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Creating a Great Workstation Environment

Cubicles“Our eyes have evolved for three-dimensional viewing,” New York optometrist Andrea Thau of the American Optometric Association said, “so we wind up over-focusing as we strain to find a 3D image on a close-up 2D screen.”

Computer Vision Syndrome is a growing problem as more people spend time focusing on a point two feet in front of them – their computer monitor – rather than 20 feet in front of them, where the eyes’ natural focus lies. This is just one of the risks faced by modern office workers. Today’s workforce faces a host of issues as people force their bodies to do things for which they were never designed, from focusing on close-up computer screens to sitting for eight or more hours at a time.

While the unusual strains of the office environment on the human body cannot be completely eliminated, creating a great workstation environment can significantly reduce the risks involved in office work and increase overall employee satisfaction and health.

1Stop Office Furniture’s workstations are designed with users’ needs in mind. These specialized designs establish the basis for creating a stellar workstation environment that reduces the problems faced by today’s office workers. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) makes several recommendations about modern workstations from lighting needs to ventilation. 1Stop’s furniture solutions help you meet these recommendations in your office environment.

Appropriate lighting is essential to avoiding eye strain. One of the biggest culprits in stressing eyes is bad lighting, usually caused by too much or inappropriate lighting on or around the computer screen. If a bright light is shining on your computer’s display your screen can have a glare on it or appear washed out, causing you to strain to read or to move physically closer to your screen.

In addition to ensuring that overhead lighting is from rows of light parallel to your line of sight and that lighting is diffused, you can lower overall lighting that may come from any source simply by choosing the right height of partition for your workstation environment, shielding your computer monitor from unwanted interference caused by various light sources.

Supplemental lighting can be used in other areas of your desk to make it easier to read papers and other physical documents, while still controlling the light that hits your computer screen. 1Stop offers a variety of workstation colors and configurations with varying heights, allowing you to choose what works best for your office, while giving you the freedom to have ample areas of your desk devoted to paperwork in addition to your computer screen.

The variety of workstation heights also helps you choose workstation solutions that fit OSHA’s number two cause of eye strain in the office environment, monitors set against bright light sources such as natural light from windows. When a bright light source is behind your computer display, it can create contrast problems and cause difficulty in seeing your work on-screen. A configurable office workstation that allows you to comfortably adjust your position compared to light sources is essential. In addition, choosing a taller workstation solution can block these undesirable interferences altogether.

1Stop Office Furniture‘s workstations also help ensure that workers are set at an optimal distance and angle from their computer monitors, further lowering the risk of eye strain as well as alleviating uncomfortable or unhealthy posture adjustments. Creating an optimal workstation environment begins with focusing on the health and comfort of employees through using carefully designed workstations that work with your overall office environment to build a healthy working environment. When you work with the office furniture professionals at 1Stop, you’ll discover the best ways to improve your office space and build a great workstation environment.

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5 Things to Look for in an Ergonomic Desk Chair

Five-150x150A high-quality office chair is a sure-fire way to keep hard-working employees happy, comfortable, and productive. But it can be hard to navigate the world of office furniture unless you have some guidelines. Here are a few things to keep in mind while looking for the perfect chair:

  1. Seat Shape and Height: A good desk chair should have a fully adjustable seat to accommodate different types of human bodies and positions. An ergonomic seat must be contoured so that it distributes the weight of the body across the seat in a way that doesn’t put pressure on the thighs or base of the spine. It should slope downward at the front to reduce pressure on the thighs. The height of the seat needs to be adjustable so that the user can comfortably place the flats of the feet on the floor.
  2. Seat Angle: The pan of the seat should tilt backwards or forwards to accommodate various postures and positions. It should be able to lock at any tilt angle in order to maximize comfort and posture.
  3. Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment: A pneumatic seat adjustor not only makes it more convenient to adjust the height of the chair, it absorbs any shock involved with sitting down or moving in the chair. It also provides a smooth 360-degree swivel that allows the body to move freely in the chair.
  4. Adjustable Lumbar Support: Proper lumbar support is what makes the difference between a good chair and a great chair. Maintaining the natural curvature of the lower back is what most consistently prevents back pain and pressure, thus boosting energy and productivity. Look for lumbar support that can accommodate a range of heights and weights.
  5. Adjustable Arms: While sitting at a desk, it is important to have armrests that can support the weight of the arms. This removes the stress and prevents pain in the muscles of the arms and neck.

