Which Office Chair should I buy?
17th January 2013
There are so many office chairs on the market with each manufacture having a vested interest in promoting their option as “the best office chair for you”. We try to explain some of the features to look for when you consider a new office chair.
Firstly let’s make clear that we are looking at office chairs for use when you sit at a desk. These have numerous names such as operator chairs, desk chairs, office chairs, task chairs, secretarial chairs and computer chairs.
The human body is not designed to sit all day at a desk (bear this in mind all the time when you are working). The most important thing you can do to improve your office chair experience is to have regular breaks from each other. Get up and move around regularly, simply standing when you take a telephone call can give you the impetus to practice this without thinking and we recommend this to most people when we carry out workstation assessments.
1) Adjustable Back Height – Let’s consider the adjustments to look for on an operators chair. Apart from the obvious seat height adjustment via a gas lift mechanism make sure you buy a chair which has an adjustable back height movement, ideally one that you can move yourself whilst seated (this is referred to as a ratchet back height adjustment). Ensure that the range of height suits your staff.
2) Adjustable Back Rest Angle – A good size of back rest is essential and thankfully gone are the days of the tiny back rests! The backrest should also adjust in angle i.e. it should be easy to change the angle of the back rest in relation to the seat, independently of the seat. This ensures that you can achieve the best posture for a huge proportion of staff.
3) Adjustable Seat Angle – Next consider a desk chair that has an adjustable seat angle. This should be independent of the back adjustment and allows the seat to be tilted slightly forward for when staff are doing computer screen work to relieve stress build up in the legs and referred areas. The angle can then be flattened or reversed for other times when appropriate to relax.
4) Seat Depth Adjustment – Many operator chairs have an option to have a seat slide adjustment which can be important for users who have shorter or longer thigh length. The mechanism allows the seat to slide further forward or back than the standard pre-set position. This ensures each person can be set up with the correct seat depth.
5) Adjustable Lumbar Support – A final consideration would be to have an adjustable lumbar support. I have visited many new prospects who have bought office chairs from providers and then had to buy additional lumbar supports form office supplies companies. What a terrible waste of money. The correct chair purchased at the outset could have avoided this costly add-on lumbar device. A manual hand wheel on the side of the chair back which when turned increases or decreases the amount of lumbar support. These can also allow a height adjustment of this support. Alternatively a simple pump-up lumbar support allows a bladder in the back rest to inflate incrementally and provide good support for staff. A release value allows the support to be deflated.
6) Arm Rests – There is also a choice of having chairs with or without arms. We would always recommend buying chairs with height adjustable arm rests and even versions that can fold down, to allow for complete flexibility for the future.
Following this guide for selecting a good operators chair allows you to buy an office chair that is fully adjustable for each user and which will provide excellent longevity and a reduced total cost of ownership. Always consider the best chair for your budget. Cheap chairs provide no value for you, your company or your staff. A good supplier will provide a chair with all of the features discussed for an excellent cost. You do not have to spend a fortune.
Remember we are all different so get an office chair that has the full adjustments to alleviate further expenditure in the future.
Solutions 4 Office Ltd provide free trial chairs to demonstrate all of these benefits. Call us for a free trial 020 3551 6957