Since workers spend most of their time sitting, choosing the right chair is probably the most important decision to make when designing your office set-up. Sitting for long periods of time can cause numerous health issues, particularly back problems, so the ergonomic design of a chair should be the main consideration in making your selection. While no chair is perfect for everyone, here are some key steps to take toward picking the proper one.
Chairs need to comfortably fit anyone who will sit in them or be adjustable to fit different users. Comfortable employees are more productive, so it is important to make sure your chair is a good fit for anyone in your office before making a purchase. If a chair’s height is fully adjustable, people of different heights will be able to sit in it comfortably. Adjustments should allow a user’s feet to be flat on the floor with their knees at 90 degree angles.
The best ergonomic chairs have adjustable lumbar support, which allows the user to find the setting that fits them best. It should be adjustable to follow the shape of each user’s spine while supporting the curve in the lower back. This can help prevent everything from minor discomfort to debilitating conditions, such as sciatica. It can also help minimize fatigue.
Most office chairs produced these days have horizontal seat pans, which are the actual sitting surfaces. While this is adequate for short seated periods, prolonged periods require a seat pan that can be tilted forward or backward. Adjustments should allow thighs to be parallel to the ground or angled slightly upward. These ability to make these adjustments can help alleviate back strain.
The fabric of a chair’s seat and back should be breathable, to keep it from getting too hot and uncomfortable from hours of use. A chair should be sufficiently cushioned to support the person sitting in it without them feeling the base of the chair through the cushion. If possible, the cushion should be memory foam, because other types wear out quickly and eventually cause discomfort.
Office chairs should swivel so users can effortlessly reach different parts of their desks. Without this feature, users’ arms can become fatigued from overextension. While most office chairs have a wheel base, carpeted floors make it necessary to have chairs with wheels specifically made for carpet. Rolling chairs are important to prevent strain due to reaching across a desk.
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