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Q&A With Dauphin

HL chats to Debbie Arnoldi-Radford, MD of Dauphin HumanDesign Group, who are specialists in providing seating solutions. Dauphin describes itself as a company focused on Human Design. Tell us more about the philosophy behind your designs. As we see it, design must not be merely an end in itself. We believe that good design must always also make sound ergonomic sense and be functionally advanced. Dauphin HumanDesign Group has been praised by the Ergonomics Society of South Africa (ESSA) for taking into account the human factor and we continue to strive towards office solutions that are not only beautifully designed and crafted but which also consider the long-term wellbeing of the individual. Dauphin's Dynamic Spaces Concept recognises the emerging trends in the work environment, which requires more flexibility in the designing of spaces so as to allow for reconfiguration as and where necessary. We work closely together with the client and our design team to create a beautiful, multi-functional environment, which is both practical and functional. Many of us sit in front of a computer all day. How do we make sure we're sitting properly? To begin with, choose a chair that has the functionality that allows you to sit correctly.  For example, does it have multi-functional, height adjustable armrests?  The importance of this feature is that it allows your shoulders to be relaxed when your arms are resting on the desk thus taking the strain off your neck. Also essential is a height adjustor that allows for you to be seated correctly and comfortably as well as a depth-adjustable lumbar support for additional lower back support. These are all essential components of an ergonomic chair that will assist you in sitting correctly. Other considerations to ensure you are correctly seated are: 1. Always place your feet flat on the floor. 2. Always maintain contact with the backrest. 3. Correct your bearing if you slide forwards on the seat. 4. Avoid extreme bending to one side whilst seated. 5. Only reach down to objects near the floor by bending forwards over the legs. 6. Do not cross your legs when sitting forwards. 7. Practice active, dynamic sitting as often as possible. 8. Train an upright posture without backrest every now and then, provided the chair has an automatic seat tilt adjustment. 9. When standing up and sitting down, always bring the centre of gravity for the extended upper part of the body over your knees. 10. Perform regular exercise at your workplace. Take us through your 60-second seat check. Adjust the seating of your chair in accordance with the operating instructions. When seated, your arm position must ensure that you receive support from the armrests of the chair or the surface of the desk. Check the height of the chair is correct by ensuring the knee and upper body angle is greater than 95° and the seat tilt here is activated forwards in order to prevent any pressure points. Ensure that the counter pressure is correctly adjusted for your chair backrest. This will keep the upper body upright with balanced loading on the muscles. Which of your chairs would you recommend for someone who is sitting in front of a computer all day? I would definitely recommend the Dat-O operator chair. It is the first chair in South Africa to be certified for its ergonomic design by the Ergonomics Society of South Africa (ESSA).  The examination by this national body concluded that the Dat-O chair, renowned for its comfortable seating experience and good looks, is a highly ergonomic chair design with its key advantage relating to the fact that the chair is adjustable according to the needs of the individual. Not only does the chair meet all ergonomic requirements as stipulated by ESSA, the first in South Africa to have achieved this, but it was also praised for taking into account the 'human factor' in the design of the chair. Experts estimate that we spend up to 80 000 hours seated, the consequence of which can be: tension, headaches, backache, impaired digestion and concentration, so for someone sitting all day - an ergonomically sound chair such as the Dat-O is essential. For more information about Dauphin's range of ergonomic office furniture, visit or contact Dauphin on 011-447-9888 (Johannesburg)/021-448-3682 (Cape Town). Compiled by Lindi Brownell Meiring