How long do you stay in the office? Do you need to get up often? Do you need to use the computer as well as do a desk job? Are you tall or short? Do you feel like resting your arms after working for a few hours?
You need to answer all these to yourself and more when you are out to select an office chair. In essence, the chair must be comfortable and not cause any injury.
You would spend hours on the chair jostling with the workload and multitasking. So, the chair must not hurt your spine and cause permanent disability or painful conditions.
It must also be somewhat comfortable to sit on. Sitting for a long time generates heat in the contact areas. A comfortable chair must address this concern too.
You can surely get an affordable office chair with great features but addresses all your concerns. So, what are the features you need to look for while buying an office chair?
12 Things to consider before buying an office chair [Features of a good chair]
1. Ergonomic design
The process of designing workplaces is known as ergonomics. It basically means that the systems and products that people use in the workplace are fit for use. It applies to the design of the chair, table, or anything that people in-office use.
An office chair is said to be ergonomically designed if it helps you to keep healthy, fit, and safe and minimize the risk of injury.
One of the most common problems with chairs in workplaces is lower back pain. This is why ergonomic design is the essential aspect of a chair. An ergonomically designed chair is not just comfortable; it is safe and helps to conserve productivity.
Workshops design ergonomic chairs by incorporating human limitations and abilities into the design. This includes body size, strength, sensory abilities, like vision & hearing), speed, skill, etc.
Swivel is an essential quality of an office chair since it helps to move around a point without actually shifting the chair.
An office chair has to have a 360-degree swivel to help you multitask by facing different directions without shifting the chair. So you need to see that the chair is capable of revolving 360 degrees.
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3. High backrest
A high backrest chair can reduce the risk of neck pressure and back pain. It supports the natural curvature of the spine. In a high backrest chair, you also get a seat with enough depth.
So, a high backrest can help you sit comfortably and prevent injury to muscles.
4. Mesh fortified backrest
A fortified mesh backrest supports in the passage of air and therefore prevents heating up of the back and neck. This helps to sit comfortably.
An armrest is an essential component of an office chair. In a chair with an armrest, you can rest your hands during your leisure time.
Whether you are working on the computer or have to work on the computer for a long time, you may need to rest your hands for some time. An armrest helps in this.
6. Lumbar support
The lower portion of our spine is naturally curved inwards. A chair with lumbar support helps to support this natural curvature of the lower back and promotes good posture.
Without lumbar back support, it is difficult to maintain a proper and healthy posture. When the posture is improper, the lumbar spine and relevant muscles have to work hard to support the natural curvature.
Over time, the muscles tend to become weak, and the upper back and head lean forward to compensate for the weakening of the muscles. To prevent such slouching and also lower back pain, you need to make sure that the chair has lumbar support.
7. Thick padding and soft texture
Thick padding and smooth surface of the seat helps to bring down the severity of pressure points. This results in a comfortable seating experience, even if you sit for long hours.
So make it a point to see that there are thick padding and soft texture.
8. Can accommodate heavy users
Even if you are not counted among the heavy people, you need to see that the chair can accommodate heavy people. Basically, a chair that can accommodate heavy people is sturdy.
9. Nylon base and nylon rolling
Chairs with nylon base are highly stable. Stability is essential when you need to work sitting on the chair in various postures and also multitask.
10. Nylon rolling casters
Nylon rolling caster don’t scratch the floor on dragging, and you may need to pull the chair occasionally. So make sure that the chair has a nylon base.
11. Availability of parts
Good ergonomic and comfortable chairs have several components. These components are prone to degrade over time. So make sure that replacement parts are available offline or online.
Although elements of a chair are likely to degrade over time and you may need to replace them, the manufacturer must offer some warranty on the stuff. However, the warranty in the case of a chair can be complicated and confusing.
Moreover, the warranty for office chairs can vary from one year to a lifetime. So you need to ask the salesperson about the specific conditions of the warranty as well as the conditions that will make the warranty void.
Also, make sure that it offers a long time warranty.
Few words before wrapping up…
Before going to the shop, decide about the bare minimum essentials you need to have in the chairs. You cannot sacrifice ergonomics at any cost.
Lumbar support and large backrest, too, are essential from an ergonomic point of view. You can sacrifice some features of comfort if the price really seems to pinch.
You can also sacrifice on nylon rolling casters if you don’t need to drag the chair. However, at any cost, you need to make sure that parts are readily available.
If parts are not readily available, chairs may become defunct even if they require replacing just a small and insignificant part. Also make sure that the manufacturer offers a warranty, even if it is for only 1 year.