You might be thinking about getting an office type of chair for your laboratory and choosing the one with ergonomic design for a healthy and productive environment, which is typically the way to go. However, laboratory chairs are designed specifically to benefit lab professionals and scientists who are more involved in physical movements, sensitive procedures, and delicate equipment and supplies unlike computer users who sit for long hours in front of a desk.
Laboratory seating is built in different styles such as chairs, stools, stools with backs, and even specialty chairs. All of these have capabilities to improve the lab user’s seating posture and habits that prevent serious repetitive injuries and disorders. Ergonomic seating supports not only the health but as well as the productivity by reducing work fatigue, maximizing mobility, and boosting stability.
Listed below are the 3 qualities of laboratory chairs that prove why office chairs are not really meant for use in the lab. In the long run, these features and benefits are actually good investments as it will accommodate a lot of users for many years and it can speed up researches and developments in the lab.
#1. Everything is adjustable.
✓ Lab Chairs: In laboratories there are different workstations such as hood and medium or high bench and its height level determines the height of your lab chair. Thus, lab chairs are available in different height ranges. There are also stools with 360 degree all-around pneumatic height adjustment ideal for clinical facilities and university labs.
X Office Chairs: Majority of offices use the regular work desks only so there is no enough options for different seat height levels. The height of office chairs may be adjustable but it is not ergonomically engineered and designed for high desks.
✓ Lab Chairs: To support your posture, lumbar spine, and increase comfort during extended sitting durations, the backrest of laboratory chairs are made to be adjustable, sometimes both vertically and horizontally. With this feature you can prevent yourself from slouching or sitting up straight.
X Office Chairs: While some office chairs have adjustable backrest too, they are not built for optimal comfort during laboratory tasks including micromanipulation, dissection, and pipetting.
Arm Rest (optional)
✓ Lab Chairs: Lab chairs are more innovative with 6-way adjustable armrests - up and down, in and out, twist toward or away from the user. This capability boosts correct ergonomics and convenience especially if there are times when you think the arm rest will impede your lab tasks.
X Office Chairs: Very few lab chairs offer adjustable armrests as it is only used for providing basic support while writing or using computers.
✓ Lab Chairs: Adjustable footrings or footrests are available for some lab chairs that care for the healthy connection between your thighs and feet to sustain the circulation in the lower part of your body. These are highly beneficial for lab professionals who work on medium or high benches.
X Office Chairs: Most office chairs do not have footrings that limits the user’s flexibility to move and stretch their legs and feet.
✓ Lab Chairs: Tilt options are highly recommended for lab chair and stool seats and most especially to users whose lab applications require them to bend or lean forward into an equipment or sample. Lab seats with tilt or locking tilt aids lower spine positioning.
X Office Chairs: Seat tilt feature is rarely possessed by office chairs as it does not consider various movements and physical tasks whilst sitting. Office chairs with stiff seats may cause users the difficulty to hunch, making accidental motions during their application procedures that could harm their lab equipment and samples.
#2. Made for easy cleaning.
✓ Lab Chairs: Even with utmost caution, laboratory professionals deal with spills, drops, and residue from time to time. That is why ergonomic laboratory chairs and stools are made of strong and easily cleaned materials.
X Office Chairs: Office workers are not exposed to sensitive or harmful liquids on their desk, hence office chairs are not made for unexpected splashes. Additionally, office chairs often go for stylish designs compared to lab chairs.
#3. Meets the requirements of the lab environment.
✓ Lab Chairs: Laboratory is an environment that focuses on research and advancement. Therefore, labs require ergonomic seating that promotes safety and mobility. For an instance, chrome hooded casters reinforce mobility on hard floors like tile and concrete whereas nylon bell glides bolster safety for both hard and carpeted floors.
X Office Chairs: Office employees are usually more concerned with mobility than safety as they are not prone to mishaps. With this demand, office chairs are in fact not constructed for use in laboratories.
The differences between lab chairs and office chairs should be taken into great consideration because eventually you will be thankful for getting the right one for your lab professionals or scientists and facility.
A quick tip: Many American laboratory supplies manufacturers offer 15-year warranty and versatile customization services for lab seating. Contact Lab.Equipment and explore your options today.