Where do executives stand on the issue of desk chairs? They don’t stand; they sit.
In fact, a new poll shows that execs spend most of their time in their chairs a full seven-and-a-half hours a day. That’s an increase of more than an hour-and-a-half a day from a similar survey in 1990.
The poll, conducted by American Furniture Rentals, headquartered in Bensalem, Pa., shows a 67 percent increase in rentals or sales of ergonomic desk chairs with lumbar support systems.
Why? Write it off to a combination of longer hours and more computer time, says AFR CEO Neil Scholnick.
“Chairs with lumbar supports are booming, because back pain has become the ulcer of the ’90s,” Scholnick says. “When most executives feel tension, their backs ache. When their backs ache, they look for a chair that will ease the pain.”
What are the most asked-for features in ergonomic chairs? The survey says:
- Pneumatic seat adjustment, 84 percent;
- Lumbar support, 56 percent;
- Adjustable seat and back angle, 42 percent;
- A tilt forward feature, 28 percent;
The days of the big leather desk chair are over.
“The ‘status’ chair is all but gone in our orders,” Scholnick says. “The boss is looking more to form and function. Those chairs that you could sink into never really gave the proper support. Now, people want features like lumbar support, knee tilt, pneumatic seat height and adjustable seat and back angle. Many new chairs offer a tilt forward feature, which helps ease the strain of computer work.”
The poll sampled rental and buying habits of 400 executives.
Scholnick is a 1999 Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur Of The Year” finalist. American Furniture Rentals has showrooms and outlet centers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.