It’s easy to assume a chair expert understands furniture much better than they understand the spine, but an expert on office chairs with ergonomic features can actually te
ach you a lot about your back and the support you need to keep it in good shape. If you work in an office, you inevitably spend a lot of time sitting down, and that can put a great deal of strain on your back and, subsequently, on the rest of your entire body. This is why experts have spent years developing furniture that encourage better posture and provide specific support for the lower back.
So, if you want to learn more about your ergonomic needs, ask an expert to explain the following five facts further.
Adjustable Height is Best
An adjustable seating option is always the best way to go, because everyone has different requirements when it comes to the height of where they sit. Once the seat is adjusted, your feet should sit flatly on the floor. Also, your back should be straight, and your shoulders should be level when your arms are on the armrest. Make sure the chair you choose comes with a pneumatic adjuster that allows you to shift the height; typically a height adjustment range of 16 to 21 inches from the floor to the top of the seat is suitable for most users. If you are shorter or taller than average, you may need to look for an option that is designed specifically for your needs, however this height range should work for most people.
Determine Seat Depth and Width
Where you sit in the chair also makes a big difference in your comfort and overall spinal health, not to mention workplace productivity and job satisfaction. When sitting down, you should feel completely supported by the seat. Most people will be comfortable with a width between 17 and 20 inches, but if you have an unusual body shape, make sure to consult with an expert before making a purchase. At the end of the day, you are not going to be comfortable unless you are able to sit with your back against the rest and with a few inches between the back of your knees and the edge of the chair. A seat that allows you to adjust the angle forward is also a must for intensive task purposes.
Consider the Backrest
It’s also imperative to consider the measurements and quality of the backrest when purchasing office chairs. In order to be ergonomically correct, the backrest should measure between 13 and 19 inches high with enough support to conform to your spine’s natural curvature. If you have lower back issues, it is especially important that you consult with a chair expert about this issue. The backrest should be particularly supportive of your lumbar region. Also, it should be height adjustable and/or have an air lumbar support so that you can properly fit the chair to the shape of your back and determine the amount of support needed in your lumbar region.
The seat and backrest material of your office chair should be comfortable. For most, standard seat foam will be comfortable enough for all day sitting. For those that need firmer or softer support, look for chairs that offer memory foam or triple density foam. Mesh seating is advisable for those that want to have a more breathable sitting experience, which can be advantageous in warmer climates. Having a comfortable seat can make all the difference on a long workday.
Last, but Not Least, Look Into Lumbar Support
Any good chair expert will probably tell you that lumbar support is the most important aspect of any ergonomic office chair. If you don’t have proper lumbar support, you will inevitably start slouching, and over time, this can put a great deal of strain on the lower spine, eventually flattening its natural curvature. So, make sure your chair is adjustable, and consult an expert about your unique ergonomic needs.
If you have any doubts about an office chair prior to purchasing, especially when it involves whether it will be a good fit for you and your needs, it is best to consult with an expert prior to purchasing. They can help you make an informed decision and will make you feel more comfortable with the purchase, especially if it is for a more expensive ergonomic office chair. For help finding the perfect chair for you, fill out SitBetter’s chair expert form by clicking here and a chair expert will recommend you some options within 1-2 business day.
There comes a time when every office needs to update their current office chairs for newer models. Whether your old models are breaking down, or your company simply wants to add a fresh look to the office, new office chairs are purchased for a number of reasons. The purchaser must keep certain things in mind when determining which office chairs will be best suited for their staff such as ergonomics, adjustments, pre-existing medical issues, and if any employees have special needs. While this may seem like a tedious and arduous to complete, it can turn more fun when it comes to selecting the fabric for the chair. Cheaper office chairs will have a small number of fabrics to choose between, however high quality ergonomic chairs often come with the option to select from a variety of higher grade fabrics.
Most people ask, are high grade fabrics actually better than the standard fabric that comes on an office chair? The answer to this is yes.
Perhaps the greatest benefit that can be achieved from selecting a higher grade fabric is the certainty that it will uphold much longer than a standard fabric. It is easy to forget how often we slide in and out of our chairs on a daily basis, and each time this occurs your clothing rubs against the fabric which causes the fabric to wear over time. While this is often not advertised, fabrics are rated for abrasion resistance, light-fastness, and colorfastness. Abrasion is the ability of a fabric to withstand damage from wear and rubbing whereas colorfastness refers to rubbing off of color from the fabric onto clothing, hands or other materials and can occur under wet or dry conditions. Light fastness is the degree to which fabric will retain its color when exposed to light. The higher the fabric grade, the more apt it is to avoid damage from light, abrasion, and colors running and the more suitable it will be for ensuring the chairs last for years to come. Higher grade fabrics also come with protective finish as well as backing, making them even more durable.
The fabric chosen to upholster a chair is the most important part of the chairs appearance and plays an important part in its visual appeal. After all, the upholstery is about 80% of the overall chair so it is essential to choose your fabric color wisely. Standard grade one fabrics are typically plain and come in monotonous shades that are the most common among business work places such as black, navy, gray, and burgundy. Higher grade fabrics usually are available in a variety of different colors and patterns that stray away from traditional styling. They also come in a variety of materials such as vinyl, faux leather, leather, antimicrobial vinyl, silica, and other high quality fabric upholstery materials.
