What to look for in an ergonomic office chair

The truth is, many of us spend at least of eight hours a day sitting in an office chair. So, it makes sense to ensure that your seat is well-designed and offers the comfort you need to feel  content and keep potential aches and pains at bay.

Instead of opting for a basic office chair, why not select an ergonomic design? This type of chair has been specially made to support your body and promote healthy posture while you work. But, with so many different models to choose from, knowing which design to go for can be tricky. So that you know what you’re looking for, here are some of the most vital features of the ideal ergonomic office chair...

Seat height adjustability

To enable you to sit comfortably while you work, it’s important that your chair can be adjusted in terms of seat height. If your chair is too high or too low, you could find that you end up straining or stooping to look at your computer screen, which over time could lead to neck and shoulder pain.

Your chair should allow you to alter the seat so that you can sit with both feet placed firmly on the floor or on a footrest. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, and you should be able to place both of your forearms and wrists on the desk in front of you with your eyes level with the top of your computer monitor.

Lumbar support
To ensure that your back is properly supported, make sure you keep an eye out for designs that offer lumbar support. This refers to the shape and curvature of the back section of the chair, and it’s designed to encourage a natural, healthy position. This feature also provides support to the small and middle areas of your back, allowing you to sit for long periods of time without becoming sore or achy.

Cushioning

So that you feel comfortable and at ease throughout the day, a model with an adequate amount of cushioning is a must. Ideally, your chair should have a cushioned seat and back section. For example, operator office chairs usually feature thick padding that has been upholstered in soft fabric.

Opting for a seat with little cushioning is likely to be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’re going to sit down for the majority of the day, and as a result you may struggle to focus on the task at hand.

Swivel function

So that you can move around in your chair with ease, look out for models with an inbuilt swivel function. This feature offers fluid mobility, meaning that you can access the different areas of your desk without straining yourself, such as reaching for your telephone handset. Swivel functionality means you don’t need to worry about twisting your back.

Seat depth

While it’s important that your chair has a large, spacious seat section, it’s crucial that it’s the right depth too. If your seat is too deep, you may feel the need to shift yourself forward, meaning you lose the benefit of the backrest and causing unnecessary strain on your legs and back. To avoid this, you may want to consider going for a chair that can be adjusted in terms of seat depth. This feature allows you to slide the seat backwards or forwards to suit your leg length, allowing you to sit comfortably.

To help you suss out if your seat is the right depth, there should be about four fingers width of space between the front edge of the seat itself and the back of your knees.

Armrests

While they’re not absolutely necessary, armrests can be an extremely useful feature to have. These supports can reduce pressure on your lower back, as well as ease neck and shoulder tension. Ideally, your armrests should be cushioned and contoured, and it helps if they’re adjustable too so that you can alter them to a height and position that suits you.

However, it’s important that your armrests don’t prevent you from getting close to your desk. The armrests shouldn’t stop you from being able to move in close to the surface. If you find that you have to sit on the edge of the seat, your back won’t be fully supported, so bear this in mind when you’re selecting your chair.

Backrest tilt mechanism

Sitting in the same position for a long period of time can cause you to feel sore and achy, so it’s only natural to want to reposition yourself periodically. Choosing a chair with a backrest tilt mechanism allows you to move with your chair as you shift your weight. You’ll also be able to adjust the angle of the back of the chair, giving you the option of sitting completely upright or at at a slight slant.

You should be able to alter the chair so that the angle between your back and thighs is between 95 and 105 degrees. When you’re using the chair, you should be able to sit with your chest and abdomen ‘open’ rather than in a scrunched up position.

Breathability

To help you stay feeling fresh throughout the working day, you may want to go for a chair design that offers breathability, such as a mesh style model. Designed to allow greater airflow to keep you feeling cool, this type of chair promotes better ventilation and improved air flow. Mesh office chairs are usually ergonomically shaped too, so you should find this seating option provides you with the support you need to sit comfortably.

Castors

If you want to be able to move around with ease, you could go for a model with castors. This feature allows for easy transportation, meaning that you can roll your chair from one area of the office to another, such as in and out of meeting rooms, without the need for any heavy lifting.

For help finding the perfect office chair, don’t hesitate to get in touch. At Furniture At Work, we are perfectly placed to assist you in your search. We offer a wide variety of high quality office chairs with a range of features and functions.

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