• Tips for Choosing an Ergonomic Office Chair

    Most of us won’t have any negative physical effects after just one day of sitting in a bad office chair, but spending that long in a bad chair day after day after day can have a significant cumulative impact on your spine and skeletal structure.

    Your office desk and chair can be your biggest allies or your worst enemies. This all depends on how they are made. A well made office desk can go a long way. Your chair is even more important.

    Ergonomic Office Chair

    Importance of Ergonomic Design

    Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems in such a way as to enhance the comfort and thereby performance of the person using them.

    Whether you work in a corner office, a cubicle or simply occupy a desk in an open office plan, most people take care to decorate or organize their office in a certain way.

    They spend a great deal of time choosing the right decorations or furnishings but not as much time carefully considering their own physical needs when it comes to choosing office furniture.

    Ergonomic design is an important consideration of office design. Everything in the office – from chairs, desks, leg rests, to keyboards and mice, can be designed ergonomically.

    Ergonomic chairs, in particular, play a big role in work efficiency. They are designed specifically to minimize the stress placed on the skeletal structure when sitting for long periods of time.

    Here are some tips that will help you choose the right one:

    You No Longer Have to Choose Between Function and Style

    To many, ergonomic chairs can seem clunky or unwieldy and don’t fit in well with their particular style. The good news is, ergonomic chairs have come a long way, so you no longer have to sacrifice style for functionality.

    Modern ergonomic chairs are available that are made with high-end materials like Italian leather or ceramic and stainless steel frames.

    Executive chairs offer the same impressive styling as traditional executive chairs, but with the adjustable features that make sitting in them for long periods far more comfortable and better for your body.

    Ergonomic-Office-Chair1

    If you want the best in both performance and style, you can even purchase the most ergonomically designed chair and match it to your personal style with a wide range of slipcovers.

    When you’re ready for a change or want to redecorate your office, just change out your slipcover and you have a whole new chair.

    Aside from aesthetic considerations, the best ergonomic chair is the one that is going to offer you the most comfort and support.

    How To Choose The Right Ergonomic Chair

    One of the key features of most ergonomically designed equipment and chairs is adjustability. That being said, there is a limit to just how much range any one individual chair can offer. Here are some of the most important features in a good ergonomic chair.

    • Five-point tip base: At some point in time, you are going to want to lean back in your chair to stretch, stare at the ceiling or get a better look at an office altercation across the room. A good five-point tip base will ensure you can do all of those things without landing on the floor with your chair on top of you.
    • Adjustable height: You want to ensure you can work comfortably at your desk with your elbows parallel to your wrists and your hips parallel to your knees. Conversely, however, you also want to keep your feet on the floor and ensure the armrests of your chair fit smoothly under your desk. Accomplishing all of this can take some adjusting, so if you are too short to sit at your desk with your arms at a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor, you might want to invest in a separate footrest.
    • Adjustable armrests: Good ergonomic chairs will come with padded armrests that are also contoured to the shape of the arm. They still need to fit neatly under the edge of your desk, however, so they should also be adjustable.
    • Good back support: A good ergonomic chair will have lumbar support and an adjustable back that provides good neck support. The back of the chair should also be contoured to provide adequate support for the entire spinal column, including the lower, middle and upper back.
    • Proper seat pan: The seat pan is possibly the most important feature in a good ergonomic office chair. After all, when you sit, your seat holds almost the entire weight of your body. The seat pan should provide an adequate width, depth and amount of cushion for good fit and comfort. It should also have tilt adjustability and depth (forward and backward) adjustability as well as a rounded front that does not apply pressure to the back of your knees and legs.

    In addition to the chair, make sure you protect your floors from the chair and invest in some sturdy chair mats so there’s no floor damage.

    Conclusion

    A good ergonomic office chair offers you far more than just comfort. A good ergonomic chair will help you avoid back pain and long-lasting health effects.

    It will keep you efficient as you will be able to focus on your tasks, and not the nagging pain shooting down your leg. You can save yourself a great deal of pain and agony by just choosing the best ergonomic chair for your needs.

    Heather-ReddingHeather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.

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