Many of us spend a good chunk of time sitting in an office chair, whether we work from home or in a brick-and-mortar office building. In fact, those of us that do sit at a desk in an office chair likely do so for 8 or more hours each day! Yet, for some reason we don’t tend to spend much time thinking about the quality and comfort of our office chairs. There’s several reasons for this: cost, availability, accessibility, and other factors play a big role in why we don’t invest in quality chairs. If you work from home, perhaps you don’t want to spend a lot on a chair and think it isn’t a big deal to have a cheap task chair. Of if you work away from the home in an office, it’s likely that your employer chooses the chairs that you and your coworkers have to use. Even if that is the case, being armed with good information about chairs can help you choose a new chair for your home office or help your employer the next time they decide to purchase chairs.
Ergonomics Aren’t Just for Your Keyboard and Mouse
Probably the biggest improvement in office equipment, including chairs, is the incorporation of ergonomics into the designs. If you’re not already familiar, ergonomics are the qualities that make an item functional, comfortable, and supportive. To be ergonomic, products such as chairs are typically adjustable, adaptable, and comfortable. Chairs that are ergonomic usually have several common features, such as a waterfall seat, durability, and lumbar support.
Office Chair or Gaming Chair?
Gaming chairs are actually very similar to office chairs - especially when considering ergonomics. They are specifically designed for comfortable sitting in various positions for long periods of time. They often have several colors available that you won’t find for office chairs. Many gaming chairs also have a recline option that can be quite nice, especially if you’re not actively typing and are reading paperwork or something similar. Gaming chairs are less likely to be allowed in an office environment and tend to run higher than office chairs, but for a home office can be a great option.
Finding the Right Fit
Humans are a unique bunch. We come in all shapes and sizes, right? So office chairs should’t be “one-size-fits-all” either. The height, weight capacity, and seat width should all be considered in relation to your height, weight, and hip measurements. Especially if you’re on the edge or outside of what is considered the “average” size range. This is a main reason that adjustability is so important. It would be impossible to create chair options to accommodate every size and shape so the best way to go about trying to do just that is by making chairs adaptable to each individual. So look for chairs that have at least adjustable height and armrests and check the weight capacity.
Support While You Work
Many office chairs now make mention of lumbar support in their descriptions, and the type and amount of support can vary quite a bit. While some chairs may have a slight arc in the lower back area of te chair, others might have an entire small pillow. If you think you may want a significant amount of lumbar support, such as the pillow, try to find one with a removable pillow. That way if it is too much, you can easily remove it. Another difference in today’s office chairs is the high or low backs and headrest options. Another useful option to look for is tilt if you want some give without a complete reclining option.
The Final Verdict
Office chairs are a personal decision. You’re made differently than I am, so you’re needs are different than mine. However, with today’s market, finding chairs that are adjustable and adaptable are the key to finding the best office chair for you!