Since we are no longer in the industrial age and most people work sitting at a desk for over 8 hours a day it has become increasingly important to choose the most efficient office furniture for your office rather you work out of your home or if you have an office with employees. Choosing the right office chairs is not just about getting a good price. It is also about getting a piece of furniture that is going to be long-lasting and provides comfort while working.
For example, a person that sits for 5 hours or more will want something in an office chair that a person that sits for less than 5 hours may not need. There are also other things to consider, like back problems. People that have had previous back problems have different needs than a person that does not.
For people that are sitting in chairs less than 3 hours because they are moving around with their work for example General Office Workers, Sales Reps and Upper/Mid-level Management should seek to find a chair that has flexible back adjustments that move up and down, back angle that provides good back support, Tilt resistance that increases or decreases, provides a synchro-tilt where seat tilts at a 2:1 ratio and locks in various positions.
Journalist, Secretaries, Designers and Technical Worker that are using a chair between 3 to 5 hours a day need to have a chair that provides a tilt lock in the most comfortable position, provide back depth that can be increased or decreased, optional arm for the chair and most importantly Lumbar support for the lower back.
People that are sitting for more than 5 hours per day like Telemarketer, Call Center Employees, Writers and Editors will want to find the best computer chair for back pain that provides the most comfortable seat height, adjustable seat angle, knee tilt and free-floating back support.
It is best to evaluate your needs first before you shop for your chairs. Make sure that you ask questions so that you can provide the most effective piece of office furniture for your office.
Remember that you can find an affordable price for what you need and you get what you pay for so cheaper is not always the best route. Look for what you need in an office chair first and find the types that fill your needs then look at the price. You will be sure to find just what you are looking for.
Tips for Buying Ergonomic Office Chairs
Choosing the best ergonomic chair for the shape of your individual body is not an easy feat, but with some vigilant research and the educated advice of others you will find the chair you’ve been waiting for. The tips below will provide you with a basis of what to look when choosing an ergonomic chair, whether for at home or the office.
- Tip #1: All ergonomic chairs are not the same. The saying “you get what you pay for” absolutely applies to ergonomic chairs. Ergonomic chairs range in price from about $100.00 to over and above $1,000.00 and every price point in between. Some will fail in one way or another within a year and some will last a lifetime. Make sure you spend as much as you can if you want to purchase the best, most comfortable ergonomic chair for you.
- Tip #2: Many different users cannot sit in the same chair comfortably. When shopping for an ergonomic chair you need to look for the most adjustable features. This will make it easier to adjust the chair to your body type and if the chair you buy is going to be used by other people it also will make adjusting it to fit their body types as easy as possible.
- Tip #3: Be aware of the size and shape of the seat cushion and back rest of the chairs you look at. Most office chair manufacturers have multiple seat sizes available and they provide measurements of each size so you can match it with your body size. This is the main area ergonomic chairs are different from regular computer chairs because regular chairs usually do not come in multiple sizes.
- Tip #4: Is the height and tilt of the seat cushion adjustable? Most chairs, regular or ergonomic, have the ability to adjust the seat height, but adjustable tilt of the seat cushion is a feature that usually only ergonomic chairs come with. Setting the seat cushion tilt to a comfortable position allows for even greater versatility than height adjustment by itself.
- Tip #5: is the depth of the back cushion adjustable to multiple positions? If it only stays in one place then the chair is not very ergonomic so most ergonomic chair manufacturers build in features for you to adjust the depth, or tilt, of your back support cushion. When sitting for long hours at the computer an adjustable back rest can mean a world of a difference.
- Tip #6: Look for the adjustable chair arms feature and you’ll really start to figure out why ergonomics chairs are so special. Adjustable arms let you change the height and tilt of the arms so they can fit users of varying sizes and seating habits.
- Tip #7: Make certain the chair you purchase comes with a good warranty, backed by the manufacturer. Good chair manufacturers will always include at least a 1-year warranty and they stand behind their products 100%, it’s the less expensive brands that end up costing you more in the long run between chair replacement and your own personal comfort and productivity.
Some of the best ergonomic chairs available today are made by Neutral Posture and VIA Seating, in terms of quality and value. We highly recommend the Neutral Posture 8500 chair as a premium option and the Terra chair by VIA as a great value option.
Ergonomic Office Chairs Can Only do So Much
We as humans are always looking for quick answers to our problems. When we start to feel uncomfortable in our workstation it is natural to first think of things you can buy, upgrade, or replace to relieve your discomfort. Many people attribute back related pains and strains to inadequate seating, and get it in their head that buying a fancy new ergonomic chair will make them more comfortable and productive. In most instances, this is correct. Most computer chairs out there that you can buy at your local office supply store are not adequate for daily use, and a more advanced chair may very well reduce your symptoms and solve your dilemma. However, in some cases your situation may need to be looked at from a different angle to save yourself time, energy and money.
Ergonomic chairs can only do so much. Let’s face it, most of us don’t get enough exercise and sit for most of our day, every day. Regular stretching and exercise is vital to physical health and well-being, and if you omit it from your daily routine you’re setting yourself up for bad things to happen. Keeping a proper posture while sitting down requires work from your back, abs (core) and legs. If these areas of your body are not loose and in shape you’re much more likely to feel pain or discomfort after long periods of being seated at the computer. I’m sure you’ve noticed yourself hunched over your keyboard on many occasions; it’s where the body wants to go without the proper support. When you have a toned and “engaged” mid-section and lower body you will sit up straighter and find yourself hunching over much less often. This will help prevent any back related injuries or discomfort and may save you the frustration of expecting products to make you feel better. Plus, you’ll just have a greater sense of well-being from the exercise and will definitely increase your productivity.
You should still have the proper seating in your work station just remember how important physical activity is to your health and how there really isn’t any substitute for it. One thing you can try to implement some movement into your day is using an exercise ball as your chair sometimes. These inflatable balls range from 55cm to 75cm in circumference and provide what is called an “active sitting” experience. This means that while you are seated on the ball your core muscles are engaged, so you are essentially working out while sitting down. Since you need to slightly balance yourself on the ball to prevent from tipping over your body is forced to use your muscles to keep you in place. This is a great tactic that is even recommended by many chiropractors, but it can be a little intense over long periods so we suggest alternating the ball with a good quality chair throughout your day.
Some of the most comfortable ergonomic office chairs are made by a company called Neutral Posture. Every part of their chairs is customizable so you can build one that is the perfect size with all the features you need. The 8000 Series is the most popular model among computer users and you can get more info about it on their website www.neutralposture.com. If you decide on one of their chairs you should look at ErgoDirectUSA.com when shopping around. They’re an authorized dealer with an easy-to-use website so customizing your chair and choosing all your options is very easy. Their pricing is also the lowest allowed by the manufacturer. Neutral Posture enforces what is called “MAP” pricing on their products, which means all authorized dealers are required to sell the chairs at the same price. This makes it better for everybody, and makes it easier for the buyer because it’s one less thing to worry about so you can just buy from whoever has the best shopping experience.