We spend approximately 1700 hours a year sat at our desks and roughly 6.5 hours a day sitting down looking at our laptop or computer screens. As we spend a lot of our time here, it makes sense to invest in the correct equipment to ensure that we are not damaging our health. Our primary piece of equipment is in fact our humble office chair! A poor posture over prolonged periods of time can have wide reaching health implications, in this guide we will give you 7 tips to choosing the ergonomic office chair.
Adjustable lumbar Support
Most office chairs will say that they have lumbar or lower back support, however the key to this is choosing a chair with adjustable support. According to concerned websites for instance, Free Your Spine, by having adjustable support, you can ensure that the chair fits your profile rather than the support sitting in the incorrect place and being uncomfortable.
A good ergonomic office chair will have a wide-ranging height adjustment to cater for all shapes and sizes. Height adjustment is important as it will allow you to look at the top of your computer screen, which is the recommended height for prolonged computer work. If the office chair you are looking to purchase cannot be adjusted for height, it is not in the ergonomic category.
When you’re sat down all day, it is possible that you will become warm sitting in the same spot. With a breathable chair, it allows airflow to keep you at the same temperature. Lots of chairs are now featuring this design, with comfortable mesh structures that mould to your shape. The mesh design also has other benefits, it is far more hygienic than the traditional cloth designs, they are very easy to clean as they don’t retain dirt unlike their clothed counterparts!
Adjustable Arm Rests
Your hands are the part of your body that spend most of the time on the desk, to make sure that you are comfortable whilst you are typing, adjustable arm rests are a must. Again, look for chairs that have a good range of movement to allow for all body sizes. Arms should be able to be roughly horizontal to the desk to make sure there is no unnecessary strain on your wrists and hands.
We’ve already covered lumbar support but ensuring that the entirety of your back is supported is just as important. Adjustable backrests move toward and away from you over the seating cushion to ensure it fits your profile for leg length and hip support. Look for chairs that also offer a back that tilt in addition to this. These features mean you can regularly adjust your seating position whilst still maintaining correct support for all of your back. You only have one back, so make sure the chair you purchase is capable of looking after it!
Ergonomics doesn’t stop at the top of your shoulders! If you are doing long days in the office, you want to be as comfortable as possible. Look for office chairs with neck support and head rests. These components are fully adjustable to fit your profile and the additional support can help alleviate further problems associated with poor posture and bad furniture.
We’ve all had to move our chairs to our colleagues’ desk to review something or have a discussion. A heavy chair with mobility issues will make this more difficult than it needs to be. Ensure that the chair you are buying is light weight with good casters, so that pushing it around the office doesn’t become a workout in itself. A light and versatile chair will also help when you are changing posture, want to stretch out your legs or have to move desk.
All these features combined are what defines an office chair as ergonomic, when you are looking to make a purchase make sure that you are able to adjust it to fit your profile and it meets your adjustment requirements. We spend a long time sitting at our desks, let’s make sure that we can be as comfortable and as supported as possible.