Take a Seat: Tips for Choosing an Office Chair

Choosing the right office chairs for your work space has to not only fit within your business’ budget, but should also promote healthy and productive employees. If your employees work from a desk, they will spend most of their day in an office chair. So how do you know what to look for? Here are some tips on choosing the right office chair.

FULL ERGONOMIC BACK

Look for an office chair that is comfortable and has a full back. Your back should feel supported. Lumbar support is key, as a cushioned lumbar support helps alleviate back strain and pain. Look for an adjustable lumbar that can move up and down, forwards and backwards, firmer or softer to best fit your shape. Beyond adjustable lumbar, it should also provide a multitude of adjustable positions, such as height, and recline settings. These adjustments allow for customizing to each employees unique physique.

WATERFALL SEAT PAN - COMFORT AND SHAPE

Make sure the seat pan is at least one inch wider than your hips and thighs on either side. If it pinches the thighs, it's difficult to sit right back and take proper advantage of the lumbar support. In conjunction, make sure the seat pan isn't too long for your legs. When it's too long, it catches behind the knees and also prevents you from leaning back against the lumbar support. A waterfall front helps to alleviate pressure behind the knees as it eases the curve down, allowing the knees to naturally bend at a 90 degree angle.

Check that the seat is contoured. This allows for proper weight distribution. The contour and the padding provide a soft edge with comfortable support in the seat.

ADJUSTABLE

Look for an office chair that provides a multitude of adjustments. The seat should adjust multiple directions, including seat height, seat tilt (side to side), seat incline (angle back or forward), and in some cases slide forward & backward. Another adjustment to look for is arm positioning. You should be able to the arms to be at a comfortable height. Seat back adjustments are important to ensure that you’re sitting upright in the chair with your knees a few inches away from the edge. All the adjustments should work together to attain an optimal posture when you’re sitting all day. Also, making adjustments needs to be straightforward and easy to achieve while seated without any special tools.

JOINTS SHOULD REST COMFORTABLY AT 90 DEGREE ANGLES

Once all the adjustments have been made, the angles of your hips, knees, and ankles should naturally and comfortably rest at 90 degrees. You shouldn't have to shrug your shoulders to get your elbows on the armrests. The arm and hand positions should offer similar flexibility rest ergonomically on the keyboard. Strained or awkward positioning of the arms, can develop pain in the shoulder, elbow, and wrists, and lead to more serious medical conditions.

You should be able to easily adjust the pneumatically adjustable seat pan height while you are sitting. Adjust it so that that the front of your knees is level (or slightly below level) and your feet are firmly planted on the ground. You should have no need for a footrest. Your knees are at 90-degree angles.

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