Office Chair Overview
It is no secret that choosing the chair your going to be sitting in for work is a necessity. The reason? If you don’t you will eventually suffer an injury with your back, hip, or butt as chances due to purchasing a chair that does not align correctly with your body.. Let’s face it. An office chair that doesn’t fit you properly is quite simply a recipe for disaster as it is pretty much inevitable that you will get hurt. Everybody is different so you need to find a chair that is compatible with your needs. An ergonomic chair could be a great fit for excessive sitting which is what the next section will be about.
Why choose an Ergonomic Office Chair?
In general, ergonomic office chairs are typically considered to be much more comfortable and help you maintain much better posture than if you were to purchase a regular chair. If you want to see what exactly I mean by that here is an article that shows the science of how excessive sitting makes you unhealthy. Ergonomic office chairs are specifically designed to help resist the effects of sitting and will also help you feel better over the course of a day and could also help prevent injury in the future.
Ergonomic Office Chair Features
In a nutshell, an ergonomic office chair allows the user to control the settings on your chair when it comes to things like how high or low you sit and the angle at which you support your back. With most chairs it won’t be pushing a button on an electronic device but an adjustment that you can manually make with either some type of pulley or adjuster attached your seat. Why would I want to control the features of my seat? If you get a chair that is not compatible with your body then not only will it be uncomfortable, over time it can also lead to injury. The amount of time you spend in a chair versus how long it can take you to get injured depends on the strength of the sitter’s posture and hip bones but it is clearly not something worth playing with if you plan on sitting in the chair over a long a period of time. If it’s not more than an hour or two a week then these features will not be quite as critical. Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing an office chair, which is what the remainder of this article will talk about.
If you don’t get a chair that reclines properly that can cause back injury. Assuming you buy the chair in a store as opposed to online, more than likely this is something you should be able to test ahead of time. The main thing to figure out is how to recline the chair and how the seat is compatible with your back. You want your back to line up with the chair as closely as possible to avoid back pain. If you are using it for an office job where your going to be in a computer for a long period of time it is not a good idea to get a chair that reclines a lot.
Seat height and depth
The height of the seat is really only for people who are taller. The reason you should care about the height if you taller is because sitting in a chair that is too small will increase the chances that you hurt your back or neck since you would have little to no neck or back support over the course of a day. The reason why you should care about the depth of the chair which is how deep the bottom of the seat is, is because having a thicker chair will increase your comfort, make the chair last longer and if you sit in a chair without much depth for a period of time you could eventually get butt or hip issues.
This specific feature is one you may or may not use. Really an arm rest is mostly for comfort. You can use it if your wrists need a break because you’ve been typing for a long period of time, but you can also do the same thing by taking your wrists off the keyboard. You can also purchase padding which can go in front of your keyboard to help out with any wrist pain or possibly even carpal tunnel you may have.
Sitting in a chair without lumbar support for a long period of time can do exactly what you would expect it to do. Cause lumbar issues. The important thing to look for is to confirm the support the chair gives is compatible with your back. If you curvy and your body curves out before buying the chair when sitting in it, it would be a wise idea to sit back in the chair to make sure that you can sit in it comfortably without it hurting your lumbar. After all, who wants to sit in a chair that hurts for 40 hours a week, minimum?
Backrest height adjustment
This is another feature that will apply to mostly taller people. I know from personal experience that sitting in a chair for a long period of time in a chair where the headrest is taller than you can eventually cause back pain, especially if you aren’t sitting in the chair properly to begin with. If you are shorter it won’t be as big of a deal but the main thing you want to make sure of is if you sit back as far as normally sit you can still comfortably rest your head against the seat comfortably. If its not comfortable it can cause neck pain and headaches.
Back Angle Adjustment
The back angle adjustment is important for the same reason the seat’s lumbar support is. If you don’t have your back angled against the seat directly over time you will eventually have back pain and this can be especially bad if you have to sit in the chair for an elongated period of time and the next thing you know it you will be figuring out ways to stretch out your back from sitting in an improper chair or putting some type of a towel or cushion on your chair if you even temporarily have to make any adjustments to your back.
Back Tilt Tension Adjustment:
This one is just as important, if not moreso than the other back features listed in this article. The reason? Sitting in a chair that causes a lot of tension in your back can be a recipe for disaster. That can cause a lot of neck and straining issues especially if you don’t sit the recommended three feet away from your computer screen. Your back will eventually tense up and can cause serious injuries and just like with the back angle adjustment you need to test it out when you buy the chair.You should be able to test this out at the store and if your not generally knowledgeable about office chairs in general you can always get an opinion from a store associate or manager about the office chair’s manufacturer.
Stable wheel base and quality casters
If this section of the chair is not properly put together it can literally make the chair useless without putting on some type of platform and even then it would be sketchy. The reasoning is because if you a put a wheelless chair on a platform that is designed to have wheels then you risk the chair falling off the platform which can cause serious injury, especially if you aren’t especially athletic or have great balance. You want good casters because that is what helps the wheels stay up and allow you to move around the office in the chair.
Choosing the wrong chair can cause serious damage to your back, butt and hips if they are in the wrong chair for too long or not have enough support. If you go through enough office chairs they will eventually become like shoes. You know what office chair manufacturers work for you and which don’t. Then you can go back to the same office chair manufacturers over and over again which can reduce the amount of time you spend in choosing an office chair. Knowing what features of the chair you need ahead of time along with testing out the chair can ensure that the chair you choose will ensure that you have years of comfort while working in your office job or whatever you will be doing in that chair.