With grade 1 fabric, you have a very limited selection of fabrics to choose from and sometimes the colors that are available will not blend in with your pre-existing office furniture. With the vast array of high grade fabrics available, you are able to select from more choices that may correspond better with your other furniture or the overall color scheme of your business.
A higher fabric grade can also mean that the overall chair will be more comfortable. This type of fabric is able to stretch more than standard fabric and therefor provides a softer sit. The fabric material is also usually softer to touch and feels more comfortable when you are seated because of this.
Whether you are looking for fabric that will last over time, a good-looking office chair, additional comfort, or simply to match the color of your other furniture higher grade fabrics are truly better.
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With many struggling to make ends meet and businesses closing on a daily basis, the need for more affordable products is at an all time high. Both home customers and business customers are looking for ways to cut corners to save money at any expen
se, even if it compromises their health and well-being. Many companies have capitalized on this need, selling sub-par products that they are able to sell at a discounted price due to the inexpensive materials used in construction. An office chair is a piece of furniture every home office and business office can not do without and unfortunately, in order to save money many sacrifice their comfort by purchasing cheap office chairs. While you may save money in the short-term, in the long-term your chair is likely to last a year to a year and a half before you will find yourself having to spend the same amount of money again on a brand new chair. It is advisable to look at what features and qualities of an office chair will ensure that it will last for years to come.
The manufacturer’s warranty is the number one indication of how long you can expect your office chair to last. A good office chair should last you up to six years, any warranty that covers the chair for less than six years in length is probably worth passing over. The warranty is a guarantee made by the manufacturer and shows how confident they are in their product. No manufacturer wants to continue to deal with issues customers may experience from a poorly designed office chair, and will only warrant their products for the period of time that most of their previous chairs have lasted. Be certain to read the fine print of warranties prior to purchasing as some manufacturers claim to have a lifetime guarantee but then in the fine print point out that this only covers one part and the rest of the parts are only warranted for a year. This can be deceiving but is a tactic that is often used to make their warranty look more appealing.
In the office furniture industry you truly get what you pay for. If you see an office chair that looks like a deal that is too good to be true, most likely it probably is. Cheap office chairs will lack in adjustability, not allowing the user to fully adjust the chair to meet their body’s needs and will instead lead to unnecessary aches and pains throughout the work day. They will also be constructed of cheaper materials that are likely to break over time which will constantly need to be replaced in order to have a functional office chair. Unfortunately, when one part of an office chair stops functioning correctly or breaks, the whole entire chair is comprised and essentially useless.
Chair Features and Adjustments
There are a few common features that will indicate a cheap office chair. If it is deemed to be upholstered in caressoft or faux leather, this is essentially a plastic mixed with vinyl upholstery, less comfortable and much less softness to the touch than real leather. Another part of the chair to look at is the base. Most cheap office chairs will have a plastic base which is much more likely to crack or break over time than an aluminum or chrome base. It is also crucial to look at the features and adjustments a chair has prior to purchasing. If the chair only allows for seat height adjustment, there is no guarantee that the seat will fit your legs correctly and the back may be set at an awkward position that leads to back pain rather than helping to alleviate back pain.
The next time you or your company is in the market for a new office chair or chairs be certain not to skip on quality to save money, you could compromise your health as well as others. Most spend more time at work than sleeping, it is best to make the investment on creating a comfortable and productive work environment.
To view SitBetter’s extensive selection of office chairs, please click here!
Sitting in an office chair at work is almost inevitable with the growing number of desk jobs and steady increase in office related positions. If you are going to be sitting for the majority of the work day, it is important to be sitting in a chair that is going to be adjustable enough to allow you to sit comfortably for hours a day. While most of us search for chairs with functionality, one area of the chair we often overlook is the armrests. Almost every chair has armrests of some sort or the option to add armrests as an upgrade to the chair. Armrests are an important component of any ergonomic office chair. Proper armrest design allows a place to rest your arms while working, relieving the pressure from your upper back and shoulders which sometimes is experienced when using an armless chair. There are a number of different types of armrests available which is why it is important to determine which will work best for your needs and keep you sitting comfortably throughout the day.
Fixed Armrests – Fixed armrests are the most affordable but also the least adjustable option available. They are fixed in height and are not adjustable. While these type of armrests are certainly an economical choice, they are not a very ergonomic option. They lack the adjustability needed to place the arms at the correct height for your body and can cause back pain because of this. If armrests are too high, this will raise the shoulders, causing tension in the shoulders and upper back muscles. Too low and they may cause you to lean forward which also puts pressure on your upper back. While fixed armrests are not the best choice for ergonomic chairs, they are a good choice for desk chairs that are only used for a few hours a day or conference room chairs.
Height Adjustable Armrests – At the very minimum, armrests should be able to adjust in height to enable your arms to rest in a comfortable working position for your everyday tasks. Height adjustable arms can be found as an option or included on most office chairs and is among the most popular armrest available. If it is not included in the price of the chair, adjustable armrests are generally reasonably priced to add-on as an option.
