For many years seating companies and DSE assessment companies have focussed on the limb measurements of individuals in order to influence or suggest the selection of a particular combination of seat pad size, backrest heights or armrest adjustment levels. Indeed, this practice has resulted in the creation of indicative average (anthropometric) measurements in order to determine the “correct” sizes for the purposes of the creation of norms.
However, limb measurements are implicitly 2-dimensional – point A to point B – without a true relation to other more 3-dimensional characteristics. This is particularly true when assessors try to measure individuals with unusual body proportions caused by the distribution of their body volume.
Implicit in the process of limb length measurement is the need for the user to be seated. This brings new and unexpected implications to any recorded measurements. This is particularly the case for individuals who possess a higher level of body volume at the rear, large thighs or large calves. We can refer to this as a user with “Excess Lower Body Volume”- ELBV.
Users with ELBV often demonstrate a longer popliteal (buttock to inside knee) length due to the additional body layers at the rear. This body volume distribution can also result in heightening the position of the body on the chair so that the position of the lumbar is also raised. There is also a possibility that the popliteal length is reduced because of the body volume at the rear of the calf that corresponds with the position of the front of the seat pad.
The purpose of these examples is simply to illustrate that it is often an understanding of the 3-dimensional interaction of a user’s Body Shape that influences the correct size or “fit” of chair for the individual, rather than a simpler assessment based on 2-dimensional measurement.
In 2013, Status adjusted its Anthropometrical Data Sheet to include an indication of body shape, also adjusting its assessment sheet to be known as a Body Shape Assessment Form.
Limb measurements are important, but having a more representative indication of a person’s shape helps employers to find a chair that is more likely to be a “fit” for the individual.
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis include neck pain and shoulder pain. The pain can be severe in some cases. Occasional headaches may also occur, which usually start at the back of the head, just above the neck, and travel over the top to the forehead. Pain usually comes and goes, with flare-ups followed by symptom-free periods. Around 1 in 10 sufferers develop long-lasting (chronic) pain.
Other, more severe, symptoms usually only occur if you develop:
- cervical radiculopathy – where a slipped disc or other bone pinches or irritates a nearby nerve
- cervical myelopathy – where the spinal canal (bones that surround and protect the nerves) becomes narrower, compressing the spinal cord inside
The most common symptom of cervical radiculopathy is a sharp pain that “travels” down one of your arms (also known as brachialgia).
You may also experience some numbness or “pins and needles” in the affected arm, and find that stretching your neck and turning your head makes the pain worse.
Cervical myelopathy occurs when severe cervical spondylosis causes narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord.
When the spinal cord is compressed, it interferes with the signals that travel between your brain and the rest of your body. Symptoms can include:
- a lack of co-ordination – for example, you may find tasks such as buttoning a shirt increasingly difficult
- heaviness or weakness in your arms or legs
- problems walking
- less commonly, urinary incontinence
(loss of bladder control)
- bowel incontinence (loss of bowel control)
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of cervical myelopathy, see your GP as soon as possible.
Left untreated, cervical myelopathy can lead to permanent spinal cord damage and long-term disability
Source: NHS Choices
The team at Status is pleased to have been able to reduce the prices of many of the options available for our highly adaptable Humanfactor range which, for many models, will result in us being able to maintain 2015 prices overall or even offer a slight reduction in RRP.
Other retail prices for our more basic Status model ranges have been raised by around 2% on average depending on the model combination. This has mainly been due to increases in upholstery fabric prices.
A hard copy version of the Issue 2 price list is currently being printed and will be in circulation very shortly.
We thank you for your business and look forward to a successful 2016.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any enquiries at our offices in High Wycombe where our team will be happy to help.
A slipped disc – known as a prolapsed or herniated disc – occurs when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) is damaged and presses on the nerves.
The sciatic nerve is often affected in cases of slipped disc. It is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks and down both legs to the feet.
If pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve (sciatica), it can cause mild to severe pain in the leg, hip or buttocks.
Read more about the symptoms of a slipped disc.
The spine consists of 24 individual bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other.
In between each vertebra there are protective circular pads of cartilage (connective tissue) called discs, which have a tough, fibrous case that contains a softer gel-like substance. The discs help maintain your back’s flexibility and wide range of movement.
The spinal cord is highly sensitive and passes through the middle of the vertebral column. It contains nerve cells and bundles of nerve fibres that connect all parts of the body to the brain.
What causes a slipped disc?
