.” said Dara Mir, President and CEO of 9to5 Seating. “We can’t wait to reveal the new products we have planned for our portfolio.”

 

New Products and New Look at NeoCon

9to5 Seating will be returning to NeoCon in person this year. The seating leader plans to unveil a new showroom that reflects the approach to their award-winning product design: inspiring design, versatile, flexible and comfortable.

9to5 Seating’s new showroom was created by acclaimed Chicago design firm Kuchar Design Studio with the goal of creating a clean, “gallery” feel that can be embellished and modified over time. With curved platforms and rugs in natural shapes, the space aims to be both modern and inviting, in synch with the brand’s seating.

The new space uniquely expresses 9to5 Seating’s design direction, where products can be used for different purposes throughout the course of a day. According to Sarah Kuchar, owner and creative director of Kuchar Design Studio, “the flow of color through the space – a nod to the brand’s name – was inspired by daylight from morning to night, moving from warm tones to cool and back to warm just as the sun rises and sets.” Vignettes with tinted glass backdrops create a sense of the changing light of a day. Throughout the showroom, this motif of morning-to-night serves as a backdrop to task, conference and lounge seating.

“We’re excited to unveil our new showroom and showcase some versatile design touches this year in the return to NeoCon,” said Dara Mir, President and CEO of 9to5 Seating. “The new space allows us to highlight the design-centric offerings including the HÅG Capisco, Vox and Dash multi-purpose series, new wood leg bases options for the Lilly and Jax collections and the award-winning Sol, Mila and Jax lounge series.”

Visit 9to5 Seating at NeoCon in suite 10-95 to see the new showroom and product updates. Also, mark your calendars and come party in the new showroom Monday, Oct 4, 4 p.m. RSVP with your 9to5 Seating Representative.

For more information stay tuned via our social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter.

BIFMA Compliant

 

9to5 Seating is proud to announce that our chairs have been approved for BIFMA Compliant. BIFMA Compliant is an industry-wide registry of furniture products that conform to BIFMA safety and durability standards. Compliant provides clarity to the market by differentiating products that meet established industry standards.

With an array of options available on the market today and recognizing that individuals and organizations are now outfitting home office environments, BIFMA seeks to help all consumers make confident furniture buying decisions. The registry is a resource for both specifiers and buyers to quickly identify quality products that comply with safety and durability standards.

The new BIFMA Compliant program complements the existing LEVEL Sustainability program and further establishes BIFMA as the resource for the furniture industry.  Both registries run on an ecomedes platform designed to optimize product purchasing.

BIFMA Compliant 9to5 Seating Chairs:

The remaining 9to5 Seating chairs are scheduled to be BIFMA Compliant by end of 2021.

 

HÅG Capisco Giveaway

 

9to5 Seating is excited to introduce the HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls. Its elegant curves are coupled with a unique shaped seat that promotes a natural upright position. Choose between three cylinder heights to sit at a traditional desk, perch at a sit-stand desk, or alternate between the two. We think everyone should try the HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls. That’s why we’re launching the HÅG Capisco giveaway!

Enter now through June 27, 2021, for a chance to win your choice of a customized HÅG Capisco or HÅG Capisco Puls (Grade D or lower). On Monday, June 28, we will announce three lucky winners on our social media.

How to enter: There are multiple ways to win.
1. First, make sure you follow 9to5 Seating on Instagram. Look for the giveaway post and like the post. Then tag 2 friends in the comments. For an extra entry share the giveaway post in your story and tag @9to5seating. You can tag and share multiple times for extra entries.
2. For another entry opportunity, you can also enter the giveaway by going to our Chair Designer and customizing your own HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls. Download the PDF and send it to marketing@9to5seating.com. You can do this multiple times for extra entries. Visit Chair Designer at https://chairdesigner.9to5seating.com/.

Stacking Reinvented

 

9to5 Seating is launching Kip, a groundbreaking all-mesh stacking chair and stool collection. The new line elevates the multipurpose space and combines unprecedented style and convenience at an accessible price point.

Kip features a level of design and support that sets it apart from other seating in this category. Its all-mesh construction comfortably relieves pressure points, while supporting up to 300 lbs. The collection is easy to clean and disinfect with just a 1:10 bleach-to-water ratio.

Built light with mobility in mind, Kip was created for spaces that see a rotating group of users in the course of a day such as cafés and large public areas. Its angular frame complements the chair’s seat and back lines in Black or Dove Gray mesh and plastic. Models include side chairs, counter-height stools (24” seat) and bar-height stools (29” seat). Sides stack nine on the floor or 24 on the optional dolly. Counter and bar stools stack five on the floor.

Kip is backed by 9to5 Seating’s lifetime warranty and has achieved BIFMA LEVEL 1 and GREENGUARD Gold certifications. Kip starts at $295 List.