Man is a very mobile animal, always on the move from place to place. In fact, even from the earliest survival activities such as hunting, gathering and fishing, we can see we always love to be on the move.
However, times have changed and someone has to man that desk. That someone is you, or your employees. That is why you need the best ergonomic design office chair to enhance comfort at the workplace.
If you work in the office, in your lifetime, you will sit down for about 90,000 hours. Not cool at all! That is a long time. The one thing you should do is to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Only an ergonomic chair can improve your comfort. This is a well-known fact and that is why we have chairs with many ergonomic features.
Today, all workplaces are being redesigned to be holistically ergonomic. This includes investing in furniture such as standing desks, ergonomic stools and chairs. However, of all the office furniture, buying ergonomic office chairs for your employees features at the very top and there are no two ways about this.
What makes the ergonomic design office chair truly ergonomic?
If it is your first time to buy an ergonomic office chair, you might be tempted to buy just anything that you come across. However, know that the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most. Save yourself the pains of a bad chair by choosing one that has a true ergonomic design.
Good design is not just about height, armrests and backrest!
Many things, such as the height of the chair, armrests, comfort and so on make the chair truly ergonomic. But as it turns out, these are just a few of the things that you should look for. There are other features to consider if you want a chair that is truly ergonomic.
You cannot tell whether a chair is truly ergonomic just by looking at it. You can only tell by testing it. However, how do you test a chair when you are buying it online?
It is not possible, but you can watch videos of the same and when you order it, always make sure there is a return policy in place.
This should be flexible. For example, when you buy any item from amazon.com, you get a return period of 30 days. That would be enough time to know whether the chair is truly ergonomic.
If the design of the chair does not tickle your fancy, you can return it for a refund or a replacement. Of course, return policies are governed by certain terms and conditions. Read them first.
Important features that enhance ergonomic design in office chair
Office chair height
Height is very important in a chair. It is one of the factors making a chair design truly ergonomic. Thankfully, it is adjustable. One chair can fit people of different heights because they can just adjust the height.
You will know the best height of the chair for you by considering a few things:
- One, your feet should be flat on the ground when you are seated down
- Two, your thighs should be parallel to the floor
- Three, you should make sure that you are not feeling any pressure on the back of your knees
- Four, you should also be able to reach the computer without stretching at all
- Five, you should also be able to see the computer keeping your head straight.
If you have to bend down or lift your head up, then it means you are not positioned right. You may have to lower or raise the height of your computer as need be to be able to keep your head straight when working.
Should be easy to adjust height
It should be easy to adjust the height of the chair too. If it is truly ergonomic, the one-touch pneumatic control should be easy to operate. You do not need to get out of the chair to adjust the height. You just need to rise just a bit when increasing the height and pull the lever. To lower the height, you do not need to get up at all.
As you worry about the height of the chair, it is also important to think about the height of the desk that you will be using. If you are tall, a short desk can force you to lower the chair more than you need to and that would be torture to you.
If you are buying the chairs for your employees, ask them what they would like so that you get bigger chairs for those with bigger frames and vice versa.
Knees and hips should be aligned
As you sit down, make sure your knees are not rising above your hips. That is what a short chair does to you. If that happens, then it means that your exert more pressure on your lower back region on account of the weight being pushed backwards.
If you have to step on the floor with the balls of your feet because of the chair being too high, your blood circulation to the legs will be affected. It may even lead to muscle cramps every now and then.
As you can see here, there is no respite when it comes to the height of the chair. You have to get is just right.
The depth of the seat
If you look at all ergonomic office chairs, you will notice the curve on the backrest, which looks as if it was designed to resist/push against your back. That is because the chair is designed to encourage your spine to adapt its nature curve all the time.
What makes a good seat?
A good seat is the one that appears sunken a bit in the rear. Such a seat forces you to lean backwards when you sit down. It also forces you to keep your spine aligned to the curve of the backrest.
However, it should not be sunk deeper than necessary - just a little degree. You should also get a chair that has an adjustable seat that you can slide outwards or inwards depending on the length of your thighs.
Do not pull the seat out too much. That could force you to move forward further away from the backrest so that your feet can reach the floor properly. In that case, your back would not be able to rest on the backrest.
