Whether you are working from home or working in the office, you must choose the right ergonomic chairs if your job involves sitting at a single place for a long time, you should invest in a chair that supports your spine rightly. Sitting in a wrong posture for an extended period can affect your spinal health, make your body stiff, and cause your joints to pain. A normal chair does not offer the required support and this is why you should go for an ergonomic chair.
If you own a business and have a team of dedicated employees working religiously for the growth of your company, it is your responsibility to take care of their posture. So, invest ergonomic chairs for them so that their posture is maintained and your team does not suffer backaches or sore muscles.
However, buying ergonomic chairs can be challenging because there are so many types that are being sold. Some can be comfortable for you but some would not offer much comfort. While buying an ergonomic chair, look for the following features.
Stable Wheel Base
The base of the chair should have 5 spoke base because 4 spoke base tends to tip over as you recline back in the chair. Quality casters glide freely over several floor surfaces. Some chairs provide a choice between carpet casters (to be used on carpets), and hard floor casters (to be used on laminate flooring, wood, or tile.
Seat Pan Width And Depth
The chair’s seat pan should be sufficiently deep to support the majority of your upper leg but not very deep that it touches your knee’s back when you are sitting back in your chair. Apart from that, the seat’s width needs to be at least an inch wider than your hips. However, it should not be too wide that you find it difficult to rest your arms on the armrests without stretching them. If the user is largely built, weight capacity is not the only thing to look for. The chair’s weight capacity, as well as seat size, should be appropriate according to their structure.
The seat pan of the chair is rightly positioned when you can put 2-4 fingers between the seat’s front and your knee’s back. This setting would allow you to sit back into the chair comfortably so that your back’s curve is in alignment with the chair’s curve and you can fully utilize the chair’s lumbar curve. Seat adjustment in ergonomic chairs can be done in two ways –
- A lever on the seat (seat slider) that lets you slide the chair’s seat in and out while you are sitting in it.
- A back-depth knob on the chair back, which moves the back of the chair instead of the seat. This adjustment is harder and you may even need a helper.
Seat Height Adjustment
For maximum flexibility, the seat’s height range should include heights both a bit higher and a bit lower than your ideal setting. If you are buying ergonomic chairs for your employees, choose the one that has a height range of 15”-22” so that any person who is 5’0”-6’4” tall can accommodate it easily. On the other hand, you would not need a chair with such a large height adjustment range for personal use.
The seat should also have pneumatic height adjustment, which allows you to adjust the seat height while you are sitting on it. Due to the right height of the seat, minimum stress would be put on your lumbar and knees. The seat should be adjusted in such a way that your knees are lower than your hips, which would ensure that your thighs are parallel to the floor as well as your feet are lying flat on the floor.
Mechanism Of The Chair
The mechanism monitors how the back and seat move. It consists of controls that are usually levers placed under the seat that you can pull, twist, or push to adjust the chair. The types of mechanisms are –
- Multifunction mechanism – This is preferred because of the various adjustability it offers. You can adjust the seat and back angles independently of one another as well as the setting of the tilt. You can even lock the chair into numerous positions.
- Synchro-tilt Mechanism – In this, the back and seat of the chair are linked and tilt as you lean back. This kind of chair should have a flexible front seat edge or waterfall front otherwise it would press into the back of your thighs while reclining.
- Dynamic – In this mechanism, the seat will shift forward and down when you recline instead of up like the synchro-tilt.
- Knee-Tilt – This type will rock/tilt from just under your knee. Along with the independently adjustable back angle, the knee-tilt mechanism offers the maximum recline. You will find this mechanism in the conference room and executive chairs.
- Task – Task mechanism is the most basic one and adjustments may be limited only to seat height, back angle, and seat depth, or seat height + seat depth, seat height. This kind of mechanism does not offer tilt. You can use the chair with this mechanism in a conference room or home office.
Material And Padding
You will find ergonomic chairs constructed using a variety of fabrics and padding. Mesh back chairs give a breathable feel and keeps your back well ventilated. Leather chairs, on the other hand, provide a luxurious feel and maximum support due to padding but they are not very breathable. You can choose chairs with cloth fabric too.
In an ergonomic chair, lower back support is crucial. Your lumbar spine features an inward curve and if you sit for a long time without any support for the curve, you may suffer from backache and strain in the back. The ergonomic chair must have a lumbar adjustment (depth as well as height) so that every user can obtain the right fit to support their lower back’s inward curve.
An ergonomic chair is designed as a desk chair to provide maximum relaxation while sitting on it for long hours in your office. The above-mentioned features help you pick the right one according to your needs. If the chair is going to be used by more than one person, you should select the chair that features various adjustments including lumbar support, tilt, armrest support, wide seat, height adjustment, etc.