You might spend most of your workweek at your desk as an office worker. In the short and long term, sitting in a poor-quality chair can cause various health issues, including back or musculoskeletal pain. So the features of your office chair are key to keeping these issues at a safe distance and enhancing productivity.
However, picking the right office chair is easier said than done because the market offers an abundance of options. A salesperson could easily trick you into investing in a second-rate chair, especially if you are a first-time buyer. To help you, we have put together a list of features that you must consider while shopping for an office chair:
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- Back Height
The back height refers to how far up it will support the back of a seated individual. The lumbar region is the primary focus of a mid-back chair, which usually provides support below the shoulder blades. A chair with a high back offers neck and shoulder support. An extra high-back chair is the best option if you need more back support. Simply put, your back height should match your comfort level while sitting and support specific areas of your body, such as the lower back or the shoulders.
Armrests are a vital feature of all ergonomic chairs. They provide excellent support for the arms and hands. They alleviate the muscle tension that frequently manifests itself when arms and hands are not in the appropriate position.
The feature also relieves some of the strain on the shoulders and neck, which is particularly beneficial for office employees who spend a lot of time using a mouse. Besides, armrests keep your overall posture in check. Lastly, armrests make it easier to get up from the seat since you will not need to use your hips to do so.
Remember, you can only get these benefits if the armrests complement your height. If the armrests on your seat are positioned too high or too low, they may impede your movement and potentially put your health at risk. Therefore, while shopping for a chair with armrests, search for models that enable you to adjust the height. They will ensure that you are always in the best possible position to work.
- Lumbar Support
Five vertebrae make up your lumbar region. They are located at the base of your back, between your diaphragm and sacrum. Appropriate lumbar support helps maintain your back’s natural “S” curve by accommodating your spine’s natural curvature. Look for a chair that offers enough lumbar support by either elevating and dropping the backrest or filling a lumbar bladder. Nowadays, you can even buy lumber support accessories. However, in most cases, you may have difficulty optimally adjusting them. So you are better off purchasing an office chair with built-in lumbar support.
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A chair with a swivel can be pulled, dragged, or whirled to access an object or reach the desired spot. If you have back issues and need a break, this feature could be a lifesaver. As a rule of thumb, if your swivel chair does not weigh at least 25 pounds, there is not enough metal or cloth to make it solid and long-lasting.
- Seat Width And Depth
Anyone should be able to sit comfortably in an office chair, regardless of height or weight. That is where width and depth come into play. Office chairs often have a width ranging from 17 to 20 inches, with 20 inches being the most common. Your office chair’s seat depth (i.e., how far your knees extend from its seat) should be at least 2 to 4 inches so that you can sit comfortably with your knees resting against the chair’s backrest. If either of these two things is missing, you will end up dangling from your chair, which is a feeling that can only be described as uncomfortable.
Opting for the wrong fabric could be a deal breaker. Despite supportive features, your back and legs will eventually hurt if you sit all day on a chair that feels like concrete. If it starts to hurt or induce numbness, you have chosen the wrong chair. Ideally, an office chair should allow you to sink in like a feather pillow.
For increased airflow and lower heat buildup, many individuals prefer plastic mesh weaves. Materials like cotton and linen allow air to pass through, so they should be your materials of choice, while others like vinyl can actually raise the body’s temperature.
People usually spend more time and money on desks than chairs when purchasing office furniture. However, considering how much time you spend sitting in your chair and how critical it is to your entire health and productivity, it must be the other way round. If you are confused about how to buy the right office chair for your staff, this post will guide you in the right direction.