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Why the Ergonomic Chair Matters in Call Center Furniture

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January 09, 2013

Why the Ergonomic Chair Matters in Call Center Furniture

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

An environment where employees sit for a living demands close attention to the furniture selected. If an individual sits for several hours in a chair built for someone half his or her size, the result could be a sore back or cramped muscles. If the same chair is used for months at a time, cramped and sore muscles could lead to health issues down the road. In an effort to prevent strain on employees, call center furniture should adhere to ergonomics.

According to a Health Insider report, ergonomics in the office aims to eliminate problems such as headaches, eyestrain, neck pain, back pain and even carpal tunnel syndrome that can result from repetitive activities. The improper design of the workstation has been proven to be the cause of severe problems. Ergonomic design in call center furniture focuses on right-fitting the needs of call center employees with the tasks that must be completed on a regular basis.

While sitting in a chair all day would seem to be a stress-free approach to working, it can actually be the cause of a number of stress-related issues. Individuals in the call center have a higher risk of problems if the tools they use in their daily processes don’t fit them correctly. For instance, a Work Awesome article highlights that a chair designed for the 125 pound individual will fail to properly support the 295 pound individual, causing undue stress on the latter.

To that end, consider the characteristics of the ideal chair. First, it should allow for adjusting either up or down to accommodate for the height of the user. Second, the backrest should be adjustable and offer tilt so the arm rest can be positioned according to the position and height of the individual’s arm. Third, the seat of the chair should curve downward toward the front so the knees are lower than the hips, allowing the feet to easily rest on the floor.

Fourth, the seat pan should accommodate the hips and thighs of the individual with at least one inch on the sides. The seat pan should account for larger hips, while also offering the right support. If the seat pan proves too short, force is placed on the under knee, diminishing back support. In fact, a seat that is undersized can limit blood flow to the legs, causing additional problems for the individual.

Finally, the lumbar should be supported by the backrest, conforming to the spine curvature of the user. The ideal backrest will move back and forth with the ability to realign as much as 15 degrees. The outward curve of the backrest should fit the curve of the individual’s back, ensuring the body is kept in correct alignment by properly supporting the spine.   

While a number of different elements must be considered when designing call center furniture for the healthy environment, the selection of the ideal chair should be a priority. After all, agents are more likely to complete their assigned activities efficiently if they are supported and comfortable in the process.

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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