Just take time to find the right adjustments and then make them accordingly. If you have to use a seat that was being used by someone else, adjust it to fit your stature. That is why ergonomic chairs come with adjustable features so that different people can use the same chairs.
Keep a gap between backs of knees and seat edge
For a good sitting posture, always make sure there is some distance between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat.
The edge of the seat should curve downwards so that the back of your knees is not pressed to the edge at all. This is called waterfall design, best for people who sit for long hours on end.
You want the seat to be firm, but soft at the same time. However, if the seat is too firm, you may feel a bit uncomfortable on the chair especially after working for long hours on it. At the same time, you do not want it to be too soft as your back can dig in hard.
The office chair recline
This is one of the most important features of an ergonomic chair design. Your chair must be able to recline in such a way that you can still be able to see your computer and reach your desk comfortably.
What this means is that the chair should not recline all at once. Rather, it should recline little by little to allow you to find the perfect angle. This also means that the chair should be able to recline at diverse angles, rather than at just one or two angles.
If you need to take a nap at work, the chair should recline at a bigger angle to allow your spine to relax.
After sitting down for a long time, you need to recline after some time so that you can get the pressure off your tired sitting bones. Sitting down for many hours on end without stretching often causes low back pain.
Even if your chair has lumbar support, it is important that you recline the chair from time to time to relief the pressure off your spine. Sitting down for too long exerts pressure on the L5 lumbar. This is the source for chronic back pain in future.
If you would like to avoid being a victim of back pain in your senior years, protect yourself in your working years. One of the best ways to do this is to use a good chair.
This is another of the most important features of an ergonomic chair design. There are ergonomic chairs that are fixed by design and they are not too bad, only that they will stay in one position. If you have to shift to a different place, you will have to carry the chair.
Good chair casters
Office chairs are heavy and moving one often from place to place can be quite tasking. Thus, if the chair can move on its wheels, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
Thankfully, most work chairs come with casters that can move very well on just about any kind of floor. This makes mobility so easy around the office. You can actually roll on the chair between workstations.
Nowadays, you find that most people work on these huge executive desks. Sometimes, you even have to juggle between computers on both ends of the desk.
This means that you need to move from one end of the desk to another. Make sure the chair has good casters that can even move on carpeted floors.
Your bodily mobility
Mobility on the chair is not just about moving the chair from place to place. It is also about your movement while you are in the chair. Remember, you have to stretch to reach things from time to time. You may also want to wiggle a bit from time to time to find the best position.
A chair should not be too restricting such that the armrest stands press against your hips when you are seated down.
At the same time, it should not be too wide such that you struggle to rest your arms on the armrests. When in the chair, you should be able to reach things on the table without feeling any restriction.
The lumbar support
Lumbar support is one of the biggest features that you should have in an ergonomic office chair. This helps to keep the spine aligned and offers good support for the lower and middle back.
If you sit too long on a chair that does not have good lumbar support, you will be setting yourself up for chronic back pain in future. But contrary to what many people believe, there is more to lumbar support than just giving your lower back some support.
Firm is better
The lumbar support should be firm on your back, but that does not mean it should be hard. Firm means that it should be able to resist giving in to your weight even when you push back against it.
Some ergonomic office chairs come with removable lumbar support that you can move up or down as you wish. This depends on where you need the support most. However, many do not come with movable lumbar support.
When fixed lumbar support is better
The truth is that most people find it a bother to have to keep adjusting the lumbar support. That is why fixed design is always more preferred.
As long as your lower back feels comfortable against the lumbar support, the chair is fine. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable, it could be because your spine has been misaligned from sitting in a bad chair for a long time.
A new chair with incredible support should help set it right.
Most important to remember
You must know that even if you have the best ergonomic chair in an office environment that is not ergonomic, it might not help much.
So as you think about getting that chair today, also think about getting an ergonomic desk. The combination of these two should make your work environment truly ergonomic.
These are just five most important things that enhance the ergonomic design office chair. There are more. However, if you get these features in a chair, you will never regret investing in it. Remember, a good office chair will help increase your productivity at work, will make you productive and most importantly, you will be saving yourself from serious back pain in future.
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