CH777 sideThe CharlieChair is a cost-efficient, high-quality office chair that does not compromise when it comes to ergonomics. It comes equipped with a contoured, padded seat that is fully adjustable via a locking tilt mechanism, pneumatic height adjustor, and seat pan depth adjustor. Its height-adjustable padded armrests are also removable. Fully adjustable lumbar support will reduce back pain and maintain the posture needed for proper circulation and movement. Its sturdy, five-legged base and dual-wheel casters mean that it will keep you and your employees happy and productive for years to come.

If you’re looking for the ideal chair to place in your company’s offices and its workstations, the CharlieChair is an excellent choice. It will seat your employees comfortably all day long allowing them to be efficient and productive throughout the work day. To learn more about renting or purchasing CharlieChairs, please call us at 888.777.3222 or 510.569.6969 or fill out the short form on the Get a Quote page and one of our knowledgeable representatives will contact you shortly.

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10 Simple Ways to Avoid Office Chair Butt

Hippo ButtSitting can be harmful to your health. Long periods of sitting have been linked to numerous health problems including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels. These conditions can increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Immediately after you sit down, the electrical activity in your muscles slows, and your metabolism drops to burning only about one calorie per minute – one third of what it does if you’re walking. After just two weeks of sitting for more than six hours per day, your body increases plasma triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Aside from all of these problems, prolonged periods of sitting can cause your butt to start to resemble the seat of your chair and even get a little, well…jello-y.

You can prevent office chair butt and help prevent the other negative side effects of prolonged sitting in the office by taking just a few steps – literally and figuratively. Following any or all of the next ten steps can help keep you healthy and avoid office chair butt.

  1. Get up every 60 to 90 minutes and stretch or walk around the office. Whether you’re getting a glass of water, walking to the bathroom, or even just marching in place for twenty seconds, just standing up and moving around will help boost your metabolism back up after a prolonged period of sitting.
  2. Stand while talking on the phone. It’s much easier to remember that you need to take a break from sitting when you make a habit of it while doing something else like talking on the phone. You can quickly adjust your office routine to avoid chair butt by standing every time you’re on the phone.
  3. Take the stairs to a restroom on a different floor or take the scenic route. Every bit of exercise you can get during your workday will help avoid the negative consequences of prolonged sitting. Climbing just two flights of stairs each day can result in a loss of six pounds per year!
  4. Don’t call, email or chat with your colleagues. Whenever possible, walk to your colleagues’ offices to converse with them in-person instead of emailing, instant messaging, or calling them. Not only will you benefit from the exercise, but also from the increased social interaction of speaking with them face to face.
  5. Invest in an ergonomic chair (we can certainly help you with THAT!). The chair you use can help prevent a sore rear and stress on your back and tailbone. Using a chair with good lumbar support will assist in preserving your good posture even while sitting. A chair that allows for easy adjustments as you choose different sitting positions throughout the day will help make office chair butt a thing of the past. 1Stop Office Furniture has many new and used office chairs that feature multiple adjustments to help you sit comfortably and correctly at your desk.
  6. Stretch your body. There are many stretching exercises you can use throughout your day to keep your rear from falling asleep and the rest of your body from getting restless or cramped. Raise your hands to the ceiling as far as you can. Bend over and touch your knees, your shins, and if you can, touch your feet or even the floor. Hold each stretch for five to ten seconds and repeat five times each. Sit in your chair with both feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Lift one knee as far as it will go while pointing your toes, and then lower your foot back to the floor and switch legs.
  7. Squeeze your butt. One of the easiest and least obtrusive ways to exercise at your desk is the butt squeeze. Hold a tight squeeze as long as you can, then release. Repeat five to ten times. You can even give your thighs a good workout by placing a small ball between your legs and squeezing away while you work. Your colleagues won’t see these exercises happening, but your sleek butt and toned thighs will say it all.
  8. Take a 10-15 minute walk during lunch. While doctors recommend getting at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular per day, you can get half of that done during your lunch break by picking a nearby mall, park or other walk-able location for your lunch break. You can even eat while you walk if your lunch is portable.
  9. Put your legs in motion while sitting. Just alternating between fully extended legs and legs held close to your chair throughout the day can help improve your health situation during prolonged sitting. You can improve this further with leg circles by extending one leg and slowly making small circles in one direction, gradually making the circles larger, then switch directions and make the circles smaller. Repeat with the other leg.
  10. Set an hourly alarm to remind you to stand. If you have trouble remembering to move about during your workday, make use of today’s most common office equipment, your computer. Setting up the Windows Task Scheduler or the OS X clock’s “Announce the time” feature, your computer will remind you to take a break and start moving.

