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Things to Look For in an Office Chair

04 August 2023

If you're going to be spending a lot of time in your office chair - and let's be honest, most of us do - you'd want to invest in a good one! Whether you're working on-site or remotely, there's a high chance that you spend the better part of the day sitting in your chair.

A good, comfortable chair does more than just, well, keep you comfortable. Research shows that a good working environment leads to greater productivity and mental clarity, and there's no better place to start on work environment than the chairs we're sitting in!

So, what to look for in an office chair? Let's find out.

What Makes a Good Office Chair?


Height Adjustment

By now, it's practically a given that office chairs should be height adjustable, but most people don't quite understand why. When you don't know why something should be a certain way, there's a greater chance that you'd accidentally gloss over that detail. If offices have chairs that aren't height adjustable, you know they're doing something wrong.

Height adjustment is important because it determines your posture. If your chair is too low, your knees will be pushed up and your legs will be strained. You may be looking up at the screen and reaching up for the keyboard. On the flip side, if your chair is too high, you'd be looking down and reaching down. Your feet may not reach the floor.

All of this is bad for your body and can cause long-term injuries. A good office chair comes with a height adjustment lever that lets you sit at the height that works best for your body. The best posture to sit at is with your feet flat on the floor, thighs parallel to it. Your arms should be by your side, bent at a 90 degree angle at the elbow and you should be looking straight ahead.


Backrest

Many chairs don't include an adjustable backrest, but this is also an important aspect of an office chair. The backrest should be adjustable, and you should be able to position it according to your task. For example, you should be able to move it backward and forward, and you should also be able to lock it so that it doesn't tilt suddenly when you don't want it to.

It should also not tilt too much, because it wouldn't be a very comfortable working experience to lean back in your chair and end up parallel to the ground.

If the backrest isn't attached to the seat of the chair, it should be adjustable in height along with the tilt angle.


Lumbar Support

Another feature that is very important - perhaps one of the most important aspects of an office chair! - is lumbar support. When you spend long hours sitting in the same spot, you are bound to end up putting some level of pressure on your back. When your back remains unsupported during these long hours, the pressure ends up getting too much and you may end up with a sprain or ache.

In fact, lower back pain is one of the most common complaints from office workers around the world, so naturally, you want to find a chair that helps you avoid this problem. A good office chair would have built-in lumbar support. Some chairs come curved in a way such that they follow the natural shape and curvature of your spine, thus making sure that your back remains supported.

The lumbar region of your back should be slightly arched at all times, or you'll find yourself slumping over as time goes by.

While good chairs are ones that include lumbar support, the best chairs are the ones where lumbar support is also adjustable. Since height and body shape plays a role in how your spine curves and where, adjustable lumbar support lets you set your chair in the right position so that your back remains supported in the way it needs to be as well.

Lumbar support is so important that even if your chair doesn't happen to have this option (which makes it a bad chair) you should find supplementary items like a pillow to create this for yourself. If you don't, you can easily end up with long-term musculoskeletal problems.


Armrests

Armrests are pretty common on office chairs…but you can still find plenty that don't have armrests. While not an absolute necessity the way height adjustment and lumbar support are, armrests are also important for good posture and protecting your muscles.

Armrests allow you to take some of the stress off your neck and shoulders since you can rest your elbows on them and thus offset some of the effects of gravity. It also makes it easier to maintain good posture because you can be sure your elbows are bent at 90 degrees while you type or use your mouse.

Good chairs have armrests, and better chairs have adjustable armrests. You should be able to position them in any way you want so that your arms are comfortable and you are not slouching.


Headrest

Headrests are not quite as frequently found in office chairs, since they are also not an absolute necessity. While they are beneficial and can help you with taking care of yourself, you can still make do without a headrest.

That doesn't mean that you should, though.

A good chair will have a headrest so that you can take the pressure off your neck muscles. In fact, you are a lot more likely to slouch forward and suffer from forward head posture if you don't have something to rest your head against.

Forward head posture is bad because it will weaken the muscles around your neck and make some of them inactive. This will further the problem of bad posture and can cause pain and aches around the area that last for a long time.

Without a headrest, and especially if you have a habit of slouching, you'd notice that your head feels too heavy for your neck, and this can put pressure on your cervical spine as well. Over the long run, sitting without a headrest to keep your head and neck supported can be a bad idea. Unless you are an expert at making sure your posture is correct and maintained, a chair with a headrest may be a bad idea.


Swivel & Casters

Another not essential but nice to have feature is that of swivels and casters. Most chairs do have these, though many people are unaware of why they exist. Sure, they make movement easier, which can be useful, but do they serve any other purpose.

Yes, they do! In fact, swivels and casters are also related to your workplace ergonomics. They make it easier for you to reach different parts of your workplace with ease. You may think that's all they do, but this actually protects your body from being stretched and put into awkward positions.

While you wouldn't find yourself reaching out for something or the other for more than a few seconds at a time, doing it multiple times a day may have side effects. Casters and swivels can take some of that stress off your body by providing easier access to all parts of your workplace.

Of course, you'd have to find a chair with casters that actually suit the surface your chair is kept on, though! Casters designed for the floor wouldn't work as well on carpet and vice versa.


So, Which Chair?

Now that you know the features of a good office chair, which is the right chair for you? We've got answers!

FlexiSpot's Standard Office Chair (C5) is arguably one of the best options for office chairs out there. Whether you're looking for something for your workplace or your home office setup, this chair has it all!

Not only does it have the necessary features like height adjustment and lumbar support, it also has all the extra ones as well. From casters to armrests to headrest, this chair will make sure that your posture remains correct throughout the work day and keeps you safe.

In fact, the armrests that are adjustable in 4 dimensions, and are cushioned so you can rest your arms for longer stretches of time. They contour effortlessly to your arms and determine maximum comfort.

The chair is made from fleece mesh that is temperature-sensitive and offers ventilation. This allows you to sit in the chair even on hot days without your back getting all sweaty. Most importantly, the ventilation allows you to stay fresh and relaxed the whole day.

Finding the right ergonomic chair can be difficult because of how many options there are and how many things you have to consider when making the decision. The good news is that you don't have to put in all that time thinking about it anymore.

FlexiSpot's products are designed with comfort and your wellbeing in mind, which makes the Soutien chair a great investment for your health and wellbeing, as well as your workplace aesthetics.