Any office chair that doesn't make you feel relaxed while using it is up to no good and is not worth calling ergonomic. Therefore, it follows that you should always be on the watch for chairs with lumbar or curved back support.
And to live a more healthy life, you'll need an adjustable chair with an armrest extender to give your arms the perfect placement and ease. Even if your chair doesn't have, you're about to read through the A-Z guide on everything you need to know about this part of your office chair.
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What is an Office Chair Armrest Extender?
Your chair has an armrest but you're not satisfied with its impacts on your arms, or it's not moving forward as you would have loved? You need to understand what an armrest extender means before we suggest your next line of action.
It is a simple device that you can easily position on your chair's armrest. And if you want to go deeper than this, you can also place it on your desk surface. All you have to do is make sure it is located where you can place your arms.
This armrest extender is a long cradled platform that bears the weight of your entire arm from your elbow down to the wrist. If you're probably wondering why your chair should not lack this piece, you should know how much it keeps you safe from carpal tunnel syndrome.
That's a very common health condition among keyboard and mouse users. It'll also help you maintain perfect balance if you're experiencing stress in the upper back or suffering from improper shoulder placement.
It also prevents you from muscle spasms while working, and keeps your upper back from strain, and this explains why many office workers go for computer ergonomic chairs. Moreover, you can also use your armrest extender to make sure the chair's height is adjustable enough to keep you comfy and energetic.
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At What Point Do You Need an Office Chair Armrest Extender?
You must have noticed that many workplaces use non-adjustable or armless office chairs and that's largely related to the sudden increase in the chairs offered by chain retailers. So if you feel what you need is an office chair with non-adjustable armrests, you should make sure they are the right size.
One thing about these armless chairs is that they are very easy to move around, but how about the benefits of a chair with armrest support? Such chairs will not only support your neck, back, and shoulders, but they will also relieve your body of accumulated stress.
With an office chair armrest extender, fatigue should not find its way into your workstation. And if you have an ergonomic reclining chair, we will suggest that you spice it up with an armrest extender for you to lean backward and stay breezy.
Another signal your body makes to inform you that it's time to get an armrest extender is when you start to feel the tension in your neck area and the cervical vertebrae. Once these conditions surface, you need to treat them as a matter of urgency.
Having done all these, how do you check if your extender armrest is well-positioned? The ideal position is 20 to 25cm overhead your seat and a reliable armrest, at least, should be around 20cm long and 4cm wide. It's now time to decide if your current office chair is fair enough or if you'll need to get one with an armrest extender.
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How to Discover the Perfect Office Chair Armrest Extender?
Now that you know that the best office chair with adjustable arms has various armrest settings, we'll show you other features you should consider before buying an extender armrest. This includes regulating the armrest pivots, controlling the chair armrest's height, managing the armrest's width, and other multiple features.
However, if you want to invest in a chair not designed with an in-built adjustable armrest, you need to be very wise with your choice. Here are some points that will help you get the premium armrests for your office chairs:
Types of Adjustment
It's simple logic that since we have many office chairs, it follows that there will be diverse categories of armrest extenders. And they're often divided based on their benefits, features, and functions.
For the most common office chairs, you will need a T-shaped armrest adjusted perpendicular to your seat. For the second category of office chair armrest, we have the loop armrest which is also common.
However, you should note that loop armrests are available in two varieties - adjustable and fixed. The most interesting part about this type of adjustment is that they can give your arm extra support while tilting the reclining chair backward.
And to other users, they find the gorgeousness of the loop design quite amazing. The last type on the list is fixed armrests. Many people don't classify it as an ergonomic armrest because they are not designed to give the users freedom to move.
But one takeaway point here is that, whether fixed or not fixed, an office chair with an armrest will always be a better choice than a chair with none.
Types of Armrests
The second factor you should prioritize while going through the available armrests is the type of adjustment. And you have to pay attention to it, whether you are buying an armrest extender separately or a whole ergonomic office chair with armrests.
Due to the extra comfort that this type of armrest offers, we will recommend that you go for this type of armrest. It'll also give you the room to customize the chair to give you your favorite sitting position.
This type of armrest is specially designed to align with your body type. It has a feature that you can activate to push the armrests further from your body or draw them closer. We'll suggest this armrest for plus-sized office workers or an obese patient who's currently watching his weight.
Pivot and 360° Rotation: Armrests:
These armrests can slide backward and forward, and outward and inward. You can also rotate the arm pads a bit in or out and twist 360 degrees.
The seat should be ergonomically structured to enable you to have maximum use of the area. Until this is fulfilled, you might not be able to make perfect contact between the backrest and your back. So is there anything you can do to have this anatomically-friendly design?
Of course, there are. You need to make sure the following conditions are fulfilled:
The seat should be slightly tilted downward - towards the front - and the aim is to boost your blood circulation, push your pelvis into the correct spot, and avoid a rough posture.
The seat edge should also be rounded and flattened to give the flow of blood unhindered access to your lower legs.
The office chair's depth adjustment should be flexible enough to allow you to select your preferred thigh length. Through this condition, there'll be no flow of pressure to your knees and it will stimulate your circulation.
Also, your office chair should have a revamped weight distribution across your pelvic bones to minimize pressure on your thighs.
Your seat should be made from durable and snug foam. This will save you the stress of the chair wearing out easily. It'll also increase the seat's capacity to carry more than 70% of your body weight.
