Purchasing an ergonomic office chair is not as simple as it may at first seem. Working in an office environment typically involves spending lengthy amounts of time sitting in your office chair. The seated position adds stress to the structures of the spine, eventually leading to developing back problems. This is why it is so important to find the right ergonomic office chair, an office chair that supports the lower back and promotes good posture. There are many types of office chairs available in today’s office furniture market, all of which have individual benefits. To help you understand the important features to look out for in an ergonomic office chair, we have pointed out a few factors to consider, hopefully helping you with the decision process.
Height Adjustable Seat – The seat height should be easily adjustable. The seat height should allow the user to adjust the height to a position that enables them to place their feet flat on the floor with their thighs horizontal. The easiest method of adjustment is a pneumatic adjustment lever. Look out for the seat height in descriptions of the office chairs on our website, along with many of the other features we mention.
Seat Width and Depth – The seat width and depth needs to be enough to allow the user to sit comfortably. The depth needs to allow for the user to sit with their back positioned against the backrest. Ideally, you should be able to sit with your back against the backrest with approximately 2-4 inches between the back of your knees and the seat of the office chair.
Lumbar Support – Lower back support is an important feature to look out for if you are looking for an ergonomic office chair. The lumbar spine has an inward curve, and sitting for long periods of time without the appropriate support for this curve can lead to slouching and strains to the structures of the lower spine. Try to find an office chair with good lower back or lumbar support to minimise the strain on your spine, by picking an office chair shaped to match the natural contour of your spine.
Backrests – The backrest of an ergonomic office chair should ideally be able to support the natural curve of the spine, ensuring enough support is available for the lumbar area. The best ergonomic office chairs offer an adjustable backrest, enabling you to position the backrest in a way that suits you. A locking mechanism to hold the backrest in your desired position is also important so the back does not suddenly tilt. If the backrest is attached to the seat you should be able to move it forwards or backwards, if the backrest is separate from the seat it should be height adjustable.
Seat Material – The padding of the office chair should allow for maximum comfort especially if you are seated for long periods of time. A surface too hard will become painful after a few hours and too soft will not offer enough support. A material that lets your body breathe is also favoured; fabric is a good option as well as the many new materials available.
Additional Features you may also look out for.
Armrests – Armrests are ideal for taking some of the strain out of your neck and shoulders. If the office chair does feature armrests, they should ideally be adjustable so you can position them in a way that lets your arms rest comfortably.
Swivel – You should choose an office chair that allows you to rotate easily, allowing you to reach different areas without the need for straining. The ability to move around in your office chair is an important factor almost impossible to go without if you are looking for an efficient option to office seating.