If you feel achy after a day’s work at your computer, you can likely blame your office chair. The fix is simple: buy a new one. But it’s not as easy as going online and purchasing the first chair you find. You have to be selective about the features to ensure you get that comfortable, ergonomic design that will relieve your aches and pains. Consider the following features that should be present in your perfect office chair.
Lumbar and Pelvic Support
A comfortable office chair isn’t just about adjusting it to the right height and ensuring your hands are in the most comfortable typing position. In fact, your chair’s comfort is primarily about back support. Look for a chair that provides both lumbar and pelvic support. This will reduce strain on your muscles and promote proper posture. This will help reduce back pain while increasing concentration.
Everyone is built differently, and even when our bodies appear similar, our ideas of comfort vary. That means that no one chair position is “one size fits all.” Instead, look for an adjustable chair that you can customize to your liking. Go beyond height adjustments, and seek out an office chair that offers adjustable lumbar support, adjustable arm rests, various reclining positions, and other options so you can rest in a chair that fits your body perfectly.
One commonly overlooked adjustable quality is seat depth. You want your knees to fall over the chair while your spine rests against the back of it. Short individuals often have to scoot forward in their chairs, which means they have to sacrifice lumbar support. However, an adjustable seat depth will promote the best posture no matter your height. As a rule of thumb, you should have about three to four fingers between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
Remember that you’ll be sitting in your chair for hours at a time. You don’t want to overheat and start sweating. That’s why breathable, mesh-back chairs are popular. This may be more your style if you live in a hot climate and the office stays warm or if you’re simply the type of person who overheats easily.
Quality Cushion Material
Pay attention to what your chair is made out of. Memory foam cushions are among the best because they last long and will remain comfortable over time whereas other materials wear out quickly. When you sit in your chair, you shouldn’t sink into the cushion so far that you can feel the base of the chair, so be conscious of how comfortable the cushions are.
Appropriate Base for Your Office
Don’t just think about how your body and your chair work together. Consider how your office and your chair complement each other. For example, if your office has carpeting, you’ll want a wheel base that’s specifically made for carpet. This will reduce strain from reaching across your desk area to grab something out of reach. A swivel base will also help you move around your office freely without straining your body. There are also stationary options available, but don’t buy one if you need to be able to slide around your workspace easily.
Choosing the right office chair can mean increased comfort and reduced pain, which can boost your overall work performance. Try out various chairs — whether at your coworker’s desk or in a store — to see what features you like best, and be sure to read product reviews before settling on your perfect chair. With these features in mind and proper product research, you should be sitting comfortably in no time.