How Proper Lab Furniture Can Help Improve Lab Productivity

Every variable in a laboratory can affect overall lab productivity, including the way one sits. Lab techs and researchers spend much of their time sitting in pharma, biotech, university, or medical settings and can benefit from seating developed specifically for their needs.

Labs, hospitals, and offices that take wellness seriously can provide ergonomic furniture to help employees be more comfortable, increase productivity, and even decrease absences.


Chairs from office supply stores aren’t necessarily designed or suitable for harsh or challenging lab conditions. Often, these chairs have fabric upholstery, which is not permitted in many lab settings. Time and resources can be wasted when chairs must be replaced or repaired because they don’t suit the workspace. And most office stores have a limited one-year warranty for chairs. Fisherbrand chairs and seating, on the other hand, have a 15-year warranty.


Lab chairs created with materials like antifungal and antibacterial vinyl and self-skinning polyurethane can be easily maintained with readily available cleaning agents. Fisherbrand chairs and stools are made with vinyl that has a closed-pore system that makes them inherently antibacterial. Employees can more easily comply with decontamination procedures — which have become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — when their seating is easy to clean.

Back Support

Consider comfort, back support, and ergonomics when choosing lab seating. Seat height, back support height, and the angle of the back rest can affect posture. Poor posture can lead to injury and pain. One’s back forms an S-shape of three natural curves. When these curves are properly aligned, the ears, shoulders, and hips align in the same plane. Fisherbrand chairs offer built-in lumbar support and backs that are fully adjustable for different height and angles.


Lab seating should be designed for everyday working conditions. Some design features, like waterfall seats that are sloped and contoured, help relieve pressure against the thighs and lower legs. Waterfall seats used in conjunction with foot rings can dramatically improve blood circulation to the lower limbs. Additionally, adding seat tilt can allow for better blood flow during extended seating periods.

Arm Position

The height, angle, and depth of a chair’s arms reduce strain during repetitive-motion office activities like typing or using a mouse. They can also help increase stability when pipetting, plating cell cultures, and performing other lab manipulations. Laboratory personnel are at higher risk for cumulative trauma injuries caused by repetitive tasks: pipetting, using small hand-held tools, or opening and closing vial caps.

Seat Angle and Height

OSHA recommends tilting your seat forward or using a seat wedge when working in a forward posture and making sure not to extend your chin forward as well. OSHA also states that workers should adjust the position of their work, work surface, or chair so that they are seated in an upright and supported position.

Prolonged awkward sitting postures at a microscope, fume hood, biological safety cabinet, or elsewhere can also cause injuries. The correct angle of a seat can help reduce lumbar pressure when leaning forward, as when using a microscope. Adjustable lab seating makes it easier to gain the proper support. Fisherbrand chairs have easily adjustable controls, allowing users to adjust settings to best suit their requirements.


When sitting at higher work surfaces (32 or more inches), chairs with foot rings can help you achieve proper form. If your feet dangle while sitting, OSHA recommends lowering the chair, adjusting the foot ring, or using a footrest.

Lab safety can also be improved by choosing the appropriate accessories for a chair. If slips, trips, or falls are a concern, self-braking casters help stabilize the chair so that it doesn’t move when you sit on it or stand up.

The right lab tools and equipment are necessary for productivity and safety, including the chairs and stools that furnish your lab. Because researchers spend many hours working in sitting positions, extra attention should be given to selecting ergonomic solutions that are built to last. Not only will your work life improve, but the quality and efficiency of the lab will also benefit.


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