Lexi Louis – Opinion Columnist
I think that having sturdy, comfortable chairs is a great thing, and it is important for students. It is imperative for students to feel safe and focused while they are learning. When they sit in rigid chairs, it can be distracting. There should be secure, safe chairs to prevent distractions and injuries. Chairs like these would promote better posture, better health, and allow students to be more attentive while in class.
Some chairs are not designed to support the curvature of the spine. Some chairs don’t support the lower back, and they are rigid and flat in structure. The lumbar part of the spine is curved, so a chair that complements this curve supports and helps this area of the back. Another solution to this is placing a plush object such as a pillow on the lower back to support it in a rigid chair.
Having good posture while sitting in a chair can be difficult. We may feel inclined to lean forward, slouch backwards, or cross our legs. However, there are many benefits to sitting up straight. It sends a good message, and there are plenty of health benefits. Sitting up straight allows for better breathing, improved mood, reduced headaches, more energy and concentration. It sends the message of attentiveness and confidence. A chair that aids in this process with lumbar support will increase the likelihood of these benefits.
When I was young, I was sitting in a chair in a classroom. I couldn’t initially tell that anything would be different. I sat in the chair and it fell apart. This was unexpected and a little embarrassing. I started laughing, and I’m glad this hasn’t happened recently to this extent. The shape and build quality of a chair are major factors in its comfort and safety. Our posture can change unexpectedly, so these are very important.
We can inadvertently change our body’s posture based on what our limbic system is thinking. When we are tired, exhausted, or bored we may lean back in our chairs. When we are attentive, listening, or aware we may lean forward in our chairs. If our chair is built with a certain structure, these postures will not complement learning. It may be dangerous, and a student could become completely distracted for their class.
Chairs that have adjustable heights are beneficial for learning too. When our feet dangle from a chair, our blood flow is affected. We may feel a tingling in our thigh, which may be distracting for some students. If a chair is built with a back that supports the lumbar spine, it has an adjustable height, and it provides cushioning, then students will be more attentive.
Students spend so much time sitting in a chair, so feeling comfortable while learning is important. There are consequences for when a student sits in a chair for many hours and they feel uncomfortable. This may distract them from paying attention in class, they may spend a lot of time trying to get comfortable, and their health may be negatively affected. When students have poor posture in a rigid chair, there are adverse health consequences. They may have poorer breathing, a worsened mood, less energy to work, headaches, and less concentration. If a chair is built to complement their learning, these adverse health effects will not occur.
Some may say that the cost of an ergonomic chair is too big, and it is not worth it. Although these chairs are costly, they are worth it because of some health benefits and time factors. The cost of the chair is less than the cost of the adverse health effects. When students spend many hours a day in a chair, having good posture and support from the chair is vital.
It would also be a good alternative if students had the option to stand during class. Sitting for a long time increases the risk of chronic health problems. Some of these risks are cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. If a chair causes a student to feel uncomfortable, periods of standing up after sitting for half an hour is beneficial. If a chair allows students to sit longer in it without feeling discomfort, this would be helpful for their learning experience.
Having chairs that are built to complement the spine, that have an adjustable height, and aid students in their learning experience are important. Without these chairs, students can become distracted and face adverse health effects. An alternative or way to find relief in rigid chairs is standing after sitting for a longer period of time.