5 Ergonomic High-Back Chair Features to Look For
Looking for an ergonomic high back chair for your office? You’ll find so many options in the market that it can be quite overwhelming trying to check which chair is right for you. As with many ergonomic office equipment, shopping for an ergonomic high back chair will require some research, some checking on your part to determine which ergonomic features are most important for you, and then looking through several options until you find the one that will meet your needs best.
If you have decided that an ergonomic high back chair is the chair you need in your office, then it’s time to take a closer look at the different features of an ergonomic chair. You’ll see basic features such as height adjustability, as well as more advanced features such as tilting mechanisms that determine your level of comfort when you use the chair.
Depending on your preference and situation, you may prefer one feature over another. And the good thing is, different chairs have different ergonomic features, so shopping for the right chair should be easy—you are likely to find just the right one with the features that you need. However, if you have little to no idea which features to focus on when shopping for an ergonomic equipment like a high back chair, worry not because we are here to help you. Here we’ve outlined what we consider the 5 most important ergonomic features of a high back chair.
Shopping for an ergonomic high back chair? Look for these features:
Perhaps the most basic of all the ergonomic features of an office chair, height adjustability will determine not only your comfort but the efficiency of your chair. Different users sport different heights, and you need a chair that will be able to support you and is set at the correct height so that you will not hunch over your desk (if the height is too tall) or strain reaching for items across the desk (if the height is too short).
Being able to easily adjust the desk height will ensure that you are comfortable and your back will be fully supported at all heights. When using your ergonomic high back chair, don’t forget to set it at the correct height—meaning:
- Your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Your forearms must be positioned parallel to your desk with the elbows bent at an angle between 90 and 110 degrees
Lumbar or back support
A high-quality ergonomic high back chair will have a lumbar support that will maintain the natural S shape of your spine, both for your comfort and for your spinal health. Some chairs are built with technologies that are specifically designed for improved back support, so make sure to check this feature when shopping for a new chair.
Apart from the chair’s back being designed with the shape of the spine in mind, there are also chairs that come with an extra built-in lumbar support. This can come in the form on an extra cushion that can be adjusted up or down to customize the support provided to you and the experience you have sitting on your ergonomic high back chair. To take care of your spine, make sure this is one of the ergonomic features you consider when shopping for a new chair.
The tilt function of any ergonomic high back chair determines both comfort and support. Simply defined, it pertains to the capability of the chair to recline, and it covers a lot of different elements—the tilt range, the number of lockable points, the tilt tension, as well as the ratio between the movement of the seat pan and chair back when you recline. Let’s take a look at each one.
- Tilt range determines the range by which you can recline your ergonomic high back chair. This will give you the opportunity to shift between working mode and resting mode throughout the day, keeping you comfortable and productive. In general, the wider the tilt range, the better for you.
- Tilt tension pertains to the resistance in the chair’s back when you are reclining. Choose between a hard and a soft tension, depending on factors such as the activity you’re doing, your body type and weight, as well as your personal preference.
- The number of lockable tension points in your ergonomic high back chair will determine the different modes in which you can tilt back—from a fully straight back to a fully reclined position, and several positions in between. This can help further tailor the experience to your need.
- The tilt mechanism determines how the different chair parts interact with each other when you tilt back, thus determining your comfort. One of the most popular ergonomic features to consider when shopping for an ergonomic high back chair will be a synchro-tilt mechanism, which enables the seat pan to tilt slightly backward when you recline, preventing that sensation of you suddenly falling back. This is great for keeping you comfortable and maintaining your natural posture, all while also promoting circulation in your body.
The ergonomic high back chair often comes in two types of materials: the leather chair and the mesh chair. Each has different ergonomic features and offers various advantages. However, when it comes to breathability, there is only one clear choice—the mesh chair.
Why? Well, this ergonomic high back chair is made from mesh material, which is light and breathable. It is ideal in warm environments because it allows air to flow through and around it, keeping users cool and cozy. Apart from that, mesh chairs are often lighter in weight and are more minimalist in design, perfect for modern offices and limited spaces.
However, this doesn’t mean leather chairs are a poor choice. Far from it. A leather ergonomic high back chair will be ideal in an executive office because it creates a more professional look. Apart from that, a leather chair may offer more back support compared to a mesh ergonomic high back chair. Just expect a leather chair to be more costly, and it can also be more pricey to maintain compared to a mesh chair. Take this as one of the ergonomic features to consider when shopping for an ergonomic high back chair.
The armrests may be a small part of an ergonomic high back chair, but they determine both your overall comfort and your freedom of movement in your seat. They are among the key ergonomic features you must closely consider when shopping for a new chair. Here are some ergonomic features to check in the armrest:
- Armrest height. The adjustment must be smooth, and the height range must be sufficient for your own needs.
- Armrest position. Are they too close to the chair body? Too far? These will determine the body types the chair can accommodate.
- Armrest adjustability. Apart from height adjustment, 4D capability is one of the ergonomic features you might want in your chair’s armrests. It enables armrest movement and adjustment not just vertically but also horizontally—front and back, left and right. This provides much needed movement while seated, allowing you to freely reach the items around you as you work.
Ready to find the right ergonomic high back chair? Don’t forget to consider the top 5 ergonomic features we mentioned above when shopping for the right chair. Check which of these you need most, and then find the chair that will meet your needs best.
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