A slipped disc occurs when the outer case of the disc splits, resulting in the gel inside bulging out of the disc.
The damaged disc can put pressure on the whole spinal cord or on a single nerve root (where a nerve leaves the spinal cord).
This means a slipped disc can cause pain both in the area of the protruding disc and in the area of the body controlled by the nerve that the disc is pressing on.
It is not always clear what causes a disc to break down, although age is a common factor in many cases. As you get older, your spinal discs start to lose their water content, making them less flexible and more likely to rupture.
Smoking also plays a role as it causes the discs to lose their natural flexibility.
It’s important to note not all slipped discs cause symptoms such as pain, weakness or tingling. Many people will go their whole life and not know they have a slipped disc, even though they have one.
Read more about what causes a slipped disc.
Diagnosing a slipped disc
Your GP will usually be able to diagnose a slipped disc from your symptoms and medical history. They may also carry out a physical examination to test your:
- muscle strength
- walking ability
- sensation in your limbs
Read more about how a slipped disc is diagnosed.
Treating a slipped disc
It can take about four to six weeks to recover from a slipped disc. Treatment usually involves a combination of physical therapy, such as massage and exercise, and medication to relieve the pain.
Surgery to release the compressed nerve and remove part of the disc may be considered in severe cases, or if the pain continues for longer than six weeks.
In many cases, a slipped disc will eventually shrink back away from the nerve and the pain will ease as the disc stops pressing on the affected nerve.
Often the slipped disc will stay pressing on the nerve, but the pain goes away because the brain learns to “turn down the volume” on the pain messages coming from the nerve.
If you have a slipped disc, it is very important to keep active. Initially moving may be difficult, but after resting for a couple of days you should start to move around.
This will help keep your back mobile and stop the joints becoming stiff and the muscles that support the spine becoming weak. Keeping moving will speed up your recovery.
Any exercise you do should be gentle and not put too much strain on your back. Exercises that involve high impact, such as running, jumping or twisting, should be avoided at first as they may cause a flare-up of the pain.
Read more about treating a slipped disc.
Preventing a slipped disc
Taking a few sensible precautions, such as leading a healthy lifestyle, can help prevent back pain and lower your risk of getting a slipped disc. For example, you should:
- take regular exercise
- use a safe technique when lifting heavy objects
- always maintain a good posture when sitting and standing
- quit smoking if you smoke
Read more about preventing a slipped disc.
Lumbar spine illustration
1. Healthy disc
3. Slipped disc
4. Damaged disc
5. Spinal cord
How common are slipped discs?
Slipped discs are most common in people aged between 30 and 50 years old. The condition affects twice as many men as women.
Slipped discs often occur in the lower back. While around a third of adults in the UK have lower back pain, fewer than 1 in 20 people have a slipped disc.
Source: NHS Choices
Adjustable office chairs have a lot to deal with. If we were all the same size, shape and proportions then there truly would be one chair choice that could suit every person. Of course that’s never going to happen. Putting aside the subjective choice of style, design or aesthetics, office chairs that fit the official European Norms are increasingly seen as representing a diminishing percentage of the normal distribution of individuals. There are many reasons for this. Here are just a few:
In a recent American study it was concluded that the average height of the males in the study was 150mm taller than the average height of the females. However, the location of the lumbar support was statistically identical – justification for the manufacturer to conclude that a well-placed lumbar support did not need to be height-adjustable by more than 50mm.
This proved that the average height of the lumbar for all individuals was at the same height. However, by simple abstraction, a lady of 5’ 8” high (significantly above average height) would statistically almost always have the need for a lumbar support at a higher place than a man of the same height. Call us if you want to know why.
In recent UK Government statistics there is a statement that there are now 2 million more people aged over 50 years working than was the case just ten years ago; a significant proportion of this generation in work are engaged in sedentary office jobs. As the body ages the musculo-skeletal system changes shape and performance; the incidences of long-term back injuries, spinal deformities and body-shape metamorphosis increases. Call us if you want to know more.
Individuals do not possess proportionate limbs that vary in relation to height; they have a personal combination of size and shape of physical features that interface with a chair when you sit down. Some people have longer backs, or longer legs. Some people have larger Body Volume at the rear which extends the popliteal (buttock to behind knee) length, raises the height of the lumbar support, or increases the depth of the lumbar curve. Call us if you want to know how to help someone who is not of average proportions.
For more information, check out our website on http://www.humanfactorseating.co.uk/ergonomic-seating/ergosomatonomics-shape-not-size/