Sustainability Meets Comfort When Choosing the Ergonomic Office Chair
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important deliberation in our daily lives. Hence, it’s important to find ergonomic office chairs that are planet friendly.
There’re two ways you would want to take when buying office chairs. First, consider high-quality options. Second, focus on sustainable office furniture solutions. You are probably wondering how a desk chair or any other furniture affects the environment while it sits quietly in the office.
The production of desk chairs and other office furniture depletes the forests. Similarly, the manufacturing process releases emissions that may harm the environment. Not to mention that some furniture may continue to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere of your office, causing indoor air pollution.
So, there’s every need to choose sustainable office chairs to help care for the environment and workers’ health.
Benefits of a Sustainable Ergonomic Office Chair
Have you ever imagined how it feels like to work in a sustainable office space? Not only is a sustainable workspace comfortable, but it is also planned responsibly with the environment in mind. It adopts measures of environmental sustainability. An office setup made up of eco-friendly ergonomic chairs and tables provides benefits beyond workers’ well-being.
A company or an individual can save by investing in sustainable desk chairs. This is so because sustainability focuses on energy optimisation. In other words, it promotes the conscious utilisation of natural resources.
2. Less Pollution and Waste
The best ergonomic office chair made of sustainable materials generates less waste and pollution. So, less damage to the environment. The most reliable eco-friendly materials you can consider when looking for sustainable office chairs are:
Wood desk chairs can be recyclable and require less energy throughout their life cycle than most alternative products from other sources. Wood materials continue to store carbon in office chairs, extending the duration of carbon storage outside the forest.
Wooden materials used in furniture production have a relatively low carbon footprint. Emissions in the industrial processing of wood are lower than emissions from producing other materials like steel. Some sustainable wood materials you can consider include beech, oak, and pine.
The fabrics making up some office chair coverings may be dyed with polluting pigments on synthetic fabrics. Natural fabrics like natural wool, linen, hemp, and organic cotton provide healthier, sustainable solutions. Office chairs made of natural fabrics usually offer a calming aesthetic in an office.
Another sustainable option that you can consider is recycled materials. Nowadays, more and more office furniture brands are embracing the use of recycled materials. When you buy office chairs made of recycled materials, you help to do the following.
- Reduction of landfill contamination
- Reduction of raw material consumption
- Reduction of pollution levels
- Profitability of recycling programs
- Minimisation of global warming
One of the most popular office chair companies in Australia that are known for using recycled materials is Herman Miller. The Aeron chair, for example, was redesigned using sustainable materials like ocean-bound plastic. The efforts of Herman Miller to help recycle ocean-bound plastic help divert millions of kilograms of plastic waste from the ocean every year.
Another brand that has embraced the use of sustainable materials in office chair production in Australia is Steelcase. Steelcase Gesture is made up of 25% recycled materials. The company uses pre-consumer resources that are diverted from the waste stream and post-consumer materials obtained from households.
3. Healthier Workspace
Did you know that you inhale and exhale air about ten times in one minute? When you are in the office, you are surrounded by air that contains gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Not only does the composition of air in your office affect your health, but it also affects your comfort and quality of life.
Office furniture made of sustainable materials is a game-changer as far as indoor air quality is concerned. Why is that? Most of these materials don’t release harmful pollutants like carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may otherwise affect the indoor air quality at the office.
Each of these pollutants can affect your well-being in different ways. Common health effects that may interfere with your performance and productivity at the office include:
- Nose, throat, and eye irritation
- Loss of coordination
- Allergic skin reaction
The bitter truth is that office chairs that are not environmentally friendly are likely to affect indoor air quality and workers’ health. So, settling for eco-friendly office chairs and tables is a win-win investment for the office personnel and the environment both in the short and long run.
4. Boost Brand Image
A corporation that adopts sustainability as a value is usually better rewarded by consumers. Nowadays, most people are aware of the importance of caring for the planet and addressing sustainability at the office. Companies can effectively use sustainability to boost their brand image.
