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Home>Discover VersaTables> Ergonomics > Articles > The Ergonomics of Poly-Foam Seats

The Ergonomics of Poly-Foam Seats


While it is true that ergonomic attention must be given to how we interact with our work desk and computing station, perhaps no part of our ergonomic office focus is as important as our office chair. After all, for many of us this is the one of the main furniture products our body will connect with on a nearly consistent basis. Understanding how to effectively select a chair that best suits your work needs and supports your body ensures that you are able to work as comfortably, safely and efficiently as possible.

High quality office chairs should be topographically neutral, meaning that they can conform equally well to all body shapes, sizes and contours without negatively impacting spinal support or body circulation. While some organizations might allow individuals to choose their own work chair, far more simply select and order one chair type en masse. When doing so, only chairs neutral in nature are effective for universal ergonomic adoption.

What then are the features of a neutral, universally useful chair? One main component allows these chairs to successfully evenly distribute the weight and pressure of each individual who might sit on the chair:  poly-foam.

What is Polyurethane Foam

The Polyurethane Foam Association describes poly-foam as:

  • “one of the most versatile manufacturing materials today, with proven reliability and flexibility.”
  • “The most common cushioning material used in upholstered furniture.”
  • “A simple product that is actually very complex.”

We are surrounded by polyurethane foam. It is used in our carpet, in our vehicle seating, in our bedding, in our packaging and in our home and office furniture. Regardless of its overall purpose, the ability of this material to promote product support, comfort and durability make it one of the best manufacturing materials today—and is chief among the reasons that VersaTables uses high-quality poly-foam in the creation of our office chairs and stools.   Combining this product with our expert knowledge of how individuals sit and distribute their weight across a surface, enables us to create ergonomic, sustainable and practical office chairs certain to provide every worker with the best support and comfort.

How We Sit

While the human body sits in generally the same manner, and while most individuals distribute weight across their chairs in similar patterns, pressure intensity across various areas of the body vary from individual to individual.

Accounting for these individual pressure distributions is the goal of any organization that creates true ergonomic furniture. Even small interferences in pressure distribution can have large health and comfort impacts. Understanding why such small variances are important can be illustrated by the following example from the SpielMD organization:

“Although unnoticeable at first, sitting with a wallet in your back pocket will raise your pelvis, offset the balance of your spine, add unnecessary tension and friction within your intervertebral discs and cause pain over time. Also, it is not uncommon for the sciative nerve to run through the piriformis muscle that would normally rest on the wallet. Prolonged exposure to the wallet’s pressure can strangle the sciatic nerve and result in Piriformis syndrome, otherwise known as ‘wallet sciatica’ which will send shooting pain from the lower back down the leg that’s been subjected to the wallet’s pressure.”

Sitting on your wallet is a terrible idea because it interrupts the even distribution of pressure across your body.

We know that for truly comfortable sitting, an office chair must support the pressure distributions of a wide range of users when they sit in an upright posture, as well as when they relax in a reclining posture.

The Ergonomics of Poly-Foam

To this end, VersaTables utilizes a deluxe cushioned poly-foam material in the seating and backing of each of our office chairs. The density of the foam used in our products provides for better spinal support, particularly across the lumbar region of the back.

And because durability and resilience are important considerations when choosing office furniture, our products all meet or exceed industry standards concerning the use of poly-foam. And they do so over the course of their entire product lifespan. When considering the use of poly-foam within the average lifespan of a product, The Molded Polyurethane Foam Industry Panel finds that:

“the long term performance of flexible polyurethane foam has been proven via accelerated laboratory testing and long term use observations. The properties of a quality flexible polyurethane cushioning foam remain essentially unchanged during its lifetime.”

When investing in a quality office chair, you can plan to us to for years to come, without fearing a breakdown in support.

Poly-foam is also a material that regulates temperature, ensuring that your office chair will not trap and retain your body heat, which would make sitting warm and uncomfortable. It is also a material that is moisture and mildew resistant, guarding you from developing allergies and reactions to molds and fungi that can occur in lesser products as a result of moisture build up.

Because poly-foam promotes comfort, support and health it is truly an ergonomic product. And it is one we are proud to use in the design and creation of our Resolve Basic task chair, Innovation Task Chair, Harmony Task Chair, Mobile Medical Task Stool, Stature Drafting Stool and Deluxe Mesh-Back Drafting stool.

Poly-Foam and the Environment

Additionally, an added benefit of utilizing poly-foam in our products is that this material promotes environmental awareness and is proactive on sustainable manufacturing practices.

As a green-conscious company, VersaTables places the utmost importance on the protection of our planet. Other manufacturers might use non-renewable materials in their product creation and design, but we are dedicated to promoting sustainability and green business.  The type of poly-foam we use in the creation of our high quality office chairs is recyclable. We have high expectations of ourselves and our business partners when it comes to creating products that promote environmental sustainability.

Ever since the 1980’s, polyurethane foam developers have worked closely and responsibly with regulatory agencies and environmental groups to promote public and planet health and safety.

The eight principles of sustainability adopted and honored by the Polyurethane Foam Association closely mirror our own corporation’s dedication to acting as responsible stewardships of the environment:

  1. Reduce solid waste
  2. Host technical sessions to share scientific research about environmentally friendly materials and renewable feedstocks.
  3. Support energy saving technologies.
  4. Support efforts to improve product safety.
  5. Encourage sustainability through product performance.
  6. Educate to support sustainability.
  7. Evaluate environmental and sustainability benefits in relation to human rights issues.
  8. Maintain continuous dialogue with leaders in sustainability.

It is our position that using such eco-aware materials and manufacturing practices serves our organization well in terms of profit and professional responsibility. Adopting office products into your organization that honor these principles will also greatly benefit your company.

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