Complete Guide to Choosing an Office Chair

Complete Guide to Choosing an Office Chair

For many people, working from home sounds like a wonderful escape from the busyness of office life, but it can be a struggle to get your home office set up in place. [1] Maybe you are still in the office, in charge of choosing an office chair and other accessories for your desk, and unsure of where to look.

“With features like additional lumbar support and sturdy arm rests, they can make a real difference in daily and longterm comfort.”

 —  Jon Martindale

Choosing an office chair can seem difficult, with plenty of features, materials, and designs to pick through. How can you know, as a consumer, which is right for you, especially if you’re shopping online?

In this guide, Clear Choice Office Solutions will help guide you to choosing an office chair that is right for you, helping you get the most ergonomic experience out of your office life, whether you are working from home, or in your cubicle.

What to Look for When Choosing an Office Chair with Ergonomic Design?

What should you look for when you are choosing an office chair? An office chair, above all else, should be comfortable not just when you sit down, but for extended periods of time.

On average, if you were to combine the total amount of time spent working at your desk, you would end up with 67 whole days out of the year spent in a chair. When you look at it that way, it makes sense to invest in a chair that you don’t mind spending so much time in.

When you are choosing an office chair, look for a chair that has the following attributes:

  • Ergonomic Design

Ergonomically designed chairs are ideal for providing long-lasting cushion and support in a seated position. These chairs eliminate lumbar pain, back pain, and neck problems in combination with the right desk and monitor setup. Ergonomic chairs will always be superior to short-term use chairs as these chairs provide outstanding levels of comfort in comparison, making the workday that much better.

  • Adjustable Height

Always look for a chair that has an adjustable height. Desks can vary greatly in height, and it is important to balance desk height and monitor setup so you are able to sit at your desk with a healthy, upright posture.

If your office chair is too high, you will find yourself craning your neck downwards, resulting in neck pain, and often hip pain. If your office chair is too low, you’ll have back and shoulder pain associated with the poor angle of your wrists.

An adjustable height chair ensures that, no matter what work environment you are in, you will be able to reduce the amount of daily back and neck pain associated with bad posture. Most modern executive office chairs feature these adjustable height levers. These levers should be easy to reach from a sitting position without straining too far to the side.

  • Adjustable Lumbar Support

When choosing an office chair, be sure to look for adjustable lumbar support. A contoured backrest will help give you the comfort and support your back needs, without straining. Your lower back should be supported in its natural arch, so you do not slump or hunch over throughout the day.

Most modern executive office chairs feature adjustable lumbar pads, but many chairs also offer a static option. Adjustable lumbar support is superior in that you can move it to accommodate how far back you sit in the chair, and how much give the seat padding has when you sit down.

  • Breathable Material

The ideal material for an office chair should be made from a durable, high-quality material. A durable mesh is the most popular choice for office chairs because it lets your body breathe when sitting for long periods of time, unlike other materials such as leather or suede.

Office chairs without a breathable material will keep you warmer and sweatier throughout the workday, causing discomfort and storing smells that necessitate more frequent cleaning.

  • Discounts

These features are all necessary for a good ergonomic office chair, but the price can be prohibitive. Consider looking for discounts from the seller or supplier. Many people choose to opt for used office chairs where the chairs are sold on auction, paying far less than retail price in many cases.

For office managers who are looking to purchase good ergonomic chairs for a floor of employees, used office chairs can often be purchased in bulk for a heavier discount.

How Should an Office Chair Fit?

Your office chair should fit well and conform to the contours of your body. If you sit back in the seat of the chair so that your back conforms to the backrest, you should still have about a one inch gap between the front of the seat and the back of your knees. If this gap is not present, the chair can restrict circulation in the lower body and cause knee problems.

Likewise, the seat should allow you to sit comfortably with your knees in alignment with the hip without causing any discomfort or causing you to feel cramped. You should be able to touch your feet firmly to the floor. If you are shorter and unable to touch the feet flat on the floor with most office chairs while maintaining a healthy height to your desk, then an adjustable foot stool will help you keep a healthy level of circulation in the lower body.

Should Your Office Chair Have Arm Rests?

Whether your office chair should have arm rests or not is a point of debate among many officegoers. The answer depends on your body’s natural size and frame. [2]

“Many armrests are too far apart for a petite person’s body, experts said. And in a lot of cases, they’re completely unnecessary.”

 —  Monica Torres

Arm rests are meant to help elevate your arms and provide a place for your elbows to rest while you are sitting at your desk. For some people, however, arm rests simply get in the way, pushing their arms too high up, or pushing their elbows in, making the sitting experience uncomfortable.

If you want arm rests, be sure to get adjustable armrests that can change height, and ideally, change position in the chair. 4D armrests are common in gaming chairs, but many office chairs have this feature as well.

Types of Office Chairs

There are many types of office chairs for you to choose from, each with their own style, providing different designs and levels of ergonomic support and functionality:

  • 24-Hour Chairs – These chairs are made for constant use, ideal for shared cubicles in call centers and in other places where any individual may be seated at their desk for long periods of time. The frames and padding are extra durable with a few adjustable options for ergonomic support.
  • Big and Tall Chairs – These chairs are rated for seating 250 lbs and over, providing extra room for individuals who have larger body frames than the average office chair can comfortably support. These chairs are made with heavy-duty parts to ensure the chair lasts just as long under more strenuous conditions.
  • Computer Chairs – Also called “Task Chairs” these chairs rival 24-hour chairs in popularity in the workplace. These chairs are meant to be at a desk in front of a computer, often featuring a few ergonomic options for baseline support and comfort.
  • Conference Chairs – These chairs are designed to keep individuals engaged in meetings, with a backrest that is slightly forward-leaning and minimal adjustment options, since they are not intended for frequent use over long-periods of time.
  • Drafting Chairs and Stools – These chairs are meant to be paired with a drafting table, standing-height desks or high meeting tables, propping the seated individual up higher to be able to sit normally at the desk. These chairs feature a support ring for the individual’s feet, and a height adjustment for customizable fit to the workspace.
  • Executive Chairs – These chairs are meant to look impressive, typically featuring a high back and plenty of cushioning for the comfort of the user. These are often used at desks where the individual has a personal office, as they tend to take up more space than a computer chair.
  • Kneeling Chairs – These chairs are unique in that they support the seated individual’s thighs at a 60-degree angle, rather than the typical 90-degree angle. The knees are supported by an additional cushion. These chairs are meant to reduce lower back and hip strain caused by many office chairs.
  • Petite Chairs – The opposite of big and tall chairs, these chairs are made with petite frames in mind, often with a lower base and higher adjustability. The backs are typically lower, and the arm rests are higher.

Where to Buy the Perfect Office Chair

Choosing an office chair that is perfect for your needs can be difficult. With Clear Choice Office Solutions, you don’t have to look any further for a great chair and an incredible discount. Shop online and find the option that’s right for your work environment today.

Clear Choice supplies both new and used office chairs in the Houston, TX area, supplying workplaces and individuals around the city with their new favorite office chairs.

References

  1. Forbes
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2020/05/28/home-office-setup-upgrades-that-make-a-big-difference/?sh=6182ff2f3dff
  2. HuffPost
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/office-chair-short-work-desk-chair-height_n_5c37650ae4b045f67689a216
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