5. Attract and Retain Talent
As we mentioned earlier, employees are more informed and concerned about issues that affect the environment, such as climate change and global warming. As such, they want to use their talents in organisations that share such values.
Therefore, a company can attain and retain talent by equipping its offices with sustainable, ergonomic office chairs and tables. As we have seen, sustainable office furniture doesn’t pollute interior air quality, which translates to a healthier workplace that can retain talent.
Tips for Buying Eco-Friendly Office Chairs
You’ve probably come across many office chair brands that claim they use sustainable materials in their products. Some companies may even provide you with eco-friendly and sustainable credentials. But it’s not always easy to tell if a product is sustainable not unless you know what you are looking for. Here are some key factors that can help with your buying decision:
Reuse Existing Office Chairs
Think about reusing your existing office chairs instead of sending them to the landfill. Not only does landfill disposal produce waste and emissions, but it also leads to the loss of resources. This forces manufacturers to extract more raw materials to produce new desk chairs.
When you reuse your office chairs and tables, you play a significant part in promoting sustainability values. You also get to save money to invest in a different venture.
Look for Refurbished Office Chairs
New office furniture is usually expensive, and small companies may not be able to buy new ergonomic chairs. Having access to refurbished task chairs in good condition allows smaller businesses to allocate their limited finances to mission-related purposes.
Look into Material Composition
Most office chair brands may claim that their products are made of eco-friendly materials. But to your surprise, you may find out that the material composition contains a small percentage of sustainable content.
Aside from the percentile of sustainable content, it is also essential to confirm what type of eco-friendly materials are used in the product. Avoid chairs made of virgin plastics. Instead, opt for ones made of recycled plastics. A good example is recycled polymer feedstock, which generates less carbon dioxide during processing than virgin plastics.
If wood is your favourite sustainable material, make sure it is natural. You should be mindful because engineered timber such as plywood, MDF, and particleboard tend to release harmful gases. However, you can check with the manufacturer if they met a low-emitting target during production.
Similarly, ensure the fabrics and upholstery of the chairs are eco-friendly. One of the most sustainable fabrics you will come across is wool, which is also heat regulating, flame retardant, and renewable.
Your sustainability considerations should also include durability when selecting new, used, or refurbished office chairs. Are the desk chairs durable for the prescribed function? Durability is essential because it helps conserve natural resources and energy. Similarly, it reduces the depositing of materials into landfills.
So, the office chairs you settle for should have structural stability, timeless aesthetic qualities, appearance retention properties, and high-quality functionality. Furthermore, you will likely reuse well-designed office chairs for their intended purpose.
Check the Sustainability Credentials
Although some brands may use them to promote sales, sustainability credentials are important when shopping for eco-friendly ergonomic chairs. One such credential is ISO 14001, which helps companies meet sustainability goals by reducing waste and more efficiently using resources.
While you are focused on support, comfort, and ergonomics when looking for the best ergonomic office chair, don’t forget about sustainability.
Unlike before, nowadays, more and more office chair companies are embracing the concept of sustainability. They manufacture comfortable desk chairs using high-quality eco-friendly materials like sustainable wood and recycled plastic. Usually, these materials have a low carbon footprint, ensuring a healthier environment and superior indoor air quality.
The concept of comfort and sustainability in ergonomic chairs and other office furniture is a win-win for the environment, employees, and the company. The environment sees fewer landfills, the employees get a healthier and comfier workspace, and the company gets to retain talent.
The founder of Experteasy Darren’s background in software development helped launch the experteasy.com.au platform, combined with working late nights and weekends before, this was mostly before becoming the father of two very crazy kids. With the onset of COVID and more working from home, he’s since learnt a lot about office equipment, ergonomics and coffee machines researching and testing products to make working from home as comfortable and pleasant as it can be.