Most of us probably spend more than 40 hours a week sitting on a chair and working on a computer. Now though it may not really seem anything to be worried about now, over a period of time, it may lead to several problems.
After all, problems such as back pain, spine problem, unhealthy body posture, and many more are common in people who tend to work for years at a job that requires them to sit on a chair for hours every day.
That said, it makes sense to get an office chair that’s not only comfortable, but also helps prevent such health problems. Also, the reason there’s a need for office chairs over the usual ones is simply because the former are designed specifically for people who need to work for hours on a computer while sitting on a chair.
Increases productivity and efficiency
Some ergonomics studies have revealed that using an office chair that’s specifically designed for people who would be spending a great deal of time in their chairs offers many benefits. Besides preventing various health problems such as the ones mentioned above, the right office chair also improves your productivity and efficiency.
This is because you can work much more comfortably in a good office chair than a general basic one. On the other hand, a bad office chair will probably lead to taking a toll on your productivity over time, and may even make you fall prey to various health problems.
How to choose the right office chair?
So without further ado, let us take a look at how exactly to go about choosing the right office chair.
Height of the chair
The height of an office chair tends to be one of the most important factors. Usually, a chair that’s 16 to 21 inches off the ground works well for most people.
This is because such a chair allows you to put your feet flat on the floor, ensuring a healthy blood supply. Similarly, a chair that’s 16 to 21 inches off the ground usually allows you to adjust the height in such a way that your arms are even with the desk. Furthermore, it also allows your thighs to be in a straight position.
These things prevent restricting the blood supply and keep your legs from getting tired or feeling numb.
The width and depth
You should be able to fit comfortably in your office chair. Your back should be able to rest comfortably against the chair, without letting the back of your knees contact the seat pan.
Similarly, it’s highly recommended to have at least an inch’s gap between you and the sides of the chair. However, the gap shouldn’t be much larger, as it may make it difficult for you to rest your arms on the armrests.
Lumbar support is considered to be an extremely important feature of an office chair. All of the good ones come with a lumbar support to support the lower back. Some better ones even come with adjustable lumbar support, which can be a huge plus.
However, you may also want to note that the lumbar support shouldn’t restrict the movement of your arms. If it does, it may still result in problems and you may not feel comfortable sitting in such a chair for a long time.
A great lumbar support helps prevent conditions like sciatica, which can be very debilitating.
This is another extremely important feature of an office chair. Ideally, the backrest needs to be around 12 to 19 inches wide.
If the chair comes with a separate backrest, it must be able to provide support to the spine, with the lumbar region receiving the most support. Also, it should be adjustable and allow you to change its height and angle as per your needs.
On the other hand, if the backrest is attached to the seat, it simply needs to be adjustable and allow you to move it forward and backward. Furthermore, however, it also needs to have a feature (most of the good office chairs on the market seems to be having it) that allows locking it at a particular angle. This will prevent it from going backward after you have found a particular angle that makes you feel comfortable.
Quality and material
It goes without saying that something you would be using for hours every day needs to be a quality product. Similarly, you may want to go for an office chair that’s made using softer but quality materials, ensuring the chair will be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time as well as durable.
However, it should also be adequately firm, but without compromising on the comfort front. This would ensure that it supports you well.
Finally, having a cloth fabric that breathes is also preferable, as it prevents the seat from becoming hot as well as making you feel uncomfortable when you sit on it for hours at a time.
If you’re looking for a chair for only occasional use, fixed armrests may suffice. However, usually, an office chair is required for extended use, and hence fixed armrests may not at all be ideal.
In fact, preferably, they need to be both height and width adjustable, with the minimum being height adjustable. This will allow you to rest your arms and relax your shoulders. You should also see to it that while typing, your forearms don’t rest on the armrests.
Similarly, the armrests should actually be adjustable enough to reach your thigh when not in use. Alternatively, it would also work well if they can just be removed. This will allow you to move your elbows freely when you don’t need the armrests, as well as while not using the chair.
Some of the better office chairs come with width adjustable armrests as well, meaning that you will be able to pull them as close to you as you want. Similarly, you can also push them away from you to suit your body width.
It’s preferable for the office chair to be able to rotate freely, so that everything around you is easily accessible.
Although not all office chairs have a headrest, it’s especially recommended for those dealing with neck issues.
A final word
The information shared in this article should definitely help you pick the right office chair for you. You may also need to figure in your budget, though, and find one that offers the best of the above mentioned features for what you’re willing to pay.