On average, most office workers spend over 40 hours a week sitting down at their desk. With so many of us spending such a large fraction of our time sitting at work or in our home office, ensuring that you have the right office chair to sit on has never been more important. Purchasing a new office chair is a considerable investment and requires some careful thought. It’s not as simple as finding a chair that just looks good; you also need to take your own needs into account during the decision making process. The office chair you choose will also affect your health, for example, if the chair you choose isn’t supportive of your joints and muscles, it can result in posture-related issues. On top of this, if you find yourself sitting in an uncomfortable chair, you will no doubt find that your productivity slips too. With this in mind, allow us to help you find the best office chair for you with this handy A-Z guide, which outlines all of the key components that you should factor into your search.
Armrests help to relieve any stress being put on your shoulders and neck by helping you to maintain a good posture and support the weight of your arms. Most office chairs will either come with fixed or adjustable armrests, the former of which is fine for occasional use, but for extended periods of time they should adjust in height at the very least. Your armrests should never prevent you from getting close to your desk; if you end up sitting at the front edge of your seat, you won’t be able to use the backrest correctly and will thus lose lumbar support. Fortunately, height adjustable armrests can conveniently be lowered to fit below your desk. Some ergonomic chairs will even allow you to change the width between the armrests to suit your body width.
Although a fixed chair is fine if you only use the chair occasionally – around less than 2 hours a day – the longer you intend to use the chair for, the more adjustable features you’ll need. All adjustments should be within easy reach and you should be able to operate them with minimal effort while seated. Common adjustability features include seat height, back angle, back height, seat slide (for upper leg support) and lumbar (lower back) support.
Office chairs will either come under the category of self-assembly or assembled. If you would like for your chair to come already assembled, you’ll probably be looking at more rigid, unadjustable options.
An adjustable backrest tilt will allow you to adopt different postures depending on your preference, i.e. upright or semi-reclined. As a general rule, however, the angle between your thighs and back should be around 95-105 degrees, and your abdomen and chest should be open and not compressed. This posture helps you breathe better, sending more oxygen to your muscles.
It’s a good idea to look for an office chair with seat depth adjustability if you suffer from lower back pain. Ideally, you should be able to sit right at the back of your seat without pressing the backs of your knees.
The longer you spend time working, the more important that chair movement becomes, for example, the ability to recline. Office chair movements typically depend on your weight, so try to opt for a chair with auto weight adjustment. If this isn’t possible, adjust the tension of the backrest instead. You should be able to maintain good posture without having to exert excessive force, and you should always be in total balance, regardless of whether you’re upright or leaning back.
Although there are a lot of practical considerations to be made, style should also play a role in your decision. The material of your office chair in particular should fit in well with your environment and feel comfortable to you:
- Leather and Faux Leather Chairs: Leather chair styles offer a professional look and are incredibly durable.
- Mesh Back Chairs: Mesh office chairs are a great, often cheaper leather alternative. The mesh material is cool and breathable.
- Fabric Material Chairs: Simple, soft and comfortable – fabric chairs are the most common type of office chair that you’ll find.
The height of your office chair is, without question, the most important feature, and the chair you choose should always be fitted with adjustable height capabilities. When adjusting the height of your office chair, you should always ensure the following:
- Your feet are resting flat on the floor.
- The back of your thighs should not feel compressed.
- If you can’t adjust your desk height, adjust your chair.
- Lower your chair until your elbows are just about the table top.
- If you’ve performed the above and your feel still doesn’t rest flat on the floor, invest in a foot rest.
Lumbar support promotes good posture by supporting the lower portion of the spine. In order to achieve good lumbar support, find an office chair that has a backrest with the appropriate size and shape. It should be able to support your lower and middle back properly, whilst also maintaining the natural S-shape of your spine.
Prices for high-quality ergonomic office chairs typically start at around £200 for an entry-level model, but you can enjoy fantastic additional features and long-term health benefits if you are able to invest any more than this. Although it might seem like a costly venture, choosing the right office chair is an important purchase for your health which shouldn’t be skimped on. On top of this, many leading refurbished furniture suppliers like Corporate Spec offer fantastic deals on branded office furniture, allowing you to go further for much less.
A high-quality, ergonomic office chair should be capable of withstanding frequent use, and ideally last you for years. Be sure to look up reviews for the chair candidates you’re looking out to get a feel for how sturdy the design and materials are, as well as how quality the look and feel are.
The seat, armrest and backrest of your new office chair should all be padded firmly enough to support you. It should also feel soft enough for you not to feel pressure points, nor the rigidity of the chair frame, on the base of the two prongs on your pelvis. Try to look for permeable chair covers that allow the seat to breathe and minimise the buildup of heat on the seat.
If you frequently find yourself needing to reach different parts of your table or desk, a swivel function is handy to have. If your office chair doesn’t swivel, you might have to twist your back to reach things, which isn’t good for the health of your back.
A chair intended for a home office typically requires the same features as a chair for workplace use, provided that you use it for the same tasks and duration. However, do look for domestic-grade fabric and foam to comply with fire regulations in homes over office spaces, as slightly different testing and certification is required.
Based in London, Corporate Spec Ltd offers convenient and effective solutions to the sale and purchasing of all types of branded office furniture, including chairs, benches, stools, seating, desks and filing solutions. Our dedicated and highly experienced sales team aims to bring our customers the very best names in office furniture, such as Ahrend Royal, Boss Designs, Fritz Hasen, Herman Miller, Knoll, Steelcase, Vitra and many more – all at absolutely second to none prices.
Over the past 15 years, we have accumulated an abundance of happy, loyal customers, as well as many repeat business and trade contracts. Some of our contracts and suppliers include local council offices, NHS hospitals, schools and colleges and private businesses who are undergoing an upgrade or liquidation. We are experts when it comes to trading commercial-grade refurbished branded office furniture, and we have bought and sold countless pieces of stunning, high-end products. You can count on us for a highly reliable service that boasts complete customer satisfaction and peace of mind.
Shop our full range of products by clicking here, or learn more about how to sell your furniture here. To find out more about what we do, book a showroom visit or get in touch with us for more information.