5 things to consider when choosing an office chair
If there is one item in your workplace that you should never compromise on it’s your office chair. Sitting incorrectly can lead to a number of musculoskeletal issues so it’s important to have a chair that will help you sit in the best position.
A good office chair follows the movements of your body, reduces the risk of strain injuries and helps you sit properly, no matter how long you spend sitting each day. A good office chair is crucial both for your well-being and your productivity. However, no one size fits all and what works for one person may not work for another, even in a similar working environment. Here are 5 important things to consider when choosing an office chair.
1. How many hours do you sit down?
The most important question to ask yourself is how many hours a day you will be sitting in your chair. The more hours you sit down, the better chair you will need. In order to make it easy for you to find a chair that suits your needs, we divide the range into four recommended sitting times: 4, 8, 12 and 24 hours. That means we have everything from basic chairs for people who rarely sit down to more heavy-duty options that offer high levels of seating comfort during long working hours.
- 4 hours: If you are on the go most of the time and only sit down at your desk for short periods, you can do well with a relatively simple and inexpensive chair.
- 8 hours: The most common type of office chair. If you work an average length working day and spend most of it sitting down, you need an ergonomic chair with good adjustment possibilities.
- 12 hours: Do you work long shifts sitting down? Then you should choose a chair suitable for 12 or more hours of use that offers optimum support and the ability to adjust the seat to your body.
- 24 hours: If someone occupies the chair around the clock, such as in control rooms or call centres, then it needs to meet extremely high standards for adjustment and comfort – just like our certified 24 hour models.
2. Choose the mechanism that allows the right kind of movement
For an optimum working position, it’s important that the chair's seat and back follow your natural movements because your body needs to change position regularly. The mutual relationship between the seat and backrest is governed by the chair's mechanism: a higher quality mechanism allows for greater adjustability and a more ergonomic posture.
- PCB (permanent contact back): The backrest follows the movements of your upper body while the seat is fixed.
- Lock tilt: A simple mechanism where the back and seat retain the same angle to each other even when rocking. The position can be locked in place or left in rocking mode. Resistance is set according to your body weight.
- Synchro: The seat and the back interact in a 1:2 ratio, which means that the seat changes one degree to every two degrees that the back moves when rocking. The seat and back can be locked in fixed positions and you can also adjust the resistance to your weight.
- Multi-synchro: Here too, the seat and back interact in a 1:2 ratio but you also have the option of decoupling the seat, which makes it easy to stretch the body from time to time and increase blood circulation to the legs and feet.
- Asynchro: The tilt of the seat and backrest can be adjusted independently, and either be fixed in the most comfortable position or left to follow your movements (free float). This allows you to tailor your seating position completely to your preferences.
3. Look for ergonomic features that let you adjust the seat to your body
For your new chair to give your body the support it needs, it must be able to adapt to your height, weight and body shape. Since we are all different, you should look for a chair with several different adjustment possibilities for maximum comfort.
- Adjustable seat height: The right seat height allows you to put your feet flat on the floor with your back pressed against the backrest.
- Adjustable backrest height: The backrest should be set at a height that fits the natural curvature of your spine.
- Adjustable seat depth/seat slide: The seat can slide forwards or backwards to suit your height. This means that with your feet flat on the floor and your back fully supported, you should be able to fit your fist between the front of the seat and the back of your knees for better blood circulation to your lower legs and feet.
- Adjustable seat angle: For improved circulation, the seat should be tilted slightly forward so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees with your feet resting on the floor.
4. More choices and accessories
Your choice of chair may also be influenced by specific accessories or features. For example, a mesh back is a popular choice. Armrests and headrests are available as an option for more basic models while they are included as standard with more premium chairs.
- High or low back: This is a matter of preference, but the basic rule is your whole back should be supported, so a higher back suits taller users.
- Headrest: The support should be at neck height to relieve the neck and shoulders. It can be adjusted in height and angle to provide the best possible support.
- Armrests: Armrests relieve the shoulders and should be adjustable so they are in the right position for you, so your forearms can rest comfortably either on the desk or on the armrests. They should be adjustable up and down, horizontally and sideways.
- Breathable mesh back: This is not just about appearance; a mesh back also has a practical function. By letting air through, this is a perfect choice if you tend to get hot in the office.
- Lumbar pump: This lets you inflate a support in the lower backrest to fit the natural S-shaped curve of your spine to alleviate back pain.
5. Colour, design and material
When you have narrowed down some chairs that suit your needs, the fun part starts: choosing the design of your chair. Traditional or modern look chairs are both available. Many of our models come in several different colours. As far as materials are concerned, you have a choice of fabric, artificial leather or genuine leather, depending on your preferences and budget.
The rest is up to you. Our wide assortment guarantees that you will find a chair that is right for you, no matter who you are. If you’re having trouble choosing, you are always welcome to contact us – we will be happy to help you!