An increasing bounty of research indicates that extended time spent sitting in an office chair is hazardous to your health. And considering that the average employee spends nearly six hours every day sitting at a desk, a worn or broken chair can further exacerbate the issue. Read on to learn seven signs that it may be time for a new office chair.
1. It’s All About That Base
If ergonomics are your aim, then don’t underestimate the impact of a solid base. The National Institutes of Health Office of Management recommends selecting a chair with a 5-point base to optimize movement and minimize your risk of tipping.
According to some accounts, many furniture makers halted production on chairs with four-point bases more than 30 years ago for this very reason. In short, if your chair lacks a five-point base, upgrading can help keep you safe.
2. Padding Matters
While your chair might feel comfortable when you first sit down, the truth lies in how your body feels after several hours of sitting. If your seat becomes increasingly uncomfortable over periods of extending sitting, this may be a sign that your chair’s foam padding is becoming thinner and less resilient.
3. Roll With It
The state of your chair’s casters can affect safety and ease of movement. If your casters have broken off, are uneven, or no longer roll, your chair may lack stability.
Chairs come with all kinds of adjust-ability options designed to accommodate your comfort and needs. When these features stop working properly, the chair is not working to capacity.
All adjustment levers and hydraulic parts should still function as designed. If your chair has broken arm rests, this also indicates that important comfort and safety elements are missing. If you have back issues, meanwhile, a chair with an adjustable seat pans offers back-sparing lumbar support.
5. More Than A Feeling
While safety and comfort are critical when it comes to your office chair, there are also aesthetic reasons to upgrade. If your chair is broken or upholstery has a worn or shabby appearance, this affects how you are perceived by clients, coworkers and your boss. An elegant and commanding chair, meanwhile, delivers an image-boosting impression.
6. Age Isn’t Just a Number
When considering whether it’s time to get a new chair, factor in its age. While quality office chairs are engineered to stand the test of time and can last as long as 10 years or more under normal use and with routine use, the older your chair is, the less likely it is to have modern comfort and safety features.
7. Change Is Good
Sometimes a change of scenery is in order, and a new office chair may be just what the doctor ordered. Even if your chair is still in good working condition, you may find increased comfort or pleasure in a new chair. Considering how much of your day you likely spend sitting in your office chair, swapping it out for one you like better is a worthwhile indulgence.
While a new chair may stretch your budget, doing so is ultimately an investment in your health, well-being and workplace happiness. The seven measures above can help you decide whether to stick it out with your tried and true office chair or sit pretty in a new one.
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