Some height adjustable armrests are also width adjustable, allowing the user to move the armrests out further from their seat if they are wider or bring them in closer to the body if they have a smaller frame. If you do have width adjustable armrests be certain not to put the armrests too close together as this can interfere with relaxed typing and restrict the ability to rest your hands in your lap when you are not typing, creating a confined environment. Armrests which are too far apart may cause shoulders to over-extend, causing upper back strain. Width adjustment is not as common as height adjustment in armrests and can only be found on certain models by select manufacturers.
Multi-Function Armrests – Multi-function armrests are highly adjustable and allow for the arms to be adjusted in height, width, and the arm pad has the ability to pivot. These highly adjustable armrests are a great option for shorter or wider individuals that need their arms closer to their body or farther away. The independent pivoting action helps accommodate sideways arm postures that are commonly found among computer users.
With the large range of adjustments available in multi-function arms, it is important to make sure that they do not interfere with your work surface. Poorly designed armrests may constrain postures, causing users to hunch forward and work with elevated arms. Specific work stations set ups may interfere with armrests, contributing to poor posture while working. Pivoting armrests allow the arm pad to be angled inward to prevent problems with narrow diameter corner work surfaces which can be obstructive.
Lateral Adjustable Armrests – Perhaps one of the most advanced armrests to emerge on the market to date, lateral adjustable armrests are an ergonomist’s dream come true especially in the petite market. They are both height and width adjustable and perhaps the best feature of all, can telescope up to 3″ inwards. They are a great choice for petite users that have a difficult time finding an armrest that allows them to rest their arms at the correct position close enough to their body without having to use a children’s chair. These advanced armrests are expensive in price but also among the most ergonomic/adjustable option out there.
Designing good armrests is not an easy task. Not only do people come in a broad range of sizes; they also develop their own ways of sitting over the years. Women tend to sit upright whereas men tend to lean back in their chairs and lounge. Armrests also must accommodate users’ different workstation configurations, including ergonomic accessories such as keyboard trays and mouse pads. Finding the right armrests luckily is not as difficult of a task. With the research and technology being developed in the field of ergonomics, armrests are now able to fit a larger range of users than ever before. When deciding which arms will work best for your work environment, remember the more adjustable the better.
Most of us spend more time in our office chairs than we do driving our cars every week, and some even spend more time seated in a chair than they do sleeping in a bed. With so much time being spent sitting in an office chair, it is important that it is properly fitted to meet your needs and body type. A chair that is too large or small for the user can cause unnecessary aches and pains that can eventually lead to more serious conditions such as chronic back pain. When experiencing upper back pain, the most common solution is to find an office chair that has a taller back with a headrest to fully support our necks and shoulders. While the main objective of a headrest is to support the head, it can actually cause more harm than help. Follow our tips on selecting the right headrest and save yourself from a headache, literally!
What to Avoid When Picking Out a Headrest
The first piece of information you will want to look for when researching a product to see if it will suit your needs is how tall the back rest is. If a headrest is fixed in place and does not have the ability be adjusted up or down, you may find that this will end up causing pain instead of helping relieve your pain. Chairs with fixed headrests should typically be avoided as these will only properly fit a select few people that fall within a specified height range. So how does one spot a chair that has a fixed headrest? The most common indication that a chair has a fixed headrest is if the price is too good to be true. Most of the time, a good headrest can add up to $125 to the cost of the chair. The best way to determine if a headrest will work for you if shopping online is to look at the product details and see if there is any indication that the headrest is adjustable. If you are unable to find this information or if it is not clear, be sure to call customer service prior to purchasing to ensure that the chair will work for you without having to deal with a restocking fee to return the product.
Limited height adjustability may also cause problems, especially if the chair has a high back design. Shorter individuals will not be able to fully utilize the benefits of the headrest.
What Makes a Great Headrest?
A great headrest will at the very least, be adjustable in height. An even better headrest will have the ability to be adjusted both up and down as well as in and out. Normally it will not be in constant contact with your head, rather it is there for when you would like to rest your head or neck against when you feel like it. This allows us to work without it getting in the way or pushing our heads forward, which can cause strain on the upper back and neck.
Even if a headrest is fully adjustable, it may still be too tall for shorter users. It is important to find a chair that has the proper back height in order to make the use of a headrest effective. A back that is too tall will not provide your head with the right support. If you are a shorter user, consider selecting a petite office chair that has the ability to come with a headrest. The back height on petite office chairs is specifically designed for shorter users and some higher end models have the option for fully adjustable headrests to be added on as an upgrade.
By taking these points into consideration you should be able to avoid purchasing the wrong office chair. Be sure to take the necessary measurements to ensure that your back rest height is not too high or too short for your structure. If interested in a chair, be certain to find out all of its dimensions prior to purchasing to make sure it aligns with your own. A headrest can be beneficial if all the necessary steps are taken to find the right office chair for your needs.
Find the right ergonomic office chair with headrest by shopping at SitBetter.com!