How clean is your chair?
For many of us, we spend our workdays sitting on the same office chair eight hours a day, five days a week. But how often is it that we consider the cleanliness of where we are sitting?
In comparison to your office desk where it is easy to see if your workspace is untidy and in need of cleaning, it is harder to understand if and when your office chair is dirty and what is harbouring where you sit.
Research suggests that the workplace is one of the unhealthiest places you'll inhabit during your lifetime and that your office chair is one of the worst places you’ll sit. Offices, due to the compact workspaces between colleagues, are a breeding ground for germs - and your office chair is no exception, with chairs suggested to harbour more bacteria than toilet seats!
Your office chair comes into as much contact with you as your office desk, computer keyboard, mouse and all of your regularly used work equipment. These commonly used places are hotspots for bacteria and need to be maintained to stop germs from spreading around your office - which means your desk chair is no different!
With a proper office chair likely to last you almost a decade, it’s important to understand how to keep your chair clean and as germ-free as possible.
Common germs in the workplace and office bugs
Research has found out that there are more than a staggering 21,000 different germs per square inch at your workspace, covering everything from your office chair to your desk phone. These places allow for bacteria and germs to breed as they constantly come into contact with your hands and should be regularly cleaned to disinfect the surfaces, which will kill the majority of germs.
A few of the common bacteria that can be found in the workplace are:
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Commonly found in man-made environments like the office. Causes illnesses for those with weak immune systems.
- Staphylococcus aureus – Found in the office where there is contact with skin on items such as keyboards, chairs and door handles.
- Actinomycetales – Found in water and can be transferred from one surface to another.
- Norovirus – Not a bacteria, but a virus commonly found in the office. Transferred by food and water.
With many people still coming into work when they are sick or for those who are simply unaware that they need to clean their workspace regularly, an office can soon be overrun with these germs.
During peak season, harbouring germs is a big contributor to the spread of cold and flu in the workplace. Often causing a lot of work absences, cold and flu germs can be hugely detrimental to the productivity and efficiency of your office.
The main causes for the build-up, and spread, of germs in the workplace, is those with poor personal hygiene who do not regularly wash their hands, or clean their workspace - especially if they often eat there. This can lead to the passing of germs between all of those who work in the office and can cause everything from skin rashes to stomach bugs.
Office chair care and maintenance
Taking time to clean and properly maintain your office chair will help reduce the number of bacteria within your workplace and stop them spreading. Ultimately, this attention to cleanliness will decrease the number of sicknesses, and time out of the office, for all of those working there.
For the best care and maintenance tips for your chair, it’s important to consider the type of material that it is made of and how this should be cleaned to preserve the quality of the fabric and the style.
For issues such as stains, these should be cleaned as soon as they are noticed with a damp cloth. Whatever the chair type, the most effective stain remover is to use warm, soapy water and a soft cloth, which will help to protect the chair material and get rid of the stain.
Due to the shaping of some fabric chairs, it can be easy for dirt and dust to gather in the creases and seams. To tackle this build-up of dirt, it is important to regularly vacuum these areas to clear all dust and debris. Regular vacuuming and dusting helps to prolong the life of the fabric and keeps your office chair looking professional. This fabric care routine also helps to remove all of the dirt and bacteria from your chair.
From the legs of your chair to the arms, these key areas can often be forgotten about despite the daily contact that they have with both your hands and feet. Plastic is a hard-wearing material, however, it should only be cleaned with warm soapy water and then dried immediately. This care will avoid any damage to the plastic and ensure that its colour is maintained.
To maintain the quality of chrome chairs and their style, it’s important to dust regularly and clean with a cloth and warm soapy water. Polished metals are generally resistant to damage, but it is best to avoid using any cleaning fluids or harsh cleaning materials on chrome chairs, as these can be abrasive and damage the finish of the chair.
This chair maintenance, along with general office cleaning, should be carried out on a weekly basis. This regularity will ensure that bacteria and germs are not given the chance to harbour and become a problem in your office.
How long should your chair last?
The lifespan of your chair can be dependent upon a variety of things, such as the build quality, the amount of use it sees and how well the chair is maintained. Although a cheaply priced chair may offer a good short-term solution to your seating needs, it is likely that such a chair will need replacing within a year or two of use.
Instead of regularly having to replace your office chair, it is best to invest in a proper office chair. This investment will be beneficial for you financially and will improve your posture and comfort at work.
The chair warranty offered by a manufacturer is a good indication as to how long a chair will last. Typically, a chair with a 5-year warranty - such as those offered by Bluespot Furniture - should last for seven to eight years.
Get advice on your office chair
Each of our office chairs provides comfort and support in a price range that suits you. Our Mia office chair, for example, has a choice of two or three lever adjustments for ultimate comfort and is also available in a choice of ten fabric colours meaning that it is able to complement your office, whatever the style.
For more information on how to choose the perfect chair for you, our helpful and knowledgeable customer service team are ready to answer your question. To get in touch, give them a call on 0800 8044 760 or drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or start a live chat.