Around 65 million people in the United States alone suffer from back pain. More often than not, that back pain is caused by poor posture due to sitting in a poor-quality chair all day. Many people don't realize that choosing the most comfortable ergonomic office chair is an important consideration for those who spend much of the day working from their chairs.
If you don't get an ergonomic office chair, you will inevitably end up with back pain and soreness to some degree. Your posture might even get worse as well. But how should you go about choosing an ergonomic office chair?
Keep reading and learn more about what factors you should consider below.
1. Consider the Seat Height
First and foremost, you should think about the height of the seat when you choose a comfortable home office chair. The height of the seat can actually misalign your spine in several ways. For example, if a chair is too high, you will be forced to crane your neck down which will strain the bones and muscles in your neck.
On the other hand, if your chair is too low, you will be forced to look up at your computer screen. This will crunch the bones and muscles in your neck. Sitting this way may not be uncomfortable at first, but after a while, your neck and upper back will start to suffer as a result.
This is not to mention that straining your neck in such a way is bad for your overall posture. The trick is to find a chair that is at a perfect height to accommodate the position of your computer and work desk. To make things easier, it is best to find a comfortable office chair that allows you to adjust the height of the seat.
That way, depending on your individual height and the height of the desk, you can adjust the position of the seat so that you don't need to strain your neck at all. Ideally, you should be in a position that allows you to face your computer without having to strain or crunch your neck. Keep in mind that besides your neck, your feet should also be flush against the floor.
If the seat is too high, your heels may be lifted slightly off the ground which is not proper posture. In contrast, if the seat is too low, your knees will be too high up against your chest.
2. Lumbar Support
Lumbar support is another essential feature that all ergonomic office chairs should have. Your lumbar spine is also known as your lower spine. This is the part of your back that curves wards and then meets your pelvis.
Many people have trouble with their lower backs because the lower back is a very vulnerable location of your spine. It tends to become irritated and painful through excessive hunching or slouching. If you don't have an ergonomic chair, it will be inevitable that you start to slouch in your seat.
This will only strain your lower back into an unnatural position and will result in lower back pain. A chair with lumbar support, however, can fix this problem. A chair with lumbar support will protrude slightly against your lower back so that this area of your spine will always have the perfect amount of support.
A chair with lumbar support will also urge you to sit up straight and refrain from slouching. So, if you often find yourself slouching or if you suffer from lower back pain, it's certainly time to find a chair with good lumbar support.
3. Chair Depth and Width
Many people don't realize that the depth and width of a chair are actually very important factors to consider when choosing an ergonomic chair. This is because these factors are significant when it comes to supporting the sitter. For example, if the width of the chair is too narrow for the sitter, the sitter will not have very good support and he may even have to sit in an unnatural way for the chair to support him better.
This is also true when it comes to depth. If the depth of the chair is too great, the sitter will need to lean back in an unnatural fashion for his back to hit against the backrest. Or, the sitter will need to sit so far back on the chair that his feet will not be flat against the ground.
Whatever the case, it is important to bring these factors into consideration when choosing.
4. The Backrest
Everyone knows that the backrest of an office chair is a very important component. It allows you to prop your back against it so it is easier to sit up straight for several hours. It is very important for those who need to sit in a chair and work day after day.
There are different backrests to consider and some are much better than others. For example, a backrest should have very good lumbar support, as mentioned before. But besides that, the backrest should also have the right angle for a person's spine.
If the backrest is too extended, the person will need to lean back too far to reach the backrest. If the backrest is too close to the sitter, on the other hand, this will promote the sitter to slouch to fit against the backrest. Ideally, the backrest should be adjustable so the sitter can sit in an upright position that promotes proper posture.
Keep in mind that a good backrest should always follow the natural dips and curves of the spine for complete support and a reduction in spinal strain and discomfort.
5. The Armrests
Armrests are often considered overrated by many and many believe that they are not very important, but this is not true at all. A proper ergonomic armchair must have armrests. Armrests are important because they allow you to prop your elbows on them for extra support.