Introducing extra movement into your office workday can be made even easier by introducing these tips to your co-workers and committing to exercise at work together. Any or all of these steps can help you improve your overall health and reduce the risk of office chair butt. (And don’t forget the importance of good quality ergonomic chairs.)

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What’s Under You is Just as Important as What is in Front of You

CH777 side 1280x720Business purchase decisions often come down to answering two important questions:

  • What do we need?
  • How much can we spend?

Most companies have large technology budgets, ensuring their employees have good, stable computer and phone systems to use in order to remain productive. Unfortunately, most companies choose to invest very little in quality seating.

It is important for businesses to invest in good office chairs without breaking the budget. An office chair can mean the difference between employees being productive or being distracted by back pain and muscle fatigue. What is under you is just as important as what is in front of you as you carry out your work duties.

Chairs like the CharlieChair, with thickly padded and contoured seats, adjustable lumbar support, 5 paddles to adjust the seat and back to your satisfaction, and height-adjustable arms help to maximize comfort and productivity in an office environment.

Did you know?

  • The lumbar region of the spine has five vertebrae, making up the strongest, most mobile parts of the spinal column, vital for strength, rotation and flexibility.
  • Lumbar support helps maintain a normal healthy curve to this area of your spine and provides support for the surrounding muscle, reducing stress on the spine and lowering the risk of lower back pain.

Margo Fraser, executive director of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists advises office workers to change position throughout the day in order to shift muscle load and prevent over-stressing caused by staying locked in the same position all day. “A lot of people will set their chair and then assume they should never touch it again, when in fact we want them to be making small adjustments throughout the day.”

z_p20-Evidence-02Busy executives and employees alike cannot afford to waste time tinkering about with their chair’s adjustment or worrying about whether it will maintain a high level of comfort through every work day. Office seating like the CharlieChair is available at office superstore prices, while delivering on easy adjustability that will stay exactly how you want it, while still being easy to adjust whenever you need a change.

Furnishing your office with quality chairs isn’t just another expense. It is an investment that will pay off through increased productivity, employee satisfaction and improved health. High-quality office chairs will directly benefit your finances, eliminating wasted time repairing or returning a faulty product and preventing you from having to replace office chairs on a regular basis.

With pneumatic seat height adjustment, an adjustable-depth seat, locking tilt mechanism and heavy-duty dual wheel casters, the CharlieChair provides needed quality, comfort, consistency and posture versatility at a price that won’t break the office budget.

No business can afford to put time, energy and money toward office chairs that don’t fit today’s office lifestyle with both comfort and efficiency in mind. 1 Stop Office Furniture has a wide selection of office furniture including high quality chairs like the CharlieChair, designed for maximum adaptability and ergonomic comfort at affordable prices.

If you’d like to learn more about the CharlieChair, please click here – thanks!

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Eight Things You can Do in Your Office to Reduce the Risk of Sitting Disease

Number8Upon thinking about the schedule of a typical day, most people will find that the majority of their time is spent sitting. Between commuting, sitting down for meals, watching TV, and browsing the Internet, moving around is unfortunately quite uncommon.

But the worst offender is often time spent at the office. Remaining sedentary for eight hours (or more) per day can inflict a lot of pain on your muscular system and cardiovascular system. Research has linked too much sitting to a horde of health problems, and sitting disease has become an actual diagnosis. It can be difficult to change those sedentary habits in the workplace. However, with a few adjustments to your work day, it can be done. Here are a few simple ways to combat the damage done during your workday:

