Guide to Choosing the Right Office Chair
A good, supportive office chair prevents fatigue and discomfort that can come from sitting in the same chair for hours on end.
Studies have shown that comfortable employees are more productive and contribute to a more positive work environment than uncomfortable employees.
A good ergonomic chair need not to cost millions. It should, however include the following features:
Adjustable Seat Height
The chair should be fitted with an adjustable height mechanism. Normally this is done by an adjustment lever. You need to reach the lever of the seat even when you are sitting on it. A seat height that ranges from about 45cm to 55cm from the floor will work for most people. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a foot rest, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk. For the taller or shorter employee, you might want to also consider a height adjustable desk.
The lumbar spine in the lower back has an inward curve. Sitting for long periods without support for this curve can lead to slouching, which flattens the curve, straining the spine. The chair should therefore have some lumbar support so that the individual gets a proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back. The lumbar support can come built in, inflatable or an adjustable height lever.
Adequate Seat Pan
The chair’s seat should be broad and deep enough to fit your hips and thighs comfortably. Some models of chair come in different sizes, to suit different sized people. The vast majority of the population will be fine with a seat width of 45cm to 55cm. However, some may require a chair that supports more weight as well. Ideally, a seat slider would ensure that the seat depth is enough for you. Also, the forward or backward tilt of the chair should be adjustable.
The seat and back of the chair should be padded enough to maintain comfort when used for extended periods of time. It should be durable enough not to warp after sitting on it for a while. A poorly cushioned office chair will have a dip in the middle and can get uncomfortable as time goes on.
An ergonomic chair armrest should be contoured, height adjustable, and should allow your arms to rest comfortably with the shoulders relaxed. The elbows and lower arms should rest naturally, and you should not lean forward when typing.
Swivel and Castors
Having the swivel mechanism on your office task chair will enable you to move freely than having a chair on cantilever frames. It prevents you from straining and over stretching when retrieving items. Rolling is also important in an office chair. If your office is carpeted, it may be necessary to have the wheels designed for carpet flooring.
The upholstery fabric should be breathable to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting in it. Do not choose a chair just because the upholstery looks nice, the upholstery should also be fit for purpose.
Try before you buy as much as possible
Many suppliers will allow you to have a short trial with a sample chair before purchase. We recommend that you take advantage of this, especially if you are bulk buying or purchasing a specialist ergonomic chair. Purchasing the correct office chairs at the beginning can save your company a lot of money in making the correct decision in future years. The correct chair will reduce musculoskeletal problems, and help to maintain a healthy, productive workforce.