Whether we are at home working or in the office, we spend a great deal of time sitting on an office chair. But sitting on a chair that is low quality and does not feel comfortable for you can affect your productivity and worse, your health. It can cause bad sitting posture that later on could develop to back problems. That is why, it is important to have an office chair that is ergonomic, provides optimum comfort and prevent stress or injury.
There is no single ergonomic chair that works for everyone, but there are common factors to look for that make a great ergonomic office chair. To provide maximum comfort, a chair should be able to adjust fully to your built, preference and movement.
Factors to Consider in an Ergonomic Office Chair
1. Adjustable Seat Height
Since our heights and the tables we are working on vary from one to another, having an office chair that could be easily adjusted is important to have. You don’t want to have your feet hanging from a chair that is too high, or sit on a chair higher than your desk. You will slouch over your table while working and that is definitely not good for your back and spine! So an adjustable seat that can go up from around 16 to 21 off the floor should be okay for most users. To make it easier and more convenient, a pneumatic adjustment lever is best present with the chair. This way, you can easily adjust the height of the seat without having to hassle yourself from needing to disassemble the chair to adjust it to a height suited for you.
Lumbar support helps reduce, if not prevent, lower back pain to surface from sitting too long or from sitting on a chair that doesn’t have proper support to your back even if you only sit on it for few hours. A good lumbar support follows the contours of your back. If you sit on a chair with proper lumbar support, it would fit your back naturally. It wouldn’t feel like it is forcing you or putting you in an awkward position, that could result to compounding back problems. Aside from having a lumbar support, an ergonomic chair could even has a lumbar adjustment. Since we don’t have the same height, the adjustment allows any user to sit on it and have the proper fit and support for the inward curve of our lower back.
3.Backrest and Its Depth
If the depth of the chair is too deep, it will be hard for you to rest your back against the chair while working. If you force yourself to lean your back to the chair while far away from your desk, you end up sitting in an awkward position and strain your back. You might as well don’t use the back of the chair at all. Likewise, if the depth is too little, the back of the chair would feel like it’s leaning forward and force you to lean forward as well. An important note to remember, the back of a great ergonomic chair should be 12 to 19 inches wide and must leave approximately 2 to 4 inches between the back of your knees and the seat of the chair. The seat’s forward and backward tilt should also be adjustable to follow your movement when you rest back and lean forward.
The chair needs to have appropriate width and depth to accommodate anyone and let them sit comfortably. You don’t want to feel too cramped on your chair or feel like the chair is way too big for you. Standard width of a seat usually falls between 17 to 20 inches.
Armrests that are adjustable are ideal for an ergonomic chair. This allows the arms of any user to rest comfortably and shoulders relaxed. This way it will not make you feel like you are forcing yourself to place your arms on its armrests. If the seat is too wide, the armrests will be too far apart and be uncomfortable for you to even use the chair’s armrests. It is good to know that the elbow and lower arms should rest lightly and the forearm should not rest on the armrest while typing on your keyboard or working on your desk.
The seat and back of the chair should have enough padding to let you sit for a long hours and still feel comfortable. Having to sit on almost no padding feels like you are sitting on a hard wood and that is not very pleasant. When it comes to choosing between fabric and leather, this depends on your preference. But if you would ask me, I would recommend a mesh back for breathability. Seat can be either made of padded mesh or leather.
It is a given fact that office chair should swivel. It only matters whether the chair could easily and smoothly rotate so you can easily sit on and out of the chair and reach different areas of your desk without straining too much.
To round it up, the best ergonomic chairs are fully adjustable to your body and movement; thus, preventing you from straining and getting the optimum support for your body. Ergonomic chairs tend to cost more compared to traditional ones. But that is only because these chairs have more functionality and better support. In the long run, this is worth the investment!
If you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend you to check and consider the Eurotech ErgoHuman and Aeron Chair by Herman Miller.