Buying the Right Ergonomic Executive Office Chair: What You Should Look For
Most people spend eight or nine hours at work every day, sitting in an office chair facing a computer. Given the amount of time you spend in this position, it is crucial that you find the right chair that will keep you comfortable, productive, and healthy. This article will help you choose a good executive office chair by looking into the different factors you need to consider to find the perfect one.
When looking for a new office chair, you need to (1) check how the main components are built – the backrest, armrest, and even the headrest; (2) look into the material used in building the chair; and (3) examine the chair’s fit and mobility features. These will help you determine the right chair for your office.
Check out the detailed guide below to start your search for the right executive office chair for you and your employees.
The Main Components of an Office Chair
In terms of comfort and overall well-being, the first thing you need to ensure in an office chair is its ergonomics. You can check these through the construction of its main parts:
The spine has a natural S shape and a curve on the lower part, which must be properly supported when you are seated. Without this support, you will most likely develop poor posture and experience lower back pain. Therefore, one of the first things you have to look into in an ergonomic chair is lumbar support. The chair must be able to accommodate and adjust to the curve of your back to keep it comfortable and relaxed.
This being the main consideration, you have to check other things when looking for an office chair. The backrest must be adjustable not only in terms of lumbar support but also in terms of height and the angle of recline. In general, the more options for adjustment, the better.
The width of the backrest must also be right to catch and support your entire back so that you can free your spinal disks from carrying the entire weight of your upper body. Choose a backrest that is around 1 to 1.5 feet wide.
Shoulder pain, stiffness of the wrist, and carpal tunnel syndrome are common pains associated with office work, all of which can be minimized or eliminated with the proper armrest. The right one will allow you to rest your shoulders, arms, and wrists properly while enabling you to move freely around your desk.
When looking for an office chair with the right armrest, pick one that is easily adjustable to the proper height. Make sure the armrest is positioned at just the right distance for your arms to rest comfortably away from your body. The secret is balance between comfort and mobility.
Back and arm support are both crucial in selecting the right office chair, but they can only work properly if paired with the right head support. Every time you sit in front of your computer to type, you unconsciously and constantly balance your head between your shoulders, and this creates pressure to both the shoulders and the upper part of your body. Without a headrest, the buildup in pressure often results in stiffness in the neck and the shoulders.
A good headrest will be adjustable to the height of your head, allowing you to tilt your head back and rest comfortably when you need a break from work. And, this can make a difference between you getting easily tired and getting rejuvenated after a quick 5-minute break in your chair.
Office Chair Material
While the choice of material for an executive office chair may initially seem like an aesthetic consideration, the truth is that it contributes to the overall ergonomics of the chair and the comfort of its user. When looking into the material, you have to consider two primary factors – the fabric material and the cushion.
A chair’s fabric can determine both comfort and durability, and each material has its pros and cons. The trick is to find the right one that works best for you. Below are the common types of material used and their upsides and downsides.
Comfortable & breathable
Allows for more aesthetic options
Susceptible to spills and dirt
Not as durable as other materials
Cheaper than other materials
Easy to maintain
May be uncomfortable over time due to its poor ability to distribute weight
May sag after a while
Elegant and luxurious
Can last a long time, if properly maintained
Generally more expensive
Slightly high maintenance in terms of upkeep
Low maintenance in terms of cleaning
More durable compared to other materials
Not breathable, so it can be excessively warm to use
No material is perfect, but in choosing the right one in your ergonomic office chair, one key is to check the environment in which it will be used.
When choosing an executive chair for your office, the cushion is perhaps the first thing you’ll notice – whether it’s too hard or too soft. And while the initial thinking might be that softer is better, this is not necessarily true. While a hard cushion may offer initial discomfort, a soft one will be uncomfortable in the long run because it will not be able to offer enough support.
Choose a chair with a cushion that is neither too hard nor too soft. Memory foam is a recommended material because it has the right level of softness and it is durable. It is able to retain its softness for a long period of time, providing enough support and comfort.
Fit, Mobility, and Other Things to Consider in Choosing an Ergonomic Executive Office Chair
A chair’s fit pertains not only to its height, which is often adjustable, but also to the width and depth of the seat pan. To measure whether a chair has the right depth, you have to sit comfortably with your back against the backrest, and then see that there is enough space between the seat’s edge and the back of your knees, around 2-4 inches. For the width of the chair, the ideal measure is for the seat pan to be wider than the hips by at least an inch.
A good office chair promotes mobility, allowing its user to move freely and comfortably even as seated. Mobility is determined by both a chair’s swivel features and its wheels and casters. A good chair will have adjustable swivel features that will allow you to easily adjust your position so you can have better access to various stuff in your desk, something that is crucial especially if you have a big space.
For the wheels, you have to choose a layout that is sturdy and stable enough to support a wide range of movements. The ideal chair will have a base with at least 5 spokes; this type will allow you to recline freely without tipping over.
In terms of caster, your choice will partly depend on the material that the surface of your office floor is made of – whether it’s hard surface such as tile or laminate floor, or soft surface such as carpet. Some casters work for all types of surfaces, but you still have to be careful in choosing the correct one because the wrong casters will not only cause inconvenience but can also damage the floor.
Questions to Ask Yourself before You Purchase an Executive Office Chair
As a final step once you have considered all factors above in selecting the right ergonomic chair, you can ask yourself a couple of other questions before you take your final pick:
Who Will Be Using the Chair?
While an office chair with wide adjustment options will suit almost anyone, you need to check if there are employees in your team who may need special chair features, such as people with existing back problems.
What Other Chair Accessories Do You Need for Optimum Comfort?
While the right ergonomic chair should be enough to meet most of your needs, you may wish to consider additional items such as footrests for improved comfort, or a chair mat for increased ease in movement.
Office chairs come in different styles and features, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of choices available. However, as long as you know the fundamental factors that make for a good and effective ergonomic executive chair, finding the right one should be easy. Use this guide as your reference to find the one that works best for you.
MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country.
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