Working in an office all day can take a heavy toll on your body if you sit in a desk chair. It's important to maintain proper posture to prevent back or neck injuries. But, how can you know if your chair is ergonomically designed to support your body as it should?
Searching for an ergonomic office chair can be a little overwhelming at first, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. There are actually a lot of considerations to factor into your decision. Missing just one important characteristic of your new chair could cost you your good health.
If you're in the market for a new office chair, but you're not sure where to start, then you're in the right place. In this article, we're discussing nine things to look for before you buy. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Choose an Ergonomic Office Chair in 9 Simple Steps
Choosing an office chair doesn't have to be overwhelming and stressful. In fact, it should be an event that brings you great joy for you will finally be comfortable sitting at your desk all day. This doesn't even mention any pain you may be experiencing because of your current office chair will be significantly diminished if not extinguished altogether.
Take a look at these tips for choosing the best ergonomic office chair:
Most standard office chairs have a seat height of 16-21 inches. Your chair should be adjustable according to your own height and most specifically leg length. Any individual between 5' and 6'4" tall should sit comfortably with a seat height of 15-22 inches.
Proper seat height will ensure that you're keeping your feet flat on the ground. Your knees should be bent at a ninety-degree angle when sitting normally.
The material of your office chair will make a big difference in comfort. Leather and vinyl are easier to clean, but fabric or mesh breathes easier.
The rest of your chair may be manufactured from both metals and plastics. You should look for the chair to have five 'spokes', that is the base of the chair. Most standard office chairs come stock with wheels for easy maneuverability at your desk.
3. Seat Cushion
Remember that you'll be sitting in your chair for the better part of the day. So, you should make sure the seat cushion is suitable. Low-quality foam won't last long, so look for something that doesn't immediately impress when you sit.
You should be able to comfortably sit in your chair for at least one hour with a good seat cushion. It's important to note that a chair without proper padding can cause misalignments in the back and hips.
4. Seat Depth
One of the most important but often overlooked characteristics of a good office chair involves the depth of the seat. If the seat is too long, you may be inclined to prop yourself forward. This can have negative impacts on your lower back.
If the seat is too short, your legs will not have proper support which can cause strain.
A good rule of thumb when gauging depth is to place two to four fingers between your knee and the edge of the seat. If you can fit your fingers in this space, this is a good seat depth.
Especially if multiple people will be using your office chair, you should make sure that all elements of the chair are adjustable. This includes the armrests, seat, and back supports.
A chair without adjustments is not ergonomic at all. Look for chairs that have multiple adjustment options to ensure constant comfortability.
6. Back Support
A good office chair should support your spine from top to bottom. Lower back pain, especially, is a common complaint among office workers without proper seating.
Your lower back should fit comfortably against the lower lumbar support of the chair allowing oxygen to your muscles and blood flow to the brain. You'll be amazed at the energy you have with the proper back support in your office chair.
The best office chair is often the one that also reclines. You should look for a chair that has multiple reclining settings with a locking mechanism. Reclining chairs allow you to sit back from your computer screen while still reaching the keys with good visibility of your screen. Reclining also reduces pressure on your spine and the bones that you actually sit on.
Armrests provide support while working and resting. Your arms should rest comfortably on the armrests so that your forearms are parallel to the floor when you are typing or using your mouse. Your shoulders should be relaxed as well.
Again, your armrests should be adjustable so that you can find the right height for your body.
9. Price Point
Of course, comfort isn't everything. You should consider making a budget for your new office chair so that you can find something suitable for the right price. Don't forget to leave some wiggle room for shipping and installation, if required.
You can find reliable ergonomic office chairs for anywhere from $100 to over $1000 dollars so pick a price that is worthwhile to invest in a proper chair.
Also, consider the weight capacity of the chair. Most office chairs can sustain a weight of up to 250 pounds. Larger chairs can handle anywhere from 300-800 pounds.
You should also make sure the chair swivels in order to be able to reach everything at your desk without straining. You may also like to protect your head by purchasing a chair with a headrest. Just make sure it's sturdy enough to support your neck and shoulders.
Finally, it's a good idea to 'test drive' your new ergonomic office chair before you buy it. This will help you ensure that you're getting exactly the right fit.
If you still have questions about how to find the perfect office chair for your needs, feel free to contact us. We have been designing and supplying the best ergonomic office chairs for over eighteen years.