Whether you have returned to your office after the pandemic or are setting up a new home office, it is not easy to navigate through the hundreds of furniture options. Understanding the world of ergonomic furniture is not easy and what makes it even more challenging is the sheer number of products present in the market. It becomes difficult to narrow your buying options. However, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when you look at ergonomic furniture. When building an ergonomic space, you need to choose the right ergonomic office chair. It is a worthy investment that will offer several health benefits in the long term.
What is an ergonomic chair?
The term ergonomic means to fit the workplace conditions and enhance the capabilities of the employers and employees. It takes a look at how office furniture can be used to complement the human body and thus, build a safe working environment. An ergonomic chair will find a solution to the body pains that are often caused by a standard chair due to being seated in the same position for long hours. The chair is designed to support the body when you are seated and it considers back support, posture, comfort, movement, and the distribution of weight. If you do not use an ergonomic chair, it can lead to bad posture and has a risk of developing various chronic illnesses and disorders. When you invest in an ergonomic chair, it will lead to high productivity and enhanced creativity at work.
What to look for in an ergonomic chair?
You will come across hundreds of chairs in the market that is identified as ergonomic but they may not fulfill the criteria. If you want to take maximum benefit from using the chair, consider the following points.
- Height of the seat
An ideal office chair should have a seat height ranging from 15 to 22 inches from the floor. It is ideal for people who are taller than 5 inches and if the height is right, you will feel comfortable working. You must remember to keep the feet flat on the floor and the knees should be at an angle of 90 degrees. You must not cross the knees. It will reduce the stress on the knees and back. You can consider a chair with pneumatic adjustment so as to correct the height while you are sitting.
The best thing about an ergonomic chair is its adjustability. The chair should adapt to the user and you must always choose a chair that is easy to adapt to. It should serve all the functions and should be comfortable for you.
- Width of the seat
An ideal ergonomic chair has a seat that ranges from 17-20 inches in width. When you sit on the chair, you need to feel comfortable with at least 1.5 inches on either side of the hips. But it should not be too wide that the arms need to stretch to touch the armrests.
- Depth of the seat
The seat on your ergonomic chair must be deep enough for you to sit back against the backrest but it should also leave space for 3 to 4 fingers between your knees and the edge of the chair. Three-fourth of your thighs should be supported by the seat. Hence, you must look for chairs that have a slider, it will let you easily slide in and out when sitting on them.
- Lumbar support
With lumbar support, your spine remains in the right position and it will help stabilise the upper body. It will allow for easy movement while protecting the spinal cord and will also control the leg movements. The presence of lumbar support is a major criterion. The curve on the chair will help divide the weight and will reduce the stress. If you sit on the chair without lumbar support, it will be flat and eventually, leave lower back pain.
The backrest in an ideal ergonomic chair will be between 12-19 inches in width. When you sit on the chair, it must support the natural curve of the spine. The chair should allow easy movement and dynamic sitting instead of a static posture. This will also help increase blood flow.
Now that you know what to look for in a chair in terms of the width, height, and support, you also need to understand the type of material that works best. When you look at the seat, ensure that the padding is made of top-quality foam. If there is low-quality foam or insufficient padding, it will lead to the misalignment in the hips, cause discomfort, back pain, and fatigue. Always opt for breathable material which is easy to sit and clean. You can use a mesh backrest to keep yourself cool and keep the air flowing. It will contour the body and also spread the weight on a wide area.
You must always remember that the armrests should be adjustable and easily removable. The best armrests range from 7 inches to 10 inches over the seat height. When you sit on them, the armrests should feel comfortable and broad so the elbows and your forearms can rest with ease as you type.
The ergonomic chair should rotate and move with ease so that you can reach for anything you want on the desk. The chair should allow easy and convenient movement in addition to promoting a dynamic position. Further, it must be stable. You need to have a chair with a minimum of 5 spokes and ensure that the wheels are of top quality so there is no damage to the floor. Lastly, check the weight capacity before you buy one.
You must keep all of these things in mind when you buy an ergonomic chair. The chair will go through many years of wear and tear so ensure it has a good warranty. Always sit on the chair and see how it feels before you bring one home.