If you have an office job, you probably sit in a swivel chair. If you haven’t realized just how convenient and necessary the “swivel” function is, try replacing your swivel chair with a regular, static chair for a day. You probably won’t like it one bit and you’ll be wishing you had your plush, leather “swiveller” back under your backside in no time.
The thing is, swivel chairs are also dangerous enough to cause a serious injury if you don’t use them properly.
Swivel chair safety tips: Follow them to avoid an injury
Here are a few swivel chair safety tips for (1) avoiding so-called “sitting injuries” that may cause you back and neck pain and (2) preventing chair slips and falls which could result in broken bones, concussions and lacerations:
Never use a defective chair: If your chair is stuck at one level — i.e., it won’t adjust up and down — it’s broken; don’t use it. If your chair doesn’t have a wheel, has a floppy armrest or has a back that doesn’t like to stay in one position, get it fixed or toss it in the trash and ask your employer for a new one. Not only does your broken chair present a danger to you, but it’s especially dangerous if an unsuspecting visitor to your office tries to use it. He or she could end up flat on the ground.
Never tip a swivel chair: You shouldn’t tip back in any kind of chair; your grade school teacher — or your grandmother — probably taught you that lesson time and time again. However, if you’re sitting in a swivel chair, the swiveling base and its rolling wheels are not suited for tipping back. Even if you just lean over your desk or put your feet up on the desk, your chair could slip right underneath you causing broken bones, sprains, concussions and lacerations. Don’t do it!
If you get hurt, don’t ignore it: Humans aren’t actually designed to sit in chairs all day long. We’re designed to be farmers pulling up vegetables in the fields, hunters chasing antelopes with spears, or herders walking with our sheepdogs under the starry night sky and breathing the fresh air. Sitting all day long in the same position, simply put, is not good for us and it can cause long-term spinal injuries. If you’re hurting, get up, stretch and move around, or start an exercise routine before it gets worse. If your pain is particularly bad, go to a doctor for help immediately.
Do you have a chair-related injury?
It might sound silly, a “chair-related injury,” but these injuries can be serious and debilitating. If you have one, you know it’s not a laughing matter. Fortunately, most Pennsylvania office workers who suffer this kind of injury are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Make sure you understand your legal rights and options in this regard.