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Chairs, Furniture

What to look for in an office chair

When planning your next workplace fit out, never underestimate the importance of office seating. In a world where office workers spend 75% of their time sitting down, it’s actually quite scary to think about the detrimental impact this could have on physical and mental wellbeing. A poor office set up can lead to bad posture, repetitive strain injury and backaches, so without factoring in the all important aspect of comfort, you’re going to end up with some very disgruntled and fatigued employees. Business owners are constantly looking for new ways to optimise workplace productivity, and selecting the right office seating could do wonders.

Make sure your office chair is certified

First things first, is your office chair certified? Although some designs may look pretty, they could contribute to one heck of a back ache if you’re not careful. Look for office chairs that are both well-made and safe, meeting all relevant legislations and British Standards. Business owners have health and safety responsibilities to provide employees with a comfortable working environment, so always keep an eye out for the ignitability label and don’t forget to check the product details and specifications! If there’s anything you’re unsure about, you should always enquire before letting staff take a seat. 

Office furniture that strives for optimum comfort

Comfort should always come before aesthetics, especially when considering that workers spend the majority of their time sitting down at their office desk. Many people are unaware of the truth behind a poor office set up, with uncomfortable office seating promoting a whole variety of issues. When you choose the right office chair, you can actually help with back pain at work – a widespread problem that’s becoming all too common nowadays. We’ve previously looked into the different types of office seating and their benefits, and the key is to opt for adjustable ergonomic office furniture that allows workers to keep their backs nice and straight. Some good features to look out for are head and neck support, along with back tilts, locked positions for long periods of seating, and high back support, all of which contribute to maintaining a healthy distance from the monitor, whilst keeping staff as comfortable as possible. 

The perks of multifunctional office seating

Being able to manoeuvre comfortably and to easily adapt between varying office tasks is another key factor to look for, and you need not look any further than multifunctional furniture. With plenty of designs to choose from to suit any situation, from office armchairs to office sofas, they all offer effortless portability to make office life that bit easier. Another perk is that you can really get creative with colour and material options to begin matching up to your perfect office aesthetic, which is certainly one way to capture your clients’ attention. 

If you’re looking for any advice on selecting office chairs to suit your dream aesthetic, our team of friendly furniture professionals are here to help. With plenty of designs and styles to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Give us a call today. 

Chairs, Working from home

Is your office chair certified?

How can you tell if your office chair is actually safe and well-made? There’s more to an office chair than how good it looks and how comfortable you feel. We’ve compiled the relevant legislation and British Standards that work seating should meet.

What is the UK legislation on workplace seating?

There are a number of regulations and acts workplace seating should abide by, including:

  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: Because employers have a duty to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for their employees, seating at work should not be hazardous or endanger the health and safety of staff. Workers should know how to use them correctly with clear instructions; this means seating suppliers and manufacturers should make safe products that follow the British Standards 
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992: It is required under Regulation 11 that each worker has a suitable seat for work that must be done sitting – whether all of the work is done sitting or a substantial part of it
  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992: Seating is referenced when talking about the health and safety of DSE and VDUs (visual display units) with stress on how work seating should not be poor and should support eye levels, good posture and positioning
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992: This also gives guidance on handling and moving goods whilst seated 
  • Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996: This legislations requires employers to consult their staff, or elected representatives, on issues affecting their health and safety  
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998: Employers have a duty to provide working equipment that is maintained in an efficient and safe state with seating regarded as work equipment under these regulations
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: Under this legislation, employers and those self-employed both have a duty to assess risks to health and safety, including risks associated with seating. The duty holder must identify the measures that are needed to be implemented to comply with health and safety needs

What about working from home?

Home office workstation and office chair

We’ve seen a drastic rise in the number of homeworkers recently, but what obligations do employers have for their work-from-home staff? Well, they have the same health and safety responsibilities for homeworkers as they do for any other workers. That means checking in on them often, making sure their home working environments are safe and that they will not come to harm or injury from work-related tasks. 

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has guidance for employers on how to protect homeworkers and those who do lone working. They stress the importance of keeping in touch and supervising staff and to be constantly evaluating their risks. Training, supervising and monitoring should not be compromised, and as an employer, you still have to follow the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations to manage the risk to lone workers.

When it comes to seating, task chairs need to be durable, safe and supportive of lumbar and posture. Just like office chairs, they should follow British Standards to ensure they are safe to work on.

