An office chair might seem like a small thing, but it has a huge impact on your comfort and focus during the workday. Rather than buying the first one you see on sale, take your time, do your research, and look for the perfect fit.
Why Your Office Chair Matters
The average office worker spends thousands of hours sitting in their office chair each year. In fact, some people spend more time sitting at their desks than they do sleeping in their beds. This makes the office chair one of the most important investments you’ll ever make.
A typical office chair is made from cheap materials and designed in such a way that it looks good, but provides very little in terms of physical support. If you want to feel and perform your best, you need to invest in an ergonomic chair that can be optimized to fit your body.
Benefits of an ergonomically-sound chair include:
- Better posture. A good office chair provides excellent lumbar support and makes it easy to maintain good posture. This improves your ability to sit for long periods of time and helps you stay loose.
- Less pain. The right posture means less chronic pain and stiffness. Not only will your back and neck feel better, but so will your legs, knees, and wrists. It’s amazing what the proper alignment can do for you!
- Increased focus. When you aren’t focused on pain and constantly shifting your weight or posture to get comfortable, you’re able to focus on the tasks at hand. This increased focus leads to better performance on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, all of these benefits lead to greater job satisfaction. And when you’re more satisfied in your job, you’re also going to be more productive. That’s a win for everyone.
5 Tips for Finding the Right Office Chair
The right office chair makes all the difference in the world. But in order to find the best one for your needs, you’ll have to filter through all of the cheap options that attract most people. Find a top-rated brand and then prioritize the following elements in your search for the ideal chair:
- Seat Height
The height of your office chair is critically important for your posture and support. Almost every office chair is going to have a range between 16 and 21 inches. Unless you’re significantly shorter or taller than the average person, this will work for you. You do, however, want to consider how easy it is to adjust the chair. It’s common for this mechanism to seize up in cheap chairs. A quality office chair will use more reliable manufacturing to deliver a smooth height adjustment mechanism.
- Seat Width and Depth
The width of the chair’s seat should be at least 17 to 20 inches. The depth, which is the measurement from the front of the seat to the back of the seat, should provide enough room to comfortably place your back against the backrest and still have three or four inches between the back of your legs and the front edge of the chair. (It’s also helpful if the chair has a tilt adjustment to let you change the angle of the seat up or down.)
The seat material and padding is very important. Too much cushion will feel like you’re sinking into the chair. Too little support will make you uncomfortable – and possibly hurt your circulation. Every person is different, so it’s a good idea to sit in a chair before buying, if possible.
- Lumbar Support
The lower back of the seat rest is important. It needs a slight outward curve in order to account for your spine’s natural inward curve. However, this is one aspect of an office chair that is hard for a manufacturer to get right “out of the box.” Thus, the best chairs offer lumbar adjustment so that you can fit the curve to your back.
Let’s not forget about a chair’s look – especially if you’re in an office where you meet with clients on a regular basis. Depending on your office design, you may want a leather chair. Or, if you’re less interested in a “designer” look, a simple cloth or mesh option could do the trick.
Adding it All Up
Most people consider nothing more than the price and aesthetic appeal of an office chair. But if you want to find a chair that promotes better posture, reduces pain, and increases focus, you must be far more discerning. Consider the features outlined in this article and make a wise decision.