Computer Chair Buying Guide: A Step-By-Step Guide

07 Apr 2011

These days people spend more and more time on a chair. If you spend hours each day sitting at a desk and using a computer having a comfortable and supportive office chair is crucial. Life of modern man has been dominated by the sitting position, so you'll have to make sure you're safe and comfortable when working at a desk all day. This position creates stress for the spine. To avoid developing a back problem, having the support of an ergonomic office chair may help promote good posture and prevent future problems or pain. The investment of a good office chair can save you from back pain. You'll be able to more enjoy both the hours you spend working at your desk and relaxing after work. Even though the best ergonomic office chair may not eliminate back pain, it is one of the most important steps for reducing it.

The most common health problems among office workers are: headaches and problems with concentration, pain in the neck and shoulders, backache and spine ache , problems with pelvis), pain in thighs, pain in knees and calves. To find an office chair that fits you need to ask yourself a few questions. For true comfort, start by determining how you will be using the office chair. Office Chairs come with a variety of mechanisms that control the tilt angle, tension tightness and a variety of other office chair controls as well. Depending on how much time you are in your chair, and what you are doing while seated at your desk chair, these features can make a huge difference on whether you are sitting in comfort or not. If you want to know more continure reading...

You can prefer some better than other but take some advice before buying a chair!

What is an ergonomic chair?
Not everybody knows exactly what ergonomic means, but it's getting to the point where everybody knows an "ergonomic chair" is better than just some plain old chair.

So, What Is an Ergonomic Chair?
Ergonomics is the study of equipment designed with humans in mind, meant to reduce operator fatigue and discomfort. Specifically, an ergonomic chair should be highly adjustable, including not just a knob for lowering and raising the chair but adjustability in the back tilt and the height of the arm rests. An ergonomic chair should also have a sturdy frame , a great deal of support, especially in the lumbar region, and padding that has some give and supports your body without losing shape. In conclusion an ergonomic chair is a chair that provides comfort to both the seat and back to the user.

An ergonomic office chair should help increase back and neck support to help improve posture and prevent slouching. Employees frequently experience back pain because they sit in their chairs for long periods of time. This increases stress in the spine, neck, arms, shoulders, and legs as well as in various muscles. A chair that isn't ergonomically friendly can also aggravate existing conditions.

There are many types of ergonomic chairs available for use in the office. No one type is necessarily the best, but there are some things that are very important to look for in a good ergonomic office chair. These things will allow the individual user to make the chair work well for his or her specific needs.

What features should a good ergonomic office chair possess?

Seat Height

Seat height should be easily adjustable. A pneumatic adjustment lever is the easiest way to do this. This allows the user to have his or her feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk.

Seat width and depth

A chair seat should feel comfortable when you initially sit down, and should remain that way after you've been seated for a significant period of time. The seat should have enough width and depth to support any user comfortably. The depth (from front to back of the seat) needs to be enough so that the user can sit with his or her back against the backrest of the ergonomic office chair while leaving approximately 2 to 4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The forward or backward tilt of the seat should be adjustable.

Seat material

The material on the seat and back of the ergonomic office chair should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable to a harder surface. Skip the leather. A breathable cloth fabric will be better than any harder material. Make sure that there is enough padding for it to be comfortable for long periods of time. Cloth upholstery isn't as easy to clean as vinyl, and cloth covered foam has the potential to harbor dust mites. However, vinyl-type or leather coverings don't breathe as easily as cloth, which may cause discomfort after prolonged sitting. Fabric is the key to a chair's durability. Look for permeable material that breathes, like the mesh Pellicle material in Herman Miller's Aeron chair, which conforms to the body. If you would like to find more about seating materials you can read more here.

Lumbar support

Lower back support in an ergonomic office chair is very important. The lumbar spine has an inward curve, and sitting for long periods without support for this curve tends to lead to slouching (which flattens the natural curve) and strains the structures in the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) so each user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back.

Backrest

The backrest of an ergonomic office chair should be 12 to 19 inches wide. If the backrest is separate from the seat, it should be adjustable in height and angle. It should be able to support the natural curve of the spine, again with special attention paid to proper support of the lumbar region. If the office chair has the seat and backrest together as one piece, the backrest should be adjustable in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to secure it from going too far backward once the user has determined the appropriate angle.

Armrests

Adjustable armrests are best since they allow user's arms to rest and relax at the right height. Depending on your work style and requirements, you may not need armrests on your office chair, since they may get in your way as you move around. They should allow the user's arms to rest comfortably and shoulders to be relaxed. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly, and the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing.

Swivel

Any conventional style or ergonomic office chair should easily rotate so the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining.

Courtesy sharing by: Staples & Spine Health

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