The British Standards related to seating at work

So, what British Standards should work seating meet? HSE’s seating at work guidance has in its appendix the relevant British Standards to seating at work:

  • BS 2543: 1995: Woven and knitted fabrics for upholstery
  • BS 3044: 1990: Ergonomics principles in the design and selection of office furniture
  • BS 3379: 1991 (amend 2): Flexible polyurethane cellular materials for load-bearing applications
  • BS 4875: 2001: Strength and stability of furniture: Requirements for the strength and durability of the structure of domestic and contract seating
  • BS 5459: 2000 (amend 2): Performance requirements and tests for office furniture: Office pedestal seating for use by persons weighing up to 150 kg and for use up to 24 hours a day, including type – approval tests for individual components
  • BS 5852: 1990 (amend 2): Methods of test for assessment of the ignitability of upholstered seating by smouldering and flaming ignition sources
  • BS 5940: 1990: Office furniture: Specification for design and dimensions of office workstations, desks, tables and chairs
  • BS EN ISO 9241: 1999: Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs). Part 5: Workstation layout and postural requirements
  • BS EN 1335-2: 2018: Specifies safety, strength and durability requirements for office work chairs based on use of eight hours a day by persons weighing up to 110kg, assessing strength of materials, stability and mechanics
  • BS EN 1335-1: 2020: Specifies dimensions of three types of office chairs along with test methods for their determination

How to tell if your office chair is certified

Upholstery and fabrics on task chairs should come with an ignitability sign (normally a cigarette symbol) to show their safety and testing. Look for product details and specifications and if information isn’t explicit on their testing against British Standards, don’t hesitate to enquire. Many brands don’t list them, as it’s a general requirement for the products to be on the market. However, not all products have been tested and up to date, so do check. 

Fortunately, here at DBI Furniture Solutions, we are professionals and supply only the best and certified products for the most healthy and safe working environments, particularly when it comes to work seating.

Orthopaedica high-back chair with headrest and arm rests
Orthopaedica high-back chair with headrest and arm rests

Ousby task chair
Ousby task chair

Good office chairs should be ergonomic, meaning they need to be height adjustable, support lower back regions and alleviate pressure to encourage good blood circulation and posture. 

Head to our executive office chairs page to browse through our extensive range of high-quality, robust and safe task seating, and contact us for any questions or further info. 

Also check out our piece on the different types of office seating and their benefits for more details.

Chairs, Ergonomics, Office health and safety, Soft Seating, Workplace

The different types of office seating and their benefits

We spend hours upon hours in a sedentary position every day at our office desks. Whether we’re working from home or in the office, we can become engrossed in tasks and forget to stand up and move around, so it’s important that we have great office seating that can keep us comfortable, focused and in good health. 

With studies showing a strong link between lower back pain and sitting behaviour among sedentary office workers, it’s vital that we choose the correct office chairs and seating for our individual workstations. So, let’s run through the different types of office seating available and their benefits.

Ergonomic and adjustable

You may have heard of this type of office seating, especially when it comes to good posture and workplace health and safety. The benefits that these chairs can provide are recognised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on seating at work. An ergonomic office chair is one that works to accommodate humans with good back support and posture. The benefits of an ergonomic office chair are endless:

  • Can be adjusted to give desk workers good eye levels for their screens, which can help with eye strain 
  • Designed with comfort in mind with plenty of space for the buttocks
  • Has supportive padding and cushioning
  • Gives good lumbar support to help reduce lower back pain
  • It can reduce pressure on hips
  • Improves posture 
  • Helps with blood circulation with curved seating
  • Can reduce RSI with its great adjustability

Lean-on or sit-stand desks

Another type of office seating the HSE values are lean-on or sit-stand seats, which work perfectly well with sit-stand desks. These can:

  • Offer workers increased mobility
  • Help with blood circulation
  • Go with specific workstations, where conventional seating is impractical
  • Be used where workstations don’t allow for knee space
  • Adjust in height 
  • Take a part of the body’s weight when constructed in a lean-in model
  • Help with varied positioning

Multifunctional office seating

What’s great about multifunctional furniture is the variety they offer, both in style and portability. Types of multifunctional seating include:

  • Solid-stand chairs
  • Star-based chairs with wheels
  • Upholstered chairs with arm rests
  • Static seating
  • Mesh fabrics
  • Wooden
  • Plastic
  • Steel
  • Height-adjustable
  • Armchairs
  • Stools
  • Cantilever chairs

What’s great about this type of office seating is that you can instantly update any office – boosting staff motivation and morale in the process – from a fantastic, extensive range of high-quality, reputable office furniture brands. Contact us today to see what would suit your office.

