Most people who work in an office setting inherently know that having the proper desk chair can greatly increase comfort and lessen the risk of back strain and other undesirable outcomes. In fact, a proper chair is considered the single most important aspect of one’s office space.
The ideal chair encourages good posture and allows one’s arms and legs to rest in neutral positions that decrease the opportunity for stress on muscles or nerve endings. When selecting a chair for yourself it’s important to consider several design features.
The backrest of the chair should be height adjustable to provide adequate support to the lumbar or lower portion of your back. Simply put, the curvature of the chair should conform to the corresponding area on you. You should also note if the backrest includes a tilt feature. A slightly reclining position is considered optimal for most desk work and you might find that you appreciate a chair that allows that option.
The ability to adjust the height of the armrests is an important detail. Verify that they can be moved to facilitate various tasks, including reading, writing, and keyboard use. Proper arm placement can lessen tension in your shoulders and neck, resulting in increased comfort and decreased opportunity for fatigue and soreness.
Ideally, the seat pan should distribute your weight evenly. A curved or waterfall edge can also contribute to overall comfort, eliminating pressure points to the back of your legs. When deciding on a specific model, verify that there is adequate space between the back of your knees and the chair edge. The standard rule of thumb is 3 to 4 inches, or the same number of fingers away from the seat.
Verify that the chair is height adjustable. When seated, your thighs should be parallel to the ground, feet flat on the floor.
Stability and Mobility
If you plan to use the chair in a reclining position, a five-point base can help prevent tipping. In addition, take note of casters and swivel features, both enable mobility and virtually eliminate the need to twist or turn when reaching for items on your desk or surrounding furniture.
Another important consideration is fabric or other seat and back coverings which can also influence comfort as well as durability. Most chairs come in a variety of colors to fit most any decor.
The average office worker spends more time in a desk chair than on a sofa, chair or mattress in one’s home. Selecting an ergonomically correct chair can offer benefits that far exceed the time spent to accomplish it.