Finding the perfect office chair can feel like a hunt for the proverbial unicorn at times. It’s too tall, too short, not the right color, not the right look. Maybe it has features you like, but also a feature or two you don’t care for. Perhaps it’s just not the right price!
There are a lot of reasons that can get in the way of you settling on the right contemporary office chair, but with time and perseverance, you can find what you’re looking for! Good thing too, because let’s face it––when working, people can spend a lot of hours sitting in that thing!
That means that it’s imperative for you to find the right one, not only in terms of aesthetic and price, but also in terms of comfort, sustainability, and overall performance. After all, if you’re not thrilled with your purchase, and if you’re not comfortable when sitting for hours on end, how will you be your best and most productive self?
Importance of Ergonomic, Sustainable Office Furniture
What is an ergonomic chair? Ergonomics is simply the science of joining together work and human comfort in a way that allows you to increase work efficiency while also taking care of your body. Ergonomic furniture, whether it’s office chairs or a desk, is designed to complement the human body. When the body is comfortable, it allows the mind to work more efficiently.
Ergonomic chairs, no matter if it is a task chair vs office chair vs lounge chair, is designed by taking into consideration the various pains and health conditions caused by sitting for long periods of time. They are designed to fully support your back and body when sitting, to help promote healthy posture. In most cases, the ergonomic chair also features a variety of adjustable components that allow you to fully customize your experience and get the most out of your chosen chair.
In a similar way, sustainable furniture is designed considering not just the human body, but also the environment as a whole. The material and methods used to make this type of furniture is sustainable and causes little to no damage to the environment. Sustainable furniture is also often designed to biodegrade or be recycled after its lifecycle ends.
Components of the Perfect Office Chair
There are several things to look for when on the hunt for the perfect office chair. Some features may be more important to you than others, but ultimately, the perfect chair is one that you love, one you can sit in comfortably for hours, and one that fits your budget and sustainability goals.
Look for Lumbar Support
The first and foremost requirement in the perfect chair is lumbar support. Your spine is literally your backbone and your whole mobility depends on it. That’s why it’s so deserving of the utmost care and support.
When you’re sitting, your spinal discs face a lot of pressure. Prolonged sitting may cause back pain, especially in the lower back. That means if you spend most of the day sitting, your office chair should be designed with proper lumbar support to keep you comfortable and keep your posture healthy.
Look for an Adjustable Back Rest
While we’re on the topic of your back, an adjustable backrest can elevate a normal office experience to a highly comfortable one! Depending on your height, you should be able to adjust the back rest for maximum comfort. And yes, you can occasionally take advantage of the adjustability and lean it back and kick your feet up. Just don’t sit that way for too long!
Look for a Fixed or an Adjustable Armrest
A proper office chair should have armrests to provide your arms and elbows optimum support while typing away. However, another important factor to consider is that the armrests should be level with your desk.
Proper height is essential, with the ideal armrest being around 7 to 10 inches above the seat height. This height allows your arms and elbows to rest comfortably, without causing undue strain on your shoulders. For added comfort, why not look for a chair with a padded armrest?
Look for Adjustable Height
The height of your chair is another important component while choosing a perfect office chair. To maintain good posture, your knees should be level with, or a few inches below your thighs.
A chair that’s too high for you and causes your feet to dangle can result in soreness and numbness in your feet and legs. A height adjustment feature with a swivel base allows you to make adjustments so that your feet are flat on the floor and you are sitting comfortably, ready for the long haul!
Look for Suitable Seat Depth and Width
Depending on your body type and sitting style, a great ergonomic office chair should provide you with ample space to sit comfortably and move around when needed. Apart from the width, depth should also be considered when choosing a comfortable chair.
Ideally, the adjustable seat should be deep enough to allow you to sit with your back against the backrest, while also leaving a couple of inches between the edge of the seat and your knees.
Look for Breathable Material
Another important factor in finding the perfect office chair is finding the material for your chair. The base or frame can be made from metal or wood and depends entirely on personal preference.
However, the covering of your chair’s frame and padding should be breathable and soft, to prevent the task chair––and you!––from becoming hot and sweaty after hours of sitting.
In the case of fabric, look for breathable and light cloth that is durable and sustainable as well. A leather chair can also be a good choice and is easy to clean and maintain.
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with chairs that have a mesh design at the back, since a mesh chair is excellent for allowing proper airflow. Just keep in mind that any unbreathable, synthetic materials are not only uncomfortable for you, but may be taxing on the environment, too.
Look for Appropriate Padding and Cushioning
If you’re wondering how to make an office chair more comfortable, consider chairs with a seat cushion.Sitting on chairs that don’t have enough padding for prolonged periods of time, could cause back pain, discomfort, and hip misalignment.
Consider opting for chairs with memory foam cushioning, as they can be highly comfortable and durable. For added bonus, choose a chair that’s properly certified to ensure your choice is environmentally sustainable as well.
Look for a Swivel or Wheel Base
A swivel feature is an important one for an office chair since it allows you to move around more easily, at least for short distances. It’s thought that mobile chairs may help increase blood flow, since they promote movement and allow you to sit in more dynamic positions. However, it’s completely up to your personal preferences.
Rolling wheels also allow users to reach across desk space easily, without causing undo strain to the body. It should be noted though, that any wheels or swivels need to be checked thoroughly for stability, and weight capacity should always be considered before purchasing. You wouldn’t want to buy a chair that isn’t designed to support your weight.
Also, keep in mind that if you work in a carpeted office, it’s best to get chairs where the wheels are designed for carpeted floors in order to prevent accidents.
Additional Tips for Finding the Perfect Office Chair
If you work for an office and not yourself, consider requesting the option to check out any chairs and test them out before your employer purchases them. This will allow you to choose the best fit from your available options. A one-size-fits-all mindset can be detrimental for everyone and hinder office productivity.
If you’re buying for yourself––such as for a home office––be sure to do some research beforehand to find the best brands and products to choose from that meet your criteria. For example, here at Juniper Office Solutions we offer a wide variety of sustainable office furniture to meet your needs.
You can browse our multitudes of designs and features on our website, and shortlist your favorites before finalizing one. We also provide full office design and project support, and we are eager to share with you our best ideas and solutions to make your office space comfortable and efficient.
Figuring out what to look for in an desk chair is the hard part. Once you know what you want, shopping is the fun part!