Beam seating

Beam seating is perfect for:

  • Reception areas
  • Visitor rooms
  • Waiting areas

And their benefits include:

  • Being easily transportable due to the beam construction
  • Cost-effective
  • Offering more seating options 
  • Great for optimising space
  • Can offer padded or hard seats
  • Coming in a range of styles to suit different interiors
  • Due to their row design, they are great for assemblies or community rooms
  • Easy to clean and wipe down

Mesh office chairs

What’s so great about mesh office seating?

  • They offer great breathability in the fabric
  • Provide good ventilation
  • Especially great for warm environments
  • Unlike padded backs, they can offer thinner comfort
  • Highly durable
  • Less likely to fray or rip
  • Can retain their shape well
  • Can come in a range of styles and colours
  • Easy to clean
  • The fabric is taut and very supportive

Swivel chairs

Allowing you to rotate 360 degrees to the left or right, a swivel chair provides a comfortable and productive work environment, how?

  • You can move easily around to access office items
  • Saves time on not having to get up as much
  • Very comfortable with height adjustment and reclining options
  • They’re easy to transport if you need to move rooms or offices
  • It offers comfortable resting with varied arm rests
  • With 360-degrees turning, you can benefit from increased mobility and positioning to help disrupt sedentary sitting 

High-back chairs

High-back chairs are especially great for taller individuals with benefits including:

  • Offering great lumbar support
  • Helps with neck positioning
  • Can improve posture
  • Allow workers to adjust to comfortable positions
  • You can fix it at a healthy level that matches your laptop or computer screen 
  • They provide a lot of space and back support, especially good for tall people

Office sofas

Whilst the term ‘sofa’ may seem odd when relating to an office, different workplace dynamics are benefiting hugely from comfy office sofas that fit a range of workspaces – from breakout areas to office relaxation rooms. Why are office sofas a great idea?

  • They can help boost staff morale 
  • Allow for workers to bond
  • Improves collaboration
  • Helps employees have comfy breaks
  • Great for reading time and timeouts in general
  • Brilliant for informal staff meetings

As you can see, there’s quite the range when it comes to office seating. It all comes down to understanding your brand and the needs of your workplace and employees. With a whole host of benefits from each type of office seating, you can be sure to find the right one for your business. 

For any advice or help with office seating and furniture, contact our team of office furniture experts today.

Chairs, Ergonomics, Furniture, Products, Tables, Workplace

The Next Hot Thing In Cool Office Design

In the offices of today, it is a lot more than just a bank of office desks with monitors and PCs/Macs being installed on each. You want it to inspire! Inspire your colleagues to push that extra bit further, think that little bit harder for that spark of creativity that gives you that one fantastic idea.

When clients enter your office you want them to be impressed. You want your office environment to represent your business. You want the look of the office to nail how you choose to market your business. Want to be seen as the cool kids on the block? Get inventive with your office design. Want to be seen as the retro kids who live for the 70’s/80’s? Where are the arcade machines? It is also true that it is the people who adopt these office spaces as their own are the ones who bring the office to life. While this is most certainly true, you must make sure that your colleagues are comfortable at their work stations to increase productivity. The best way to boost productivity in your office environments is to make sure your colleagues have the space to; eat together, play together and hang out together. The happier the colleagues, the more productive you will work.

A popular concept that small firms as well as large ones such as Microsoft, Macquarie Bank & Ernst & Young is ‘hot desking’. Hot desking is simply bring your laptop and working essentials, plunk them anywhere and you are good to go. Multiple employees can, in this arrangement, use the same desk at different hours during a day.

The image shows a Photorealistic 3d render of an office.

Chairs, Ergonomics, Furniture, Tables, Workplace

Good Office Ergonomics — The Three Biggest Benefits

Modern design can no longer treat carefully-implemented office ergonomics as an option. Awareness of the many health implications suffered by people as a result of their jobs continues to rise and those companies who fail to provide adequate ergonomic care for their employees lose out in a number of ways.

Here we look at three ways in which optimised office ergonomics can improve the health of both your employees and your business.

Health & Wellbeing

Numerous studies have all shown the same thing – sitting down for too long is bad for you, particularly when the chair you’re sitting on is poorly-designed for the individual.

Back and neck pain are among the most frequent health problems reported by office employees, with stress and depression naturally following.

