No it isn’t!
But I suppose that needs a little clarification? Ok here we go! Just as with office furniture desks where the basisc need of keeping the paper of the floor can be achieved with desks beautifully being designed and engineered but also with cheap and cheerful panel ended curved workstations, there is a difference between one chair and the other. After all, you can sit on an Orangebox or on a Charles Eames chair.
Somewhere in between the two you can buy an office chairs that is really well thought through and comes with the ergonomic functional dersign that you should expect from todays office task chairs,
Ergonomic task seating
The tasks in today’s office have changed considerably over the years. Where we used to read from paper and write on paper, with or without a typewriter, working at a desk is now very much IT led. The most considerable difference is sitting posture between the olden days in the office and these days is the difference in angles of view and the posture that comes with it. For reading and writing you need a downward angle of view. To accommodate this the head leans forward and the top of the spine follows. To prevent the spine from curving to much this should be combined with a forward tilted seat and a higher that normal workstation. Remember the old writing desks where the reading writing surface was higher and had a adjustable slope? Also you may recall that the old desks had a sunken section to fit in the typewriter. The typist (that was a jobrole in those days:) then set very close to the desk and was sort of typing downwards.
Also at the time we had desk bound telephones with big horns on a curled cable and lots of buttons or a rotating disk to dial the numbers? So where does your angle of view go during a telephone conversation? Exactly, it goes all over the place! From down to the few written down notes on a sheet of paper so you don’t forget to talk about it, to the ceiling when you are concentrating on the conversation. So downward angles of view and upward angles of view.
The so called ‘synchro chair’ engineered in Germany in the 1970’s was revolutionary in that sense that is supported both downward angles of views and upwards angles of view. But things have changed since then because we are now looking straight ahead.
Strangely enough, where desking systems have changed over the years to accommodate cable management, CPU holders, monitor stands etc. the office chairs have hardly changed. On average you can say that the office furniture market in Scotland and everywhere else in the UK and Europe, is a bit conservative and slow responding. Apart from adapting to general trends in design most office chairs still use the same synchro mechanism.
However there are a few Scandinavian and a Dutch manufacturer who look at task seating in a more pragmatic way in the sense that they accommodate todays working environment. Also the German manufacturer Wilkhahn has now two innovative taskchairs in their portfolio. With the chairs from these manufacturers users can sit in a dynamic way when movement is initiated by the task they are doing and get supported when they sit still and concentrate on their work. The good thing is that the chair will support the user when looking horizontally at the VDU, preventing static muscle strain in both lower back and shoulders. At the same time the chairs follow the user’s forward and backward movements in such a way that the he feels secure and supported at all times and in such a way that he doesn’t slide out of the chair. The Scottish office furniture company Amos beech in Falkirk has always been at the forefront of ergonomic office interiors and has both the ranges of Dutch manufacturer BMA Ergonomics and the German Wilkhahn in the product portfolio. For more information please follow the link below.