How to Choose the Right Office Chair
Whether working in an office or self-employed, most of us will spend 8 or more hours per day sitting at our desks, yet the purchase of a high-quality, comfortable office chair is often overlooked when purchasing office furniture. A good office chair is an essential in the workplace or home office, minimising the amount of stress that sitting for long periods can put on your back, legs and sitting bones. A good chair removes the distraction of discomfort, keeping you comfortable and focused.
Ready to begin the search for the perfect office chair? Here’s what you need to look for.
Make sure the chair is fully adjustable - every part of it
At a bare minimum, an office chair should be able to be adjusted for height, but it’s also really important for the user to be able to adjust the armrests, tilt the base of the chair back and forward, and recline the back of the chair to the correct angle. The best office chairs are those on which you can adjust each element independently; this means they can be adjusted to suit anyone.
Top tip: Have a couple of different people try, and adjust, prospective chairs to see how they conform to different body types.
A chair with arms is better than one without
It’s tempting to purchase a low-cost, compact, armless desk chair, but the inclusion of arms is actually quite important to help take the pressure off your neck, arms and shoulders. Without arm support, the shoulders and arms will have to do a lot more work. When sitting, the arms should be close to the body and in line with the desk. This allows the shoulders to relax, preventing slumping or straining.
Top tip: Make sure the chair arms can be adjusted to sit high enough to support your arms.
Lumbar support is really important
The most ergonomic chair is one that supports your lumbar - the part of your back that sits at your waist - and the best lumbar support is adjustable. Good lumbar support helps minimise slumping and the resulting back pain. If an office chair has all the features you want but no real lumbar support, you can purchase additional lumbar add-ons to make your chair more comfortable and supportive.
Top tip: You back should sit flush with the chair, providing support by maintaining the natural curve of the spine.
Take a seat and check for yourself
Not sure which chair to choose? Then take a seat and check the following, adjusting the chair where needed.
Your feet should be (comfortably) flat on the floor, with thighs parallel to the ground
The seat should be deep enough that you can fit 2-3 fingers between the edge of the seat and the inside of your knee
The back of the chair should sit flush with your lower back and the middle of your shoulder blades
Arm rests should be adjusted so that your arms sit naturally at your keyboard
Top tip: Make sure you test and adjust your desk chair while sitting at a desk.
Choosing office furniture and finding furniture online is a whole lot easier with our huge range of office chairs and other office furniture. Need more office furniture tips? Check out our other handy blog posts.
Feature Image Credit: Haldane Martin.