Contemporary office desks are designed to minimise the health risks of working in an office by personalising the experience for each user.

Adjustable flexibility is key and this ethos extends across everything from desking and chairs to dedicated task lighting. Every employee should have access to the best office furniture possible and many items have an extremely reasonable price tag attached so you don’t have to break the bank to improve the health and morale of your employees for good.

Productivity & Reputation

As employee comfort increases, productivity goes up right along with it.

This is true only up to a certain point – make the office too comfortable and you might send everyone to sleep!

Chairs should be firm and supportive, creating good posture and reducing exertion by restricting motions and extending reach.

Height-adjustable sit/stand desks are the perfect complement to ergonomic office chairs and further enhance productivity.

Happy employees are more optimistic, directly affecting the planning and execution of their work. As work improves, so too does the reputation of your company.

Legality and Liability

Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees and an extensive amount of older office furniture is really no longer fit for purpose.

As knowledge of the health problems directly caused by poor office ergonomics increases, we could very soon see the amount of employer liability cases sharply rise.

Chairs, Desks, DSE, Furniture, Sit Stand

Sit/Stand Desks — Get the Height Right!

The sit-stand desk is thankfully becoming a more common sight in the modern office environment as the problems caused by extended periods of sitting at a computer become more obvious and understood. We supply an eclectic range of sit/stand desks, as they are commonly known, and here we offer some tips for ensuring their optimum performance.

Recent research that revealed the many health problems caused by sitting down for too long, particularly with little other movements, caused an instant call for people to stand more. This increased focus has ironically led to some people now standing up for too long – a practice that has its own accompanying health risks such as increased risk of varicose veins and atherosclerosis. As with many things in life, balance is the key.

  • Users of sit/stand desks should adjust their posture approximately every 30-45 minutes and in not less than one hour. Avoid extended periods of standing or sitting. What is the best posture? The next posture

  • Ensure that the desk is adjusted correctly. People have a tendency to set the desk too high, forcing a posture of elevated shoulders and increasing fatigue levels and injury risk. A safe working level is at or just below the height of the elbows at 90 degrees when the shoulders are relaxed and the upper arms resting by the sides

  • Sit back completely, allowing your chair to support you. If you have one, position your computer keyboard to around 2” above the lap and keep the elbows close to the body as you work

  • If budget permits, choosing a sit/stand desk with electrical adjustment is preferable to avoid cranking by hand

  • Be proactive – don’t wait for discomfort or pain to strike before optimising your workstation setup. Get it right first time and avoid stress later on

 Please enjoy browsing our select range of sit/stand desks – or indeed take a peek at all our office desks. For more tips on optimal usage, call our technical team now or chat to us online.

Chairs, Ergonomics, Workplace

How to fix a squeaky office chair

There is nothing more annoying within an office for both you and your work colleagues than a squeaky office chair that makes that disruptive sound every time you move. Especially when you’re trying to do your work at your perfect office desk! You can fix this however, and it will only take a few minutes to do so – plus your work colleagues will be grateful for the quietness!

1. Locate where the creak is coming from

Firstly, what you need to do is to kneel down beside the office chair and then move it just as you would when you were sat on it. Listen out for the creak and try and locate where it is coming from. In our experience, the majority of the time the chair will be creaking because of the swivel mechanism around the wheelbase, the sides and the back of the chair.

2. Apply lubricant

Next, when you have located where the creak is, then you need to apply a small amount of specialised spray lubricant such as WD-40 to that part of the chair; make sure you have a cloth handy to be used to wipe away any excess lubricant and to prevent the lubricant from staining the upholstery of the office chair. Look for a lubricant which is a spray one and one which contains a fine-tip nozzle, as this makes it easier to get the spray exactly where you want it – the direct area causing the creaking.

3.  Move the chair to work the lubricant

Thirdly, move the chair backwards and forth a few times in order to work the lubricant into the swivel mechanism, then leave it to sit like this for a few minutes. Test your chair to see if it is squeaking still, but hopefully it won’t be.

In the unfortunate event that you’re still lumped with a squeaky office chair, then apply another coat of lubricant to the affected area(s). If the problem still persists, then try applying the lubricant to the surrounding joins and areas to see if this works.

This should solve the problem but if not, maybe it’s time you renewed your office furniture to treat your staff both to a quieter, less frustrating workplace and an updated, comfier one.

For more information, please contact us on 0845 340 9376 or email info@dbifurnituresolutions.co.uk.