If you work on a computer all day, chances are that you have been searching for an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests. Maintaining poor posture while seated on an office chair for several hours each day may result in injury to your lower back, shoulders, arms, forearms, and neck.
The boxes to check for an ergonomic office chair usually include lumbar support, adjustability, rotation, and a head rest. Attempting to sit up perfectly straight at your office chair is uncomfortable and almost always results in slouching, so you need a reclining computer chair to offer a stable recline for comfort and good posture.
But did you know that armrests also play a huge role in maintaining proper posture and preventing office-related injury? They help in maintaining proper posture and relieving tension in your arm, neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
As we explore the topic of armrests, we can now discuss the benefits of an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests, the dangers of poorly adjusted armrests and the two best ergonomic office chairs with armrest features.
A Good Ergonomic Office Chair
Chairs are often allocated the lowest budget when setting up an office environment, but people are beginning to understand more and more the importance of choosing a chair that is ergonomic. Ergonomic office chairs are blessings to all who spend long hours seated. The perfect chair for office workers has lumbar support that supports the inward curve of the lumbar region of the spine.
Buy an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests that has a headrest to alleviate pressure in the head and neck region and is made with breathable material to prevent the buildup of odors and ensure that the chair is comfortable. Another important thing to remember when choosing an office chair is the recline and mobility. You want a chair that can move around and swivel, to ensure that you are supported while moving around in your office. An often-overlooked characteristic of a good office chair is the armrests. Investing in an ergonomic office chair that provides support to your arms is important for preventing injury and maintaining good health while performing your daily tasks.
With the knowledge of what to look for in an ergonomic office chair, we can begin our discussion of armrests and why they are such a beneficial addition.
The History of Armrests
Surprisingly enough, chairs with armrests are not a new invention. Kings and queens, emperors and various other leaders throughout history have always been depicted sitting upright on their thrones, arms supported by armrests. The benefits of armrests were known and utilized by our ancestors. There are no new innovations to office ergonomics, although investigations into the proper design and validation of adjustable arms ergonomic chairs were only done in the last 25 years.
Support vs No Support
Office workers report having discomfort in the absence of arm support, while discomfort is still reported in the presence of armrests that are not adjustable. In instances where no arm support is available, people tend to use the mouse and mouse pad for support. This puts strain on the wrist and can create long-term issues in the wrist, forearm, arm, and shoulder. This warrants the need for adjustable armrests that adequately support the muscles and joints of the upper extremity because everyone is not the same and the height of the armrests need to be amended to suit your particular needs.
Benefits of an Office Chair with Adjustable Armrests
There have been several debates as to whether an ergonomic office chair should have armrests. Considering the benefits that accompany the use of an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests clearly puts this debate to rest. Here are the benefits of ergonomic chairs with armrests.
- Armrests support the weight of the shoulders, which in turn, take weight off, or ease the load on, the back.
- They promote good posture by forcing you to keep your shoulders up instead of slouching.
- Supporting the arms and underarm region can provide more precision and strength for carrying out work.
- Using armrests can reduce the strain on arm muscles.
- Armrests not only prevent pain in the upper extremity, shoulder and back, but can also help relieve existing pain in these regions.
- Not only does the use of armrests reduce the load on the back, but it also reduces the load on the shoulders, neck, and arms.
- Armrests encourage good posture.
- The load on the lower limbs or legs is also reduced.
- Using an armrest can help you rise from and sit down on your chair, cutting the forces placed on the hip in half.
- Armrests help with weight distribution by preventing excess pressure on the seat.
The benefits of an ergonomic office chair with adjustable armrests cannot be realized until they are positioned correctly. Next, we can discuss the dangers of using armrests incorrectly.
The Dangers of the Incorrect Use of Armrests
It goes without saying that a good ergonomic office chair must possess adjustable armrests. This ergonomic chair feature is effective at relieving musculoskeletal disorders, but they only work if they have been adjusted correctly.
Positioning the armrests too high results in pressure on the muscles of the shoulder and upper back. This kind of positioning also makes it difficult for you to reach your computer while being supported by the armrests because the elbows are positioned towards the back. This means that you must lean forward to reach your desk, putting further pressure on your lower back.
If you position the armrests too low, you should notice that there is a need for you to lean forward to reach your keyboard and mouse. This creates poor posture and puts pressure on your lower back, putting you at risk for lower back pain.
The correct way to position your shoulder and arms is at a 90-degree angle, to form an L shape. You want your wrists to be in a neutral position. A neutral wrist is one where your wrist neither extends up nor flexes down to reach a keyboard or a mouse. Adjust the armrests so that your elbows are in line with your shoulders and are not facing forward or backward for you to reach your computer.
