As we are living in a digitally connected world, most of our jobs have become desk-bound so we are spending lots of our time sitting in front of our computer screens. With time this can have a bad compounding effect on our body, especially on our back and spine. Many people develop serious back troubles including herniated disks that may even require spine surgery.
So, whether you are working in a traditional office space or from home, a good office chair is a must-have piece of equipment. One of the interesting facts about office chair ergonomic designs is that people claim they are feeling much more productive and focused when working in a comfortable and adjustable office chair.
What Makes for a Good Ergonomic Office Chair?
There are many types of ergonomic office chairson the market today. However, not all of them have the same design, adjustability features, and benefits. If you’ve decided to invest in one, you need to first get acquainted with some important aspects that are crucial in finding the best design for your needs.
Examine the Chair’s Lumbar Support
If you’re sitting for long periods of time, you need to pay close attention to your body’s posture, and the level of support you’re getting from your office chair. Ergonomic office chairs are specially designed pieces of office equipment to support your lower back and promote good body posture while working. Most of them feature a lumbar adjustment feature so each user can get the proper fit to support their lumbar spine curve.
Evaluate the Chair’s Seat
Since you will be spending a large amount of time in a seated position, you should definitely pay attention and choose a comfortable chair seat. Because of this, you need to look for a seat that is adequately padded to provide enough comfort and ergonomic support. You also need to make sure, that the height of your ergonomic chair is fully adjustable so you can accommodate your preferred height to suit your needs and preferences.
This involves picking a design that allows ease of movement upward or downwards. You’ll also need to make sure that the seat is the right size for you. A good rule of thumb is to choose a model that is slightly wider than your hips to allow better movement and stability. Most types of office chair seats are composed of a unique ’air cell’ dual density technology that can assist in optimal pelvic alignment to reduce the common slouched postures.
Select the Right Fabric
Moreover, you should be aware of the seat fabric. Unbreathable synthetic materials aren’t much recommended. To reduce perspiring which is commonly associated with leather and vinyl fabrics, office chair seats are usually covered with a breathable fabric, such as mesh. This type of fabric ensures fresh air circulation on your back when you sit on it. If you sweat, it’ll quickly evaporate.
This isn’t the case with some other types of materials such as leather. Polyester is another common upholstery fabric that is often used for the manufacturing of office chairs. This material isn’t very expensive and offers enough strength, flexibility, and stain resistance.
As part of picking the right office chair is considering the adjustability of the backrest feature. The best ergonomic office chairs are designed to support the natural ‘S’ shape of the spine, and they have an adjustable backrest feature that allows users to align the curve of the chair with the natural curve of their spine, for optimal support.
The backrest adjustability will allow you to easily recline or adjust the back of your chair which in turn can alleviate an immense amount of pressure on your spinal disks and lower back muscles especially if you are having a job that requires being seated for the majority of your time.
A great ergonomic chair will allow you to rest your arms comfortably and adjust the armrest features of your chair to slightly lift your arms at the shoulders. This feature should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair while you are typing or doing any kind of desk-related job.
Movement and Stability
As we already mentioned remaining in a seated position for prolonged periods of time can cause substantial back pain and other related injuries. However, sitting isn’t necessarily the culprit for all the discomfort you may experience but the lack of movement and the restrictive and constrained body posture. Therefore, in addition to having a comfortable backrest and adequate seating, a good office needs to be able to move and rotate with ease which promotes a dynamic position and ease of movement. For this reason, you need to make sure the chair’s wheels are of high quality as well.
Consider Your Budget
If you are looking to invest in a good quality chair you should definitely consider your budget. There is a range of different brands on the marketplace that are producing high-quality office chair designs. Some are definitely better than others, having many more features available which inevitably raise their price as well.
Some of the best brand names on the market that have become widely recognized for producing high-quality office chairs are Herman Miller, John Lewis, Comhoma, and Habitat. Depending on their quality and adjustability features their price can range from $100 to $1500. Most often some of the best designs can cost around $350 to $800 and come with a 10-year warranty.