Top 10 Features to Look for in an Ergonomic Chair
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Top 10 Features to Look for in an Ergonomic Chair

|Dec 21, 2020

Most traditional office chairs have a variety of colors and designs, but the common issue is that they have a disadvantage of poor flexibility, low suitability, and less support. Using a chair with a full of ergonomic chair features helps workers feel comfortable while working such as: creating a good posture suitable for each person's body, reducing the impact on the spine, supporting your spine curves. The ergonomic chair feature allows workers to adjust the height of the chair so that their feet are flat on the floor or on the footrest and their thighs are parallel to the floor, to adjust the armrests for gently resting arms on them with shoulders relax. Sitting in the right and comfortable posture will help improve health and mental comfort, thereby improving work efficiency.

What classifies as an ergonomic chair?

What is an ergonomic chair? An ergonomic chair is a chair designed to suit not just one but a wide range of body types. It has multiple adjustable parts that allow for maximum comfort and perfect fit while sitting. An ergonomic chair allows for the correct support of your sitting posture, weight, and lumbar while sitting. Using an ergonomic chair effectively may greatly help to realign your body and protect you from future physical agony that may arise from bad sitting posture and imbalance. But exactly how does it do it? Read on for an in-depth explanation of why you should invest in an ergonomic chair and how to effectively use its features so as to reap the ultimate ergonomic benefits.

Photo of classifies as an ergonomic chair features

Why do I even need an ergonomic office chair?

It’s a fairly well-known fact that life in general, has become a lot more sedentary over the past 50 years or so. Jobs that require moderate physical activity have fallen by a sizable 30 percent, while ones that require prolonged periods of sitting have increased massively.

The issue with this workforce development is that there has also been an unfortunate increase in instances of joint and muscle pain, which are undeniably associated with these stagnant working conditions. Hunching forward, improper chair height and other factors linked with inadequate office seating may lead to nerve, muscle, and joint problems affecting the back, shoulders, and neck. Poor seating practices can have an immediate negative impact on the body. At first, it can exert pressure on your spine causing pain in the structures of your backbone. It can then lead to a lack of adequate blood flow in your body leading to diseases like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and unfortunate complications like cervical spondylosis.

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Almost all of us have to work for a living and so many jobs the world involves sitting for hours on end in front of our computer screens, so how do we get around this problem? The answer is actually relatively simple - you can help to avoid many of these issues simply by swapping your more standard office chair for ergonomic chair features properly designed ergonomic seating.

When shopping around for your perfect fit, the best place to start is to understand the features you should look for when deciding on an ergonomic chair, as they can vary massively and some may be more essential to you than others. Let’s take a look at the ergonomic chair features you should look for to ensure that you’re getting the best chair to suit your specific needs.

TOP 10 Ergonomic Chair Features you should look for

When it comes to top-performing ergonomic office chairs, adjustability is easily one of the top features to look for. As no one sits in exactly the same position for eight hours a day, you want a chair that allows you to adjust to various seating positions that are all healthy and good for your posture - this way you’ll truly reap the ergonomic chair benefits. The Autonomous Chair Ergo from Autonomous, for instance, provides a fully adjustable seat tilt, seat height, and armrests that not only provide comfort but also the proper support to prevent any aches or pains that could lead to more serious injuries connected with poor sitting positions.

Watch the video below for an in-depth guide on just how easy it is to get the right fit with the Autonomous Chair Ergo.

1. Seat height

At the very least, for a chair to even be in the running for classifying as ergonomic, its seat height should be adjustable. It is recommended that your seat height should be adjusted to place your knees above or at the same level as your hips, with both feet comfortably rested flat on the ground beneath you.

2. Seat pan depth

Seat pan depth adjustment (or seat slide) is another important feature of ergonomic chairs but is one that people often overlook. Go for a chair that has a 17” to 20” width, and a depth that allows for 2” to 4” between the back of your knees and the seat. This will ensure that your feet and legs can be positioned properly to support your back and help you maintain the correct posture, thus avoiding some of the ailments that come with sitting for hours at a time.

3. Backrest height 

When it comes to ergonomic solutions for the home office. Lumbar support is everything. A crucial component of proper ergonomics. Frankly speaking, a run-of-the-mill back support cushion isn’t going to cut it - it won’t always provide the right type of support you need, so you’re much better off getting a chair that is designed to do just that. No two people are built the same. With backrest height adjustment, you can ensure the optimum support for your back by raising or lowering the lumbar pad to align itself perfectly with the small of your spine. This ergonomic chair feature will keep your back relaxed and free of strain, giving you a healthy spine preventing future pains and complications.