Kyphosis is a condition that causes the forward rounding of the back. To prevent kyphosis, or support a back that rounds forward, pivoting armrests are important. This means that the armrests move in and out or left to right. Corrective shoulder stretches and exercises that involve the straightening of the shoulders involve flexing the pectoral muscles at the front and the rhomboids at the back. This entails maintaining proper placement of your elbows and shoulders, which the armrest feature of your office chair can help with.
If you are petite in stature, you may want to check the armrest height specifications to ensure that it can accommodate your height. If not, you can request to have a custom-made chair with armrest height suitable for your stature.
Now that we are able to position the armrests correctly, we can now discuss the things that you should look for in the perfect ergonomic office chair with armrests.
Criteria for the Perfect Ergonomic Chair with Armrests
Before we get into the best ergonomic chairs with adjustable armrests, we need to consider the criteria for the perfect armrests.
Adjustable Up and Down
Ergonomic office chair with armrests must have armrests that are adjustable up and down. This allows for height adjustment. The armrests must be able to adjust such that your arm is at a right angle. If not, the chair may not suit your height or stature, so check the armrest specifications before purchasing an office chair. Being able to adjust the armrests up and down also means that your chair can fit under your desk when not in use.
Adjustable Left and Right (Pivoting)
Armrests should also pivot to the left or right to allow you to properly position your arms and wrists, preventing stress to your lower back, shoulders, arms, forearms, and wrists. Making use of this armrest feature can prevent the forward rounding of your shoulders and help support the maintenance of correct posture while working.
Width for Your Arms
Always ensure that the armrests feature office chair is sufficient to accommodate your arms comfortably. The last thing you want is for your arms to fall off the armrests while you are working. This can be uncomfortable and counterproductive.
Comfortable Armrest Pads
Another important thing to take note of is the material that your armrests feature office chair are made of. It should be smooth and comfortable for your arms. Course material can cause discomfort and skin irritation. Leather is the perfect material for armrest pads because it is soft, has a great feel and is long-lasting. Armrest pads that are too hard can also put pressure on the soft tissues of the arm, resulting in damage over time.
Additional Wrist Support
Although this is not a characteristic of an office chair, it is important to mention. If you work with a computer mouse, investing in a mouse pad that offers wrist support can be helpful in preventing any injuries associated with the repeated use of the wrist joint.
Now that we have discussed the characteristics of the perfect adjustable arms ergonomic chair, we can discuss the two best ergonomic office chairs with armrests.
The Two Best Ergonomic Office Chairs with Armrests
Finding an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests does not need to be difficult. The two chairs mentioned below fit all the criteria discussed previously and make for incredible office chairs that provide the right support for your back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. The ErgoChair Pro and the ErgoChair Pro+ are similar, but the ErgoChair Pro Plus offers a wider range of adjustability. Both armrests ergonomic chairs provide the perfect support for your arms.
1. ErgoChair Pro
The ErgoChair Pro is a great choice for an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests. It provides lumber support, has a backrest that gives a 22 degree recline and has five lockable positions. It is made from eco-friendly, breathable mesh material, so it is comfortable to sit on and provides great support and durability. It comes in different colors and has a modern minimalist design with adjustable features. It can support up to 300 pounds or 136 kilograms and is made from breathable mesh material. One of the best features of the ErgoChair Pro is the adjustable arms for an ergonomic chair. They can be moved up and down and left to right to get those arms to the perfect height. The armrest height range is 11 to 14 inches, and the armrests are made from polyurethane leather, making it both comfortable and supportive.
2. ErgoChair Pro+
If you are looking for even more adjustability than the ErgoChair Pro, your answer just may be the ErgoChair Pro+. Like the ErgoChair Pro, the ErgoChair Pro+ supports 300 pounds and is made from breathable mesh material. It allows even more adjustability than the ErgoChair Pro because it has 11 lockable positions, and the backrest reclines up to 25 degrees. The support that this ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests provides to your back is tailor-made and comes with a five-year warranty. Like the ErgoChair Pro, the ErgoChair Pro+ offers great armrest adjustability up and down and left to right. It also has a polyurethane leather armrest.
Armrests feature office chair are one of the most overlooked properties of an ergonomic office chair. Chairs that do not have adjustable armrests are simply unsuitable for daily use in an office setting. When choosing the right office chair, you should ensure that it is adjustable up and down and left to right, is the right width to comfortably fit your arms and is made from soft material that is easy on the skin. The ErgoChair Pro and the ErgoChair Pro+ are both great choices for ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests because they provide adaptable arm support to prevent ergonomic injury to your arms, forearms, neck, shoulders and back.
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