Without them, it will be up to the power of your own muscles to keep your arms in place while you're working. This can strain your muscles and can lead you to crunch or slouch your shoulders even if you don't realize it. This will inevitably lead to shoulder pain and arm weakness.
To prevent this unnecessary strain, all you need is a pair of armrests on your chair. They should be adjustable both in height and in terms of their angle. That way, you can position them in the most comfortable way to give you the most support.
The armrests should also have padding so that your elbows don't get sore when resting on them for too long.
6. The Chair Material
Many people overlook the material of an office chair because it does not directly relate to the structure and support of the chair. However, the material you choose for your chair is yet another important factor because it indeed relates to the chair's total support and comfort. In particular, the seat of the chair should have a thick layer of cushioning.
This will allow you to sit in the chair for hours at a time without experiencing any discomfort. Padding on the backrest is also important for this reason. The exterior material of an office chair is often made of either leather or fabric.
Both of these options or good and it will mainly depend on your personal preference to choose. For example, leather is not as breathable as cloth but it is more durable and easy to clean. Cloth, on the other hand, is more breathable but it may get dirty easily such as if you happened to spill a drink or some food on it.
Cloth is also more comfortable in hot environments while leather tends to stick to the skin when it gets warm.
7. Swivel Ability
Any good office chair should be able to swivel back and forth without any problems. Why is a chair's ability to swivel so important, you might ask? It all has to do with the sitter's ability to reach different things in his surrounding work area.
For example, if the chair was not able to swivel, the sitter would need to strain himself by reaching for different things around his desk. This is not only time-consuming but it can also strain the sitter's muscles. On the other hand, when a chair can swivel, it will be very easy for the sitter to reach all sorts of things from his surrounding environment.
Even if he needs to reach something behind him, all he would need to do is swivel around and grab it before swiveling back around to his workstation. Fortunately, most office chairs available these days come with a swivel function, but some may swivel more efficiently than others, so keep that in mind.
8. Tilting Ability
Another factor that people often forget about involves a chair's ability to tilt. While this may seem like a minor feature, it can actually play a big role in the chair's total ergonomic score. You might find a chair with the perfect backrest, armrests, cushioning, and so on, but if the chair is tilted at the wrong angle and you can't do anything about it, then you'll never be comfortable in that chair.
If your chair is tilted the wrong way, then this will promote strain in your neck and upper back. It will also position you incorrectly in the chair. The only way to fix this problem is to get a chair that allows you to adjust its tilt.
You should be able to tilt the chair forward or backward with ease. That way, you can sit up straight in the chair without any problems. Not all chairs have this feature, so you should always check if a chair can tilt before you buy it.
Otherwise, you might be stuck with a very uncomfortable chair.
9. Consider the Wheels
The wheels of a chair are quite similar in function to the chair's ability to swivel. While the wheels don't directly affect the support of the chair, they are still very important to the chair's overall ergonomic factors. This is because the wheels determine how mobile the chair is.
Most office chairs have five wheels, but some may have more or less than this. Whatever the case, the purpose of the wheels is to provide the chair with a certain amount of mobility. When sitting in the chair, you should be able to move the chair easily to get to other places around your workspace.
Without high-quality wheels on the chair, you would be forced to strain yourself or get up out of your chair to reach something. This would only be a waste of time and energy which is why it's important to get a chair with good wheels.
10. The Cost
The first thing you should know is that you should never settle for a cheap office chair. While you might be able to save some money doing so, the quality of the chair will not be good. Instead, you should spend the extra money to get a chair that will actually support you and keep you comfortable as you work.
Of course, you should try to stay within your budget when choosing. However, in general, a more expensive chair will be one of higher quality.
Choosing the Most Comfortable Ergonomic Office Chair
Choosing the most comfortable ergonomic office chair doesn't have to be hard, but there are certain factors that you need to consider. For example, the backrest, the armrests, tilting ability, material, and other factors are all very important for making sure that the chair is as ergonomic and comfortable as possible.
To learn more about ergonomic office supplies, contact us here.