When it comes to setting up an office, one of the most important items that you need is a comfortable and ergonomic office chair. After all, if you’re going to be spending hours at your desk every day, having a good chair is essential for both comfort and health.
But with so many options out there to choose from, how do you know which chair is best for your needs?
To help make the process easier and ensure that you get the perfect office chair, here are a few things to consider before making a purchase.
The average person usually sits around 10 hours every single day (crazy, right?) being it while working, watching TV, playing games, eating, doing homework, etc.
You see where this is going… 10 hours every day is not a joke. Health experts have shown that sitting uncomfortably for a long period of time increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, depression, hips and back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, varicose veins, and even cancer.
The benefits of having a good ergonomic office chair
A good chair comes with lots of health benefits, be it psychical health or mental health. We’ve made a short, simple list below in which we explain some of them.
A good office chair reduces pain
This benefit is obvious, but people don’t think about it too much when buying a new chair. Be sincere, the last time you bought a chair, have you thought about how it is going to reduce your pain?
Most of us only think about how comfortable it is or how cool it looks… but that’s about it. Of course, a chair has to be comfortable, but how long will it be comfortable for?
Some chairs might feel like you’re in heaven when sitting on it but after a short amount of time you’ll start feeling stress on your lower back, hips, and tights or the chair will reduce the amount of blood going to your legs. (Yes, that happens)
Now, do you see why how comfortable it isn’t the main factor when buying a new chair?
A good office chair makes you more productive
Yes, that’s true. Studies have shown that happiness has a direct impact on productivity. Happy people are up to 12% more productive at their workplace!
Imagine that. If you’re working 10 hours per day that means you’ll be able to finish your work up to one and a half hours faster!
Don’t fool yourself, of course, it can.
Don’t you feel good when you finally find that sweet position in bed where there are no pressure points and all the stress accumulated throughout the day it’s relieved?
That’s happiness. The same exact happiness you’ll be able to feel for hours if you choose the right chair for you.
But wait, it gets better:
Ergonomic workstations reduce the risk of making errors
A study made by HRBLR shows that at one particular business a $400 mechanical device saved the company over $6000 annually by reducing the psychical stress of its employees, therefore helping them do fewer mistakes.
$6000 profit with just $400 investment, how crazy is that?
Now that we talked about the benefits of a good chair, let’s help you choose yours:
Consider reading our “Proper sitting posture – How to sit in a chair” article to fully benefit from your new chair.
Things to consider when buying a chair:
There are many things to consider when buying a new chair such as fabric, size, shape, etc. We took our time to list them below and explain each one of them in a simple way, making it easy for everyone to understand.
The fabric – Mesh or Leather?
There are two main options available when we’re looking to buy a chair which you’ll see everywhere, mesh and / or leather.
But which one do we choose?
Let’s take both of them separately, shall we?
Firstly, let’s talk about mesh.
Mesh is one of the main and most used fabrics for office chairs. Let’s see some pros and cons about it:
Now let’s talk about leather.
Leather is the fabric that is able to give a high-end look to any chair, is easy to clean, and with a luxurious look.
We can’t give an exact answer on which one is better, that’s for you to decide according to which one suits your needs better.
Armrests – Which one is better? Do I need them?
If you plan on doing a lot of typing or computer work, you’ll want to look for a chair with adjustable armrests. This will help keep your arms in the correct position so that you don’t strain them while working.
There are three main types of armrests:
Even though it might not look like it, fixed armrests can actually work for a good load of people
Every person comes in its own shape and size, and if a chair with fixed armrests suits you and you’re sure that the armrests don’t need any adjustments then go for it!
There are chairs on the market that offer height-adjustable armrests, which suit the average user the best.
As humans, we have lots of differences and similarities, one of them being height. If your back has an average size and most armrests have perfect or close to perfect horizontal distance between the armrests but their height doesn’t always match yours then this option is the best one you’ve got.
Fully-Adjustable (4D Armrest)
This is the category that would fit the majority the best. Being able to adjust the chair’s armrests up and down is a blessing.
If you’re one of those types of people where regular chairs fit them properly then you’re in luck, most of us aren’t that lucky. But there is nothing to be mad about, fully-adjustable armrests are on the market and they help regular buyers like us tremendously.
Do I actually need armrests?
Armrests are an important part of any office chair. They can help to relieve pressure on your shoulders, arms, and wrists while working, which is essential for good posture and comfort.
What is lumbar support, how does it help you and why do we believe it’s crucial?
The lumbar support is the part of the chair that it’s ensuring your spine is aligned naturally. It is one of the main factors people are spending lots of money on a good ergonomic chair. The lumbar support has to be adjustable, stiff but still comfortable.
The perfect lumbar support should be able to fit the profile of your spine and give you enough space for even weight distribution. The aim is to make sure the chair doesn’t add too much pressure on your back which can lead to bad posture.
Wheels or no wheels?
This is a thing you might have not considered when you bought the chair you’re sitting on right now, and that’s okay. Not many people tend to think about this aspect of “wheels or no wheels”, but we’ll talk about it anyway.
Now, this aspect is pretty simple and doesn’t need a lot of explaining.
Just ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I move my chair multiple times a day, being that just a few inches?
- Do I move my chair all over the room, going from one desk to another?
If you answered with “yes” to at least one of those questions then it is pretty simple, you’ll enjoy a chair with wheels more.
Size & Adjustability
Office chairs come in different sizes, so it’s important to find one that fits your body type. If the chair is too big or too small for you, it won’t be comfortable even if it has all the features you’re looking for.
Why Ergonomic Office Chair is an Investment?
Yes, we admit. The price of a good ergonomic office chair can be quite high.
But think of it this way:
The average person in the US works 38 hours/week, 46 weeks/year. That adds up to 1,748 hours every year. In 10 years the average person spent 17,480 full hours sitting in a chair. Imagine what sitting that many hours in a bad chair does to your health, just imagine.
The price of a good chair starts from roughly $200 (which might sound pretty expensive, we get that) but think about it like this:
The average lifespan of an office chair is 6 years, which means 10,488 hours of work. If you buy a chair for $200 that means that you’ll be spending $0.019 an hour for it. $0.019 an hour! Tell me that an office chair is expensive one more time.
Let’s do the exact same math for a $1000 chair, shall we?
Again, the same lifespan, (office chairs that go for the price of $1000 tend to have a longer lifespan but for the sake of this math experiment we’ll let its lifespan at 6 years) again 10,488 hours of work. That means $0.09 an hour!
Now, tell me this
Isn’t your health worth at least $0.09 an hour?
After reading this office chairs buying guide, do you still think that a chair is just a chair?