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How to choose the right chairs for your office

 25 Oct 2021

We spend long hours sitting on our office chairs, a position that can add a lot of stress to the spine and cause muscle strain. Many businesses invest in fancy desks and other furniture but overlook the importance of good office chairs. The consequences of sitting on the wrong chair include:

  • Decreased concentration and increased fatigue
  • Poor blood flow to the legs, back, neck and shoulders
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Digestive problems

Therefore, it makes sense only to have chairs that are comfortable and supportive. Ultimately, the perfect chair will minimise the risk of ongoing health issues, ensure back support and promote a healthy posture. With that in mind, here are the most important factors to consider when choosing office seating.

Backrest

Good lower back support is essential to keep the natural curvature of the spine when you sit down. A well-designed backrest will prevent you from leaning forward and slouching, which could result in back pain over time.

 Seat Material

There should be enough padding to make the chair comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. Ideally, the material should be a breathable fabric that will allow air to travel through it to keep it fresh. This means it will be less susceptible to holding onto moisture and odours. Breathable fabrics also keep you cool when the weather is hot.

 Adjustability

The chair´s height should be easily adjustable and move upwards and downwards to accommodate people of different sizes. If the seat is too high, it will cause unnecessary pressure on your thighs. Your legs should never be dangling in the air. If the seat is set too low and knees are higher than your hips, your thighs will put pressure on your lower abdomen and internal organs, which will be highly uncomfortable. A seat height from about 38 centimetres to 53 centimetres should accommodate most people.

Swivel

Modern office and ergonomic chairs should easily rotate to allow people to reach different parts of their desks without straining. 

 Seat Depth

Seat depth is the length between the back edge and front edge of a seat. It needs to be wide enough for someone to sit with their back against the backrest while leaving 5 to 10 centimetres between the back of the knees and the seat. Approximately 43 centimetres to 50 centimetres is standard. 

 Adjustable Armrests

A healthy office chair will have adjustable armrests to help your arms and your shoulders relax. Without armrests, there is a greater chance of suffering from shoulder and neck pains.

 Cost

Good, adjustable ergonomic chairs may not come cheap, but they are an investment in the wellbeing of your employees. Consider asking for ´try before you buy´ so you can be sure they´re suitable and won´t cause health problems.

 Final Thoughts

In addition to finding the right chair, don’t forget the importance of good posture. Try to keep your bottom against the back of the chair, avoid slouching, which places extra stress on your lower back, sit with your feet flat on the floor and set your monitor at eye level or just below. Leaning forward constantly causes neck pain.

With the right chair and good posture, your body will never have to feel the strain.

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