What makes an office chair ergonomic?
An ergonomic office chair provides a comfortable seating position with all the necessary adjustments to reduce tension in your neck, back and shoulders. The correct posture depends on several factors such as seat height and depth, armrests or not (and their placement), etc.
Many features can determine whether a chair is ergonomic or not. However, a common part of all office chairs is their ability to adjust the seat’s height and backrest, so we don’t slouch while sitting down for long periods. You should know what makes an Office Chair Ergonomics before buying it online.
Office chairs may vary depending on what they’re specifically designed for. For example, support during long work hours or a few-hour executive lounging session. Often when people think about an “office chair,” they picture something like this; stiff fabric covering rigid metal arms and legs along with plastic wheels underneath.
But that doesn’t have to be it! You need an ergonomic chair if you love your body and want to avoid aches from sitting for long hours at work every day. The ergonomic features required by a chair also vary with body type. Everybody is unique and needs a different kind of support. Below we will mention the factors you should consider before buying an ergonomic chair for yourself.
Many factors make a chair ergonomic, but the most important one has an adjustable seat. A majority of office jobs involve sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, which puts an immense amount of strain on your body’s back muscles, leading to chronic pain or discomfort if you don’t take care while working at the desk. One solution would be purchasing more expensive chairs with built-in support systems such as lumbar cushions and armrests, neck pillows, etc. However, these types may not always fit into everyone’s budget.
Even if you can’t afford high-end models, it is necessary to get a chair that lets you adjust the angle of your seat. YOu may want to alternate between leaning back and sitting up straight. Your chair should allow you enough freedom to do all that. The tilt angle is critical because a good tilt angle will allow you to relax and give a break to your back muscles, preventing fatigue.
This may not be common knowledge, but every office chair comes with a maximum weight that it supports. If you enforce a weight greater than that on it, the chair will be very prone to breaking soon.
As a big individual, it is vital to consider the chair’s weight capacity that you want to buy. It is best to buy a chair with a limit of about 50 pounds above your weight. This will promote further chair longevity.
Apart from weight, the most significant thing we see people struggling with is the height range of a particular chair. If it is too tall for you, your feet will experience numbness due to dangling in the air all day long.
On the other hand, a chair too small will leave an unnecessary strain on your knees and leave them aching. Therefore, it is essential to find the height rating of the chair you are going to buy to prevent both situations. Usually, shorter people struggle more with this issue. If you are on the shorter end of the spectrum with this problem, consider getting yourself a footrest if the chair is too high for your height.
Footrest and Headrest
If your feet and neck are aching as you work, it will feel like your whole body is in pain. As mentioned above, footrests are a great addition to taking pressure off your feet for shorter people. They also allow a more relaxed and upright position compared to if your feet were left dangling. Some chairs may come with a built-in footrest, and this is a great feature. However, you can always buy an additional footrest, so it isn’t that big of a deal.
On the flip side of a coin, the headrest is one of the most vital features. When you sit in a chair for prolonged hours of the day, your shoulder and neck muscles experience stiffness, leading to a lot of pain. Doctors suggest a headrest that supports your neck as you sit while also allowing your head to rest back on it comfortably whenever you take a break.
The human spine is not entirely straight when we sit down. It curves at an angle when we sit upright comfortably. Many chair manufacturers keep this in mind when designing the back of their chairs.
Instead of going straight up, these chairs have a specific curvature to them to fit the curvature of the human spine, resulting in a perfect fit for sitting down in maximum comfort. This feature is especially vital if you want to avoid back pain or if you already suffer from chronic back pain. Whatever you do, just don’t forget about getting a chair with the perfect lumbar support for you!
Armrest may be an optional comfort factor, but I do consider them quite significant. Our arms do get tired, resting on the sides or the desk as you type away. To get rid of fatigue, one must have support in the form of armrests.
However, it is best to have adjustable armrests to accommodate people of different heights. This may be common knowledge. But let us give you a piece of advice that isn’t. As a heavy person, you should opt for a chair that has removable armrests. This will ensure that you can have some extra space on the sides if you feel suffocated sometimes. This won’t be a problem if the chair is big enough for you, but in some cases, it is.
Width of Seat
As a heavier person, the width of the seat is probably the most crucial factor to consider apart from the weight capacity. If a chair is too small for you, its hard edges will dig into your skin and leave you marked all over. The armrests may also be in a very uncomfortable position, and most often than not, you will feel stuck.
It is therefore essential to consider the seat width on chairs before buying them. Most companies offer dimensions in their product descriptions. Always mark out the measurement in real life and see if it’s enough for you. Never make estimates and risk being stuck with a chair that doesn’t fit!
Sweating is a big problem for many heavier individuals. The other big issue surfaces not being soft and comfortable enough. Most products come with an option that gives you one or the other.
Many chairs feature a breathable mesh fabric that allows your body to rest without sweating a lot. The material is nonslippery and allows great coolness during warm months. Moreover, it usually lasts longer.
The other option is usually leather. While it offers a very executive look, leather is not breathable. It will leave a film of swear on your body even if it is slightly warm. Moreover, the faux leather used in these products usually wears off in time, leaving the chair discarded. However, the leather option provides much more cushioning and padding than the fabric. It is, therefore, softer and more comfortable.