Ergonomics is all the rage these days, and with good reason: why shouldn’t your office furniture promote optimal health and functionality? However, many people find the brave new world of ergonomic furniture to be overwhelming and intimidating: how do you know what to choose? Read on for a handy primer on what constitutes a good ergonomic office chair.
Well-designed ergonomic office chairs come with many adjustable features. And while adjustability enhances comfort, it’s about much more than that. Good ergonomic furniture also has tangible health benefits, such as aiding circulation and preventing back problems. Let’s take a closer look at the essentials of adjustable features?
Every good office chair should be height adjustable. People come in a broad range of heights, and chairs should accommodate these variances. After all, a chair that fits a professional basketball player won’t fit a petite Olympic gymnast the same way. If a chair is too tall, your feet may dangle, causing circulatory problems over time. While pneumatic and gas adjustment levers make for the smoothest means of raising and lowering your office chair, less expensive models may come with manual adjustment. While less user-friendly, this allows you to experience the same benefits at a lower price point.
The same principle applies to seat width and depth adjustment. Ergonomic chairs are designed to support the full range of human functionality, and this takes into account the dimensions of its user — not the “average” user, but the full spectrum of shapes and sizes. Choose a chair with a width of at least 17 inches for best results. In additional to seat width and depth, the best ergonomic office chairs can also be adjusted by forward and backward tilt to promote optimal body positioning.
If you’ve ever sat in a chair with insufficient lumbar support, you may have experienced debilitating back pain due to the strain placed on your lower spine. Lumbar support adjustability allows you to maneuver the chair to optimal support levels at the juncture of the chair’s back and seat.
Speaking of your chair’s back, this should also be adjustable in order support your spine’s natural curvature.
The last height adjustment feature? Armrests. If your chairs aren’t at the ideal level, this can lead to stiff arms and aches in your shoulder and neck.
In addition to adjustability, the best chairs also have adequate safety mechanism in place, such as a lock which prevents the backless from reclining back too far.
Sit and Spin
Attempting to reach things from a seated position in the average office chair can add stress and strain. The best ergonomic chairs have swivel capabilities which enables employees to easily reach important paperwork without stretching or straining. Rolling casters can further enhance productivity.
And speaking of sitting, seat materials are also important. Some fabrics lack absorbency or moisture wicking capabilities. If you find a chair that seems too good to be true, check the fabric. Your ergonomic chair is only as good as the material it’s made with. Cheap quality can not only irritate skin, but also has a shorter lifespan.
Your office chair is arguably your most critical piece of office furniture. After all, you reply on it for upwards of eight hours every day. Ultimately, it’s not just the design of the chair that matters, but how it suits you. After all, the foundation of ergonomics rests on the chair fitting the employee, not the employee fitting the chair. When you do find the right ergonomic office chair, expect to derive infinite and immediate benefits — not only in terms of comfort, but also pertaining to your ongoing health and well being.
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