Searching for office chairs may seem like a daunting task, but it is important to find one that you will be comfortable sitting in for long periods of time. The right office chair should allow for easy movement, uniformly support your body, provide long-term comfort, and be easily adjusted and help to properly maintain your posture. Office chairs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, unfortunately not every person will fit comfortably into one every design. If your chair does not properly fit your proportions, overtime you will begin to experience discomfort, which also may lead to more serious problems, such as back issues. The following tips should be considered before buying your next office chair.
Depth of the Seat
The seat depth is important component in the overall comfort of office chairs. If the seat is too small, you will not get the support that is necessary for your thighs to sit comfortably throughout the day. If the seat is too big it will put excess pressure against the back of your knees, which can cause discomfort. To find the appropriate seat depth you should measure the distance from the back rest to the back of your knee. Ideally, there should be a 2-3 finger (about an inch and a half) distance between the back of your knee and the seat edge.
While sitting in the chair, you should be able to sit with your feet flat against the floor. To find the proper seat height; measure the distance from the floor to the crease at the back of your knee, but make sure to take into consideration the type of footwear you will typically wear to work. Most office chairs will allow you make an adjustment of about 4-inches; however, some ergonomic chairs have varying height cylinders that can be used for those who are shorter are taller.
When choosing office chairs, the back rest is one of the most important factors to consider. The shape of the back rest should naturally follow the curve of your back. If possible, choose a chair with an adjustable back rest, instead of one with a back rest that is fixed in place. An adjustable back rest will allow you to position the back rest to meet the shape of your spine. If you frequently experience back pain, it is best to choose a chair with a taller back so that it will fully support your back, neck and shoulders.
One of the most common problems computer users experience is neck and/or shoulder pain which is often due to their arms being unsupported and elevated. The armrests are designed to support your shoulder and neck muscles, but if you aren't careful the armrests may limit your access to your desk or the keyboard. Armrests should not cause any restrictions in your movement or interfere with access to your desk and work area. They should be the same height as your resting elbow height; any lower or higher will cause discomfort. Look for office chairs with armrests that have adjustable height and width to ensure they properly align your body to your workstation.
Overall, the more adjustments you are able to make to your office chair, the better it will be for your comfort. Keep in mind that what feels comfortable one day, may not feel comfortable the next day, so you should be able to adjust your chair as needed.