Office chairs are a workplace staple, with most people spending around 1900 hours in their chair every year. This means that a comfortable office chair is essential to keeping back, hip and neck pain at bay. The right chair can help improve posture and increase productivity. However, the vast array of options can make it difficult to narrow down your choices. To make the process less stressful, here are a few important factors to consider before making your final purchase.
Obviously, the first factor to think about is your budget. The good news is that you can get a quality chair for well under $200, with many models offering excellent value for money. That said, it’s worth investing a little more in an ergonomically sound chair – the extra cash will pay off for your health in the long run.
Another important consideration is your seating position and whether you prefer a high or low back office chair. If you spend a lot of time at your desk, a chair with a high back may offer greater support for your spine and neck. You can also look for a chair with a headrest that delivers additional comfort to the upper body.
The fabric and materials used to make an office chair are also important. For example, you will want a chair with breathable material to prevent you from overheating during lengthy work sessions. You can also find green office chairs, which are made from recycled fabrics dyed with eco-friendly solutions.
Some office chairs have luxury features, like built-in heating pads for those cold mornings. Other features to look out for include the height of the seat and armrests. Most office chairs have different levels of adjustment for these, but you can also buy separate armrests and seats that can be added to your existing chair for increased comfort.
Most office chairs have a base and wheels, which can be adjusted to suit your desk or office floor. For example, if you have plush carpeting, it is best to get a chair with casters that are suitable for this type of flooring. Some chairs have different caster heights for maximum versatility and you can even purchase a chair that can be fitted with a different gas lift height if your desk is higher or lower.
Anyone who works longer hours, such as shift or rota workers, will require a chair that offers extra lumbar support. The lumbar is the lower middle section of your back, and repeated strain from sitting in an unsuitable chair can cause serious injury. Choosing a chair with extra lumbar support is an investment in your health, and one that will pay off in terms of reduced absences and improved productivity.
You can buy office chairs online or from a bricks-and-mortar office store, but it is always wise to try out different chairs before buying. If possible, go to a retail or office outlet that sells the chair model you are interested in so you can sit for a few hours and compare the different features of each.