  1. Take a walk during your lunch break: It’s not often that it takes an entire half-hour to eat lunch. Most of the time it takes less than ten minutes and the rest of your break is spent browsing a smartphone or checking email. Instead of sitting at the lunch table, try using that extra fifteen minutes to take a walk. It’s a perfect excuse to get some fresh air, get the blood pumping, and enjoy a change of scenery.
  2. Stretch those muscles: Doing some simple stretches at your desk is a great way to improve circulation and strengthen the muscles that don’t get used enough while sitting. Do a few repetitions of forward stretches, backward stretches, side twists, overhead reaches, and leg lifts just a couple times each day.
  3. Breathe deep: Stress can unconsciously cause shallow, rapid breathing, which strains muscles and limits oxygen supply. Taking just thirty seconds to focus on taking slow, deep breaths is a good way to improve your circulation and relieve stress.
  4. Get face-to-face: Instead of sending an email or making a phone call to a coworker, try doing it face-to-face! Just those few steps across the office are enough to invigorate your body and fight off uncomfortable, stiff limbs.
  5. Drink water: Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle at your desk or visiting the water cooler often. Many office air conditioning systems can contribute to dehydration, and sitting at a desk can make you surprisingly thirsty. Keeping yourself hydrated can stave off headaches, improve circulation and digestion, and maintain healthy skin.
  6. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: Optometrists recommend that every 20 minutes, computer users should take 20 seconds to look at something that is at least 20 feet away. This helps prevent eye strain by working other muscles in your eye, as well as reminding you to blink a bit more to reduce dryness and redness of the eyes.
  7. Practice good posture: Altering the way you are sitting can immediately improve your comfort, reduce your pain and stimulate blood flow. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees level with your hips. Make sure that your chair and your armrests are at a proper height so that your screen is directly in front of you and your wrists are flat while using your keyboard and mouse. Ensure that you have proper lumbar support in order to prevent back pain.
  8. Invest in an ergonomic desk chair: Of course, it is much easier to maintain good posture when sitting in an ergonomic desk chair. 1Stop Office Furniture’s CharlieChair is a comfortable, affordable chair that can be adjusted to fit your body and workplace needs. With multiple paddle adjustments, the CharlieChair will improve productivity, keep you comfortable, and reduce your risk of sitting disease.

Please visit our Product Gallery to view all of the great new, used, and for rent ergonomic office chairs that we have to offer. Once you’ve found the ideal chair, please give us a call at 510.569.6969 or fill out the quick “Get a Quote” form. Remember, we serve all nine counties around the Bay Area (Marin, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco counties) and the Sacramento area. And…we can deliver within 24 hours! We look forward to helping you with our office chair needs.

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The History of the Chair

History of the ChairThey are everywhere, in homes, businesses, restaurants, and theaters. They are the result of thousands of years of progress and invention, a wonder of history disguised as something so ordinary we take them entirely for granted: chairs.

In the Beginning

The simple four-legged, flat-backed affair with two armrests that we consider a normal chair was first found in ancient Egypt. It was the privilege of royalty and a symbol of power. People of high social standing demonstrated their social status by sitting not on the common benches and low couches, but on luxuriously crafted chairs of ebony, ivory, or gilded wood.

Throughout the Classical Age of the Greeks and Romans, and the early Middle Ages, chairs retained their illustrious symbolism of power and prominence. It was not until the Renaissance time period that chairs became more widely available.

What a Brilliant Idea

As the centuries progressed and fashions in society and art changed, the styles of popular chairs varied. In the 17th century, low, heavily built chairs were common, but the 18th century brought about the fashion of luxurious, half-reclining chairs. Finally, simpler, more modern chairs were produced in the 19th century, due to the influence of the art nouveau movement.

But amid all the changes, one thing remained constant: the growing popularity of chairs. As our ancestors once exclaimed, “What a brilliant idea!” at the invention of the wheel, so the world accepted the idea of the four-legged, Egyptian-style chair and it spread around the rest of the globe.

The Triumph of the Millennia

At 1Stop Office Furniture, we take the same line as the ancient Pharaohs, the magnificent emperors, and all the grand aristocrats – chairs are important. And if in our modern age they are no longer a symbol of power and success, they are something far more vital: a way to achieve success. How can this be? Let’s take a look at the 20th century.

The astonishing scientific advancements that the 20th century is famous for led to the creation of the ergonomic office chair – a seat that is extraordinarily designed for optimum support, comfort, and functionality. This marvel of modern ingenuity is as important as a Pharaoh’s throne because it promotes good health and efficient work, which are significant factors in success.

CH777 sideWith an ergonomic Charlie Chair in your office, you can be the proud owner of an invention that is the triumph of the millennia. And every day, you can experience the comfort, practicality, design, and reliability that are the result of our world’s social and scientific advancement throughout history.

1Stop Office Furniture features the multi-adjustable Charlie Chair and many other popular, ergonomic office chair designs. All of these are available for rent or for purchase. Please review our gallery for all of the office chair selections currently available. 1Stop Office Furniture – we’ve been serving the Bay Area’s office furniture needs since 1986 and we’re ready to serve you too.