You spend most of your time at work sitting in front of a computer in your office chair; which is why it’s critically important that you choose the right office chair. You may not give much thought to the type of chair you use at work, but once you get to know the consequences of sitting in the wrong chair for several hours, you’ll start to think differently.
An office chair is the most basic yet one of the most important pieces of office furniture. It’s where you’ll be seated all day long. If you’re sitting in the wrong chair, you won’t be comfortable, your body will be in stress, and you might be at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions.
Some of the most common issues you’ll face if your office chair isn’t right are pain in the lower back, shoulder, and neck, and the worst thing is, these are only the initial symptoms of serious medical conditions like musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
Since you never considered seeing your office chair in this light, you may have absolutely no clue about what to look for in an office chair to ensure that you’re purchasing the right one. But fret not. That’s what we’re here for.
Let’s get down to helping you choose an office chair that’s just the right fit for you.
Consequences of Sitting in the Wrong Chair
When we say sitting in the wrong chair throughout the day can have serious consequences, we aren’t kidding. We’re serious, and you shouldn’t take your office chair selection lightly either. Let’s quickly take you through the various consequences of sitting in the wrong chair.
Pain in the Back, Neck, and Shoulders
One of the most commonly reported problems associated with sitting in the wrong chair is body pain, specifically in the back, neck, and shoulders. A wrong chair means one that’s not adjusted to suit your body. When you are seated in a chair that doesn’t accommodate your body, you’ll sit in an incorrect posture, and therefore, you automatically fall under the risk of suffering from posture-related problems.
When you’re seated in the wrong chair, your spine becomes stiff, and this is why you often feel pain in your lower back, hips, neck, and shoulders after long hours of sitting in an office chair. If you don’t do something about it, your spine might start degenerating prematurely, which might not end well for you.
The wrong office chair won’t feel comfortable. This is because the seat doesn’t meet the contours and proportions of your body, thereby putting unnecessary stress on your muscles. There’s a higher chance of muscle fatigue with prolonged stress on the muscles. Muscle fatigue presents itself with pain, and when you’re in pain while at work, you’ll fail to concentrate and deliver what’s expected from you.
Poor Blood Circulation
Another serious consequence of sitting in the wrong office chair is poor blood circulation. Sitting in the wrong chair means sitting in an incorrect posture, and sitting in the wrong posture will affect the blood flow to your legs, back, shoulders, and neck, and this would lead to excessive muscle fatigue. If the blood flow stays compromised for too long, it can lead to more serious episodes of pain and discomfort.
What to Look for in an Office Chair
Looking at the consequences, you now understand why we’re stressing so much about purchasing the right office chair like 1839(Mesh Chair) Ergonomic Office Mesh Chair . You may wonder what should I keep in mind when buying an office chair. The answer to your question isn’t a simple one-word answer. There are various factors that you must take into consideration when buying an office chair.
Adjustable Seat Height
The first and the most important factor to look for when purchasing an office chair is whether it has got adjustable height feature. Everyone is of a different height, and the same chair won’t be suitable for everyone. A chair that has a fixed height may be too low for someone who’s tall and too high for someone who’s too short. The ideal height of the chair is when you’re able to place your feet flat on the floor without feeling any level of discomfort. Therefore, purchase an office chair that has an adjustable height feature so that whatever your height is, the chair can be adjusted accordingly.
Most of the problems of poor posture stem from poor back support. Your back is arched inwards, and if the chair is too straight or doesn’t have back support, you’re bound to suffer from back pain. Sitting for too long without adequate support to the back puts excessive stress on the back.
If you don’t address the problem on time, it may exacerbate muscle fatigue and lead to muscle spasms and, eventually, spinal degeneration. It’s extremely important that you choose an office chair that has got back support that matches the contours of your spine and offers superior support and comfort.
There are two types of office chairs based on the type of backrest. Either the backrest and the seat are the same unit, or the backrest and seat are separate. If the backrest is attached to the seat, you should be able to tilt forward or backward so that you can incline the backrest enough to make you feel absolutely comfortable.
It should also have a locking mechanism so that you can lock the backrest at a tilt that suits you best. If the backrest is separate from the seat, you should be able to adjust its angle and height according to your preferences.
Adjustable Depth and Width of the Seat
Not all office chairs are the same. The best office chair for you will be the one that fits your body right. You shouldn’t feel too stuck in the chair, nor should you feel like you’re not on the seat fully. This is why we suggest you look out for an office chair whose seat depth and width can be adjusted. This feature will ensure that you can make your seat bigger and wider or smaller and narrower, depending on how much space on your seat you need to sit comfortably.
Before you buy an office chair, sit on it with your back fully touching the back support and see where the back of the knees end up at. Ideally, the back of the knees must be 2 to 4 inches from the edge of the seat. If it’s not, check if you can adjust the depth of the chair. If the back of the knees is pressing against the edge of the seat, it may lead to the pooling of blood in the feet (which can cause painful swelling of the feet).
Office chairs with armrests or without is a common question that many people ask when buying office chairs. Armrests can change the comfort game of an office chair. Before you purchase an office chair, consider if you’ll even need armrests. If your job requires you to sit in a chair for long hours, buying an office chair with armrests is a better choice.
However, if you’ve got to move around in the office a lot, an office chair without armrests would do well. Another important thing to consider is whether the armrests are adjustable or detachable. As we said earlier, the body proportion of everyone is different, and the armrests shouldn’t add to the discomfort at work. You should be able to lower or raise and swivel them inward or outward to ensure your arms and elbows are resting lightly on them. If the armrests are too high, you’ll be seated with your shoulders slumped. If your armrests are too low, you’ll have to bend your body to reach the armrests. Both of these postures are uncomfortable and not the right ones to be sitting in all through the day.
Another thing that you must be careful of when buying an office chair is the material. Some materials are breathable and offer more comfort than others. If you sweat a lot and have got to sit in a chair for long hours, an office chair with a seat made from cloth fabric will keep your body cool
If you’re a messy eater, you should consider buying a leather chair that’s easy to clean. Whether you decide to buy a cloth fabric chair or a leather chair, make sure you aren’t overlooking the quality.
Swivel and Wheels
Nobody likes to get up from their chairs to do small tasks every few minutes, like grabbing the prints from the printer or reaching into the drawer cabinet to fetch a file. For this reason, you should consider buying an office chair with wheels so that it can be moved around and swivel so you can turn around without having to stretch your body.
However, if your job doesn’t require you to move around and turn too often, a chair without wheels and a swivel feature would do the job well for you.
Buying the right office chair is not just a one-off buy. It’s an experience that’ll last for as long as you’ll use it. You could either feel good about your purchase every time you sit on it, or you could regret your choice. If you’re mindful of the things to consider before buying an office chair, we’re sure you’ll never regret your purchase!