Although very important, we can call it an extension of the chair's backrest. That's because soft neck support relieves strain on your neck muscles and shoulder while also protecting the cervical vertebrae area.
Hence, you need to ensure that the neck support is in a fully reclined position. Imagine you are talking on the phone, it will boost the amount of ease you experience while tilting backward. Lastly, the neck support should also be fully height-adjustable.
This is the most important member of an office chair. As expected, the absence of a backrest exposes your back, shoulder, and upper arm to various health complications. Hence, you need to be very particular while going through the settings to know where should be corrected.
The backrest should be easily adjusted to counter pressure. In other words, it should be able to conveniently capture your body movements as you tilt the chair backward and forward. Meanwhile, it should have enough room to move freely but it has to be moderated.
Finally, we will recommend that you opt for a backrest that falls in line with the natural S shape of the human spine. If you could lay your hands on this, we are pretty sure your lumbar region will rest comfortably into the backrest's curvature.
The Fabric Cover and Upholstery
It is not debatable that an office chair's upholstery and fabric cover determines how pleasing the entire setup will be. But do you know those features are laden with some ergonomic and thermoregulatory functions?
That's the more reason why you need to pay your undivided attention here. If you check out these office chairs on a hot summer day, it'll be easier to notice the fabric cover's quality.
You need to look out for chairs whose clothes do not stick too close to your skin, that's not advisable. And if you are truly interested in experiencing the maximum sitting ease, you should ensure that your fabric and upholstery give room for the exchange of body heat and moisture.
Any ergonomic office chair is designed to allow this principle, especially when the open-pore foam features are present. Another way to make an office chair stay loyal to you is when you invest in one that you can easily replace the fabric cover or the entire upholstery.
Now, let's talk about the thermoregulatory functions of an upholstery. Depending on the available office chairs, you can also get one with an air-filled foam cell that responds accordingly to the movement and bodyweight of each user.
If such a chair senses any strange pressure, the air will gently and reroute to give your body position the full support needed Isn't that fantastic? The icing on the cake is that it prevents you from falling into any posture that'll affect your spine.
The Function Lever
Ideally, you don't have to stand up before you can operate the function lever of your seat. So any chair that requires you to stand is up to no good. Do you even understand what function levers are? They are the part of the chair where you can set all the ergonomic functions such as switches, levers, and knobs.
Apart from operating it while on the seat, the function lever should be friendly to use, slip-resistant, rust-resistant, comfortable in the hand, and freely moving.
There is a particular device called the synchro mechanism. It's no big deal if you've not heard about it before. What this device does is that it inspires you to achieve a dynamic sitting position.
It also allows the backrest and the chair to glide synchronously and align with the body by ensuring that your back is in direct contact with the backrest. When you move forward and backward on the chair, it is the synchro mechanism that saves you from the "shirt-pulling" effect.
Whether you are heavy or light, you can easily adjust it and the more friendly it is, the higher the level of comfort you'll enjoy while sitting. The synchro mechanism will also facilitate your metabolic process so that enough oxygen is consistently supplied to the muscles.
Flowing from the above, it will do you a lot of good to get an office chair with this type of mechanism.
This is yet another part of an office chair that is often neglected. If you want a chair with an armrest, it follows you to confirm if the material is friction-free and does not cause any damage to the skin. For a more comfortable feel, you can purchase a chair with the fluffy and soft wrapping on the armrests.
Finally, you should always stay vigilant not to go home with an office chair without a GS symbol.
There's hardly any ergonomic office chair that does not have, at least, one GS symbol. These two letters represent "Geprüfte Sicherheit" which is literally interpreted as "safety-tested" and also assures the buyers that the chair is designed in line with the provisions of product safety laws.
Therefore, you should always go for an office chair whose mechanisms and components are thoroughly tested, developed, and designed on-site before finally being manufactured. And at the last stage of their production cycle, the chair should also scale through the quality check before leaving the laboratories.
So how do you know if these chairs are genuinely tested and trusted? All you need is certification by reputable agencies. At Flexispot, we have been rated by Forbes as the manufacturer of the best standing desk for artists.
Apart from that, we are proud to inform you that Flexispot also featured as one of the 30 best cozy home office decors. As of 2022, we also bagged the approval and certification of TechRadar as the top-rated producer of the best standing desks in the previous year (2021).
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Frequently Asked Questions
How to Revamp Your Office Chair Armrest Extender?
Almost every armrest is made up of plastic, so a loose or broken part can be repaired with glue or any strong adhesive substance. All you need to do is find the broken part, apply the glue on its surface, and position it properly. After that, you can leave it for some minutes to dry up before using the chair again.
How to Make Your Chair's Armrests Higher?
Most ergonomic office chair has a push-button fixed to the armrest extenders. Merely pressing the button, you can make the armrests go higher or lower. Once you release the pressure, you can lock the armrests in that position.
How to Extend the Arms of Your Office Chair?
Almost every chair has a simple arm pad adjustment feature. All you have to do is slide the armrests towards yourself or farther from you. That depends on whether you want to reduce or widen the arms. Immediately after the sliding, the armrests will move horizontally and easily.
How to Fix an Armrest to Your Chair?
Well, this depends on the type of office chair and armrest you use but we have some chairs that allow you to mount an easy attachment on the top of the chair.
When you buy a full ergonomic office chair with armrest extenders or separate armrests, there are lots of features to look out for. So it's not always fun to keep them in mind and make the right decision at the end of the day. However, we believe this guide has finally solved the puzzle.