Posts Tagged ‘Office Seating’

What Makes a Good Ergonomic Office Chair?

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Ergonomic Office Chairs & SeatingIf you work in an office environment, like I do, chances are pretty good that you spend at least 8 hours or more per day sitting. Sitting over extended periods of time can really takes its toll on your body. Sitting in a cheap or non-ergonomic chair can lead to bad posture, back pain, neck pain, headaches and much more. So what features should you look for in an ergonomic office chair? Here are a few tips.

I have sat in a lot of different office chairs over the past several years, some very comfortable and others that led to daily ibuprofen use to relive aches and pain. Prolonged use of dysfunctional office chairs can lead not only to short term, but often long term back pain and other ailments.

While the chair you use will depend on the job you perform at work, I have come up with a list of ideal features for typical computer office use.

Height Adjustment – A chair that sits at an improper height can cause you to tilt your head at unnatural and strange angles, which can in turn lead to neck pains and headaches. I highly recommend using an office chair with height adjustment. This will allow you to keep the chair adjusted to where the monitor is at about face level.

Lumbar Support – If you suffer from back pains and aches like I do, a lumbar support can be a lifesaver. While you can buy after-market lumbar supports for existing office chairs, they can often shift around and cause a lot of hassle. Buying an office chair with adequate lumber support is the best option.

Posture Support – When sitting in a flat-backed chair, it is very easy for the spine to begin to slouch one direction or another, which can quickly lead to breathing issues and back pain. Many office chairs now mold the seat backing to provide posture support by keeping the back straight and aligned. This is often done by providing a deeper channel along the back of the chair where the spine runs and more padding on both sides of the chair to keep you upright.

Armrests – This feature isn’t critical unless you type all day long like I do. Having used chairs with and without armrests, I can’t go without an armrest. For me, armrests help keep my arms supported while typing, allowing me to type faster and putting less strain on my wrists, arms and hands. I have suffered the early effects of carpal tunnel syndrome and sincerely feel that armrests have really helped me out. Adjustable armrests are especially nice as they can keep your arms and hands at keyboard level.

Casters – This may seem like a no brainer, but casters are very important for an office chair (combined with a chair mat). This allows you to make fine-tuned positioning of the chair and is far less hassle than lifting and re-positioning the chair.

These tips will all help you find a better office chair. While these tips cover traditional office chairs, there are also non-traditional chairs that many people claim to love. One of these chairs is what’s known as a knee chair or a kneeling chair.

Kneeling Office ChairsKneeling chairs help promote posture by eliminating lazy slouching and put the body, according to some experts, in a more natural position. I have used these chairs and have to say that I really like them, however, I think they are best suited for home office use rather than long-term 8+ hours a day office use. That is my opinion. Many people use and love them for daylong use.

Another non-traditional office chair is an exercise ball. We have a couple of people here that use them and claim that they provide very comfortable seating along with the ability to build inner core strength. This option is not for me (actually hate it), but again is a huge hit with many people.

At ABC Office we carry a large selection of ergonomic office chairs designed to provide comfortable and affordable seating throughout the day. You can find our entire selection of ergonomic office chairs here, ergonomic drafting chairs here and our entire selection of office furniture here.

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