4. Back angle 

Sometimes, you just need to kick back and take a freaking break from it all. A favorite ergonomic chair feature for many, a back angle adjustment (or more commonly known as reclining ergonomic chair) allows you to fix the angle of your backrest to the most comfortable position at any given time. It’s advised that you change the angle of your recline as many times as possible during the day, or leave the recline feature unlocked so that it automatically changes in organic response to your every move throughout the working day. By doing this, you can prevent yourself from sitting with the same posture for too long at a time, which otherwise would result in too much pressure on your spine.

5. Back tilt tension

The back tilt tension on a quality ergonomic chair allows you to adjust the pressure needed to lean back in your chair and maintain effective workflow in comfort. It gives you the opportunity to personalize your experience and set the right level of bounce back pressure that pushes back against you each time you lean back into your seat. Again, no person is 100% alike, and everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to chair rigidity. An ergonomic chair is the only way of making sure your experience is just right, each and every time.

Photo of features I should be looking for in an ergonomic office chair

6. Arm support

The arm supports (or armrests) of an effective ergonomic chair feature should be both height and width adjustable so that you can place your arms and enjoy an organic pivoting plane during typing and editing. This allows you to type and edit comfortably for long periods without cramping or needing to stretch out your arms and shoulders every so often. Ergonomic armrests chair should allow the user's arms to rest comfortably, with their shoulders completely relaxed whilst typing and editing. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly, and the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing.

7. Quality casters

Each time you sit down and get up out of your chair, your entire body weight is being supported by those few little wheels underneath. That’s if your chair even has wheels, and an ergonomic chair definitely should! Fake or cheap casters tend to break easily with use, but quality casters will last and give you the best support with every use. 

8. Headrest

Whether it’s fixed into place or adjustable, a headrest isn’t necessarily a required feature when it comes to chairs that classify as ergonomic. But trust us. headrest makes all the difference. If you’re editing, typing, or reading from your screen displays all day every day, a simple headrest alleviates so much pressure from the neck and shoulders and is an effective reminder of how we should be leaning back into our work chairs comfortably. You’ll feel lighter, more able to focus on the task at hand, and effectively prevent yourself from developing a stiff neck from long working hours.

9. Seat material

The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable enough to sit on for extended periods of time. Working for hours on end most days of the week, having a mesh-like cloth fabric cover that breathes is preferable to a harder surface. If you’re not a fan of fabric-covered chairs and you prefer a sleeker, harder surface, try something that gives you the best of both worlds. Like the Autonomous Chair Ultra from Autonomous. It’s an innovative fishbone design made of advanced TPE material molds ergonomically to the spine and is available in a “naked TPE” option without any mesh fabric cover.

10. Swivel

Any conventional style or ergonomic chair should easily rotate so that the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining the rest of their body.

Is an ergonomic chair really that much better?

Photo of an ergonomic chair features that much better

YES! A huge resounding yes! There are so many benefits that come with introducing an ergonomic chair as part of your home office. Below are just a few.

  • An ergonomic chair helps to maintain correct posture throughout the day, ergonomic chair with neck support gives your neck and back a well deserved rest. Effectively reducing the risk of developing stiff neck and shoulders, it’s advised that your ergonomic chair be adjusted so that your thighs are positioned at a 90-degree angle to your extended spine, and your shins are positioned at a 90-degree angle to your thighs. This ergonomic chair feature helps to reduce any constraints of the spine.

  • Hands down, an ergonomic chair is just so much more comfortable. We often experience uneasiness and discomfort sitting in more standard types of chairs due to pressure constraints on our bones and joints. Developing joint problems due to less than ideal seating arrangements is painful and can end up lasting a lifetime.

  • An ergonomic chair greatly reduces the risk of neck problems. Adequate support to your neck effectively prevents one from gaining stiff neck and shoulders. Consistent stiffness in the neck that is not treated can lead to terrible complications such as cervical spondylosis.

  • An ergonomic chair aids to relieve back pain. Lumbar support provided by an ergonomic chair keeps your backbone free of strain whilst sitting for hours on end at work. Avoid the risk of developing chronic back issues, which are an absolute nightmare to treat. Remember, prevention is always better than trying to find an answer!

  • An ergonomic chair, when used properly, greatly reduces pressure on your hips. While sitting, your hips need to be as relaxed as possible so as to perform their primary duty of making you sit up straight and strong. A quality ergonomic chair feature should allow for complete relaxed placement of the hips, providing the comfort to fulfill daily work tasks efficiently and well.

Watch the video below to see the Autonomous Chair Ergo from Autonomous in action. One of the best ergonomic office chairs designed to prevent any nasty back and neck pain.

When it comes to the health of your body and mind, there’s no point in settling for a chair that doesn’t give you the support and comfort that you deserve during every lengthy work day. If you think about the number of hours you spend sitting in your office chair for work, it just makes sense to get something that will completely support and look after your spine, neck, arms, and legs. Good luck!

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