5 Keys to Choosing the Right Office Chair
It helps to think of your office chair as a business suit. The only difference is you’re going to wear this suit for 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 5, 10 or more years. If you wore a business suit this often and for this long, you’d never buy it over the Internet and that’s why you should never buy your office chair that way either.
There are hundreds of different office chairs to choose from and no one type is necessarily the best. Choosing the chair that’s right for you is a personal choice. The chair that feels comfortable to you might be uncomfortable for someone else. While there are many choices and options, there are 5 key factors to consider that will help you choose the chair that’s right for you.
– Size You wouldn’t buy a one size fits all suit and you shouldn’t buy your office chair that way either. The average adjustable office chair was designed for users between 5’2” and 6’3” tall and no more than 250 lbs. If you don’t fit within these parameters, you should take a look at a chair made for people your size. There are several manufacturers that specialize in this type of office seating.
– Adjustability It’s important your chair is easily adjustable. Those adjustments should at least include; seat height, arm height and lower lumbar support. The seat height should be a minimum range of 16-21 inches. The arms should be height adjustable and preferably width adjustable as well. Your chair should also have excellent support in the lower lumbar region and adjust in both height and depth. The spine is curved inward and as we sit for long periods of time and slouch, that inward curve begins to flatten. This can lead to lower back pain. A chair with inward lower lumbar support will help the spine maintain its natural inward curve.
– Seat Material The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is more comfortable than harder surfaces.
– Design Design does matter. You wouldn’t buy an ugly business suit and you shouldn’t buy an ugly office chair either. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some office chairs are better looking than others. Take a look around before you buy and be sure to consider looks.
– Get Fit This is the most common mistake people make when buying a new office chair. Always be sure to you have a professional “fit” the chair to you before you buy it. This means sitting in the chair while a professional adjusts all the controls to fit your body shape and comfort preferences. Once the chair is properly fit for you, it’s also important you “test drive” that chair in your office for at least one full day. Skip this simple step and chances are very good you’ll end up regretting it.
Most of us spend more time in our office chairs than we do our cars or furniture at home. Follow these key buying tips and you’ll end up with the chair that’s right for you.