An office chair, also known as a desk chair, is as the name suggests, and designed for use as a seat in an office. They can usually be adjusted on the back and height can swivel 360 degrees and manufacturers such as global office chairs strive to make them as comfortable as possible.
Charles Darwin and the Office Chair
One of the first worldwide office chairs known to exist was created by none other than the father of evolution, Charles Darwin. He attached wheels to the chair in his study in order to be able to move around the room and work between his desk and his specimens without getting up.
The Rise of the Office in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
In the mid-nineteenth century, the invention and popularisation of rail travel led to many businesses expanding and becoming more than just the traditional family business. Now orders in a given trade could be nationwide or even global. Office chairs were now needed more and more to aid the growing number of administration staff this created, who were needed for all the additional orders, bookkeeping, communication and post many businesses now had to deal with.
As this new type of work began to expand, the need for new technologies and equipment became apparent and this became a part of the overall cultural focus at the time of the industrial revolution to increase productivity. Companies like Global Office Chairs have Otto von Bismarck to thank for this, as it is he who is credited with making the office chair popular when he handed them out around parliament during his time there.
The idea of adding wheels and a swivel function to the chair was specifically done to add productivity for clerical workers as it meant they could remain seated but easily get to different locations within their work space. As this saved the time and energy it took to stand up and sit back down repeatedly through the day, it was, and still is, seen as a productive device.
The seat was originally wooden providing a firm base for the employee. The back and arms were slatted and made to provide additional support for the user. Even early office chairs were adjustable as it would add comfort for the worker and perhaps make him want to move from his chair much less, increasing his productivity.
Health and Safety of Office Chairs
In recent years, there has been some criticism of industries where an employee is in a seated position all the time as it can cause back pain and repetitive stress injury. Other studies claim workers that are sitting all day can suffer from increased blood pressure and blood sugar. With modern, global office companies, ergonomics are employed in the chair making process. Seats, armrests, backs, back supports and the height of the chair are all adjustable to get maximum comfort for the user.
If in a seated position for long periods of time, exercises such as stretching out the arms and legs and moving the hands and feet in a circular motion are recommended, as is regularly standing up and moving around the office space.