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Finding the best office chair is important, since you’ll spend many hours working from it. Unless you have an ergonomist on call, it may be difficult to find a proper fitting chair for your body. The right office chair for you should:
- Support your body uniformly
- Allow for ease of movement
- Be easily adjustable
- Provide comfort in the long term
- Help you in maintaining your posture
Office chairs are available in many sizes and shapes. Consider these tips before you buy your new office chair.
Depth of Seat
Seat depth is essential to your overall comfort. If the seat is not large enough, it won’t give you enough support. If it’s too big, it will place pressure on the backs of your knees, causing discomfort. While sitting, measure the distance from the backrest to the back of your knee. There should be 2-3 fingers or roughly 1.5 inches between your knee back and the edge of the seat.
Height of Seat
Your new chair should let you sit comfortably with your feet flat against the floor, with a 90-degree knee bend angle. Proper seat height will achieve this. Measure the height from the crease at the back of your knee to the floor. Consider the types of footwear you usually wear to work. You will have about four inches of adjustment in a cylinder. Special ergonomic chairs may have an option for different cylinder height, which is helpful if you’re short or tall.
Computer users today often experience shoulder and neck pain if their arms are unsupported and elevated. Armrests support your shoulder and neck muscles, but they can also limit your access to the desk or keyboard. Armrests work best when they are at the same height as your resting elbow height.
The backrest shape should follow your back’s natural curve. Office chairs with “S” shaped backs do this well. Adjustable back rests or those with lumbar support will allow you to position the backrest to support your spine. A taller back will fully support your neck and shoulders.
Width of Seat
The seat cushions must support your frame in width and depth. A cushion that’s too small won’t give full support. One that’s too large will not allow comfortable use of your armrests. Check to be sure that the distance between the armrests isn’t too wide or too narrow.
Just about every office chair comes standard with wheels (also known as casters) which allow you to move freely from one place to another with ease. If you are anything like me and sit in your office chair for eight hours a day, your chair will inevitably get some mileage on it. You may not even be aware how often your chair rolls around, even if it is to simply adjust the way you are sitting, almost every movement your body makes requires the chair to move. When the wheels of your office chair stop working well, moving your chair may start to become a struggle rather than a convenience. Wheels often do not function properly because they become clogged with dirt, hair, dust, and other debris. Fortunately, cleaning the wheels of your chair is an easy task that does not require much work. It will also return your chair back to the enjoyable piece of furniture it once used to be.
The first step to getting your chair wheels squeaky clean again is to start by tipping your chair upside down, making the wheels of the chair stick up in the air. You may want to sit in another chair while beginning the cleaning process in order to avoid fatigue. If you are worried about getting your hands dirty come prepared by wearing latex gloves and have a trash bag readily available to throw away the debris as you go.
In order to remove larger debris, use a butter knife as your tool of choice to scrape them off. A butter knife will fit through the slots and under the wheel cover. These areas can easily be cleaned and will allow you to remove most of the debris that are preventing the wheels from rolling. Be tactful in how you use your knife to clean; too much force may create gouges in the plastic wheels which will prevent them from spinning properly. For removing unwanted hair from wheels, use a pair of tweezers.
Next you will want to remove the wheels from your chair. On most chairs, the wheels can simply be pulled off with a little force. Some chairs may require a screwdriver to unscrew the wheels from the chair. Once the wheels are removed, rub the wheels down with a damp cloth in order to remove any excess grime or dirt. If you need assistance reaching inside the wheels, cotton swabs work great for getting in those tough to reach areas.
Once you are done cleaning your wheels, make sure to thoroughly dry each of them with a clean dry cloth, paper towel, or towel. If moisture remains inside the wheel, it can cause squeaking or allow dirt to stick easier. Spray the inside of each wheel with a spray lubricant. Wipe off any excess or dripping lubricant as it can attract dirt.
Once you are done cleaning, drying, and lubricating your chair simply pop your wheels back on and flip your chair back over. Your chair should roll good as new and depending on how often you use your chair, you should be good in the wheel cleaning department for awhile. The whole process is a pretty quick and shouldn't take you more than ten minutes.
When you purchase an office chair, a large majority of the time your chair will come equipped with casters, which are basically the wheels you have on your chair that allow you to move around. If your chair does have wheels, you are probably using them in your office more than you realize. For most of us, how much we use the wheels on our office chair generally is not a recurring thought that goes through our mind regularly. From rolling over to the printer to rolling to the fax machine, office chair wheels get a pretty good amount of mileage on them without us even thinking about it. Until the day you realize your casters are not working properly or one breaks, then you begin to notice how much you actually depended on them. Or there is always the slight chance you and your employees embarked on an office chair racing challenge and one of you took a turn too sharply and broke one of the chair's casters in the process. That sometimes can happens too.
If any of these scenarios do take place, there is no need to worry, replacing the casters on your office chair is actually pretty simple. If you know the model number and manufacturer for your office chair, you can easily locate the casters that will fit properly. Sometimes if you flip your office chair over and look underneath the seat, that information is readily available on a paper attached. Alternately, when you get your chair in the mail save any papers you get in that box because they will generally have information on the manufacturer and chair you purchased. Once this information is located you can call the manufacturer, or even the retailer you purchased the chair from. If they do not carry the casters, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction to purchase a new set for your chair.
Casters appear to be the same on every chair, but in reality there are many different varieties of casters available. The difference in casters is the material from which they are made from and whether you want them to move or not. It is just a matter of finding out which caster is going to work for the surface your office chair will be rolling on and how you want your chair to function. If you are rolling around on a carpet, plastic casters are the way to go and generally come standard on chairs. A harder caster is needed for a harder surface, such as tile or hard wood floors. If you do not want your chair to move, then you should opt for glides rather than casters which allow your chair to stay in one place. Pressure braking casters can also be used if you want your chair to stay in one place, but you also want the ability to move around at the same time. Simply applying pressure to the casters while sitting down will brake your casters, allowing you to stay in one place.
If you are looking to spice up your office chair, you will find that there are casters for your office chair available in many different colors. No longer is the standard of black or silver casters for your office chair enforced, now you can easily match the casters to go with your decor, the color of the chair, or even if you want to add a little spice to a black or neutral colored chair. This is a great way to add a touch of style to your chair that is inexpensive and requires little effort.
Office chair casters, as simple as they are, are something you do not realize is a necessity until they are not working properly. If yours are not working or if you just want a different kind of caster, it is simple to replace and relatively inexpensive. While casters are a small part of the overall chair, they are still needed to make the chair function properly overall. If you need help getting replacement casters for a chair that you purchased on Sitbetter.com we will be happy to assist you! Call our toll free number at 1-866-311-9421.
A classic "This is Sportscenter" Ad that I am sure many people have had experience with, having other people in their office "borrow" their office chair...Maybe not a throne, but you get the idea!
We love the Office here, for a variety of reasons that if you've seen the show you're most likely familiar with. Great writing, acting, and above all, ironically deadpan office comedy. It's great.
The last episode of the latest season, aired 12/4/08, hit close to home for us. Titled "The Surplus" it essentially focused around a budget surplus and what to do with it - 95% of the office battling to get new ergonomic office chairs, and 2 other people wanting a new copier. It seemed that the only person on the show who didn't know what the value in new chairs is was the boss. (He even pronounced "ergonomically" erglonomically, or some disasterous version of the word!) It was funny, but true to the point that chairs are very much overlooked...
Anyways, we have an "older" copier here at Sitbetter...And man, do those copies sometimes suck! That said, at least it drives a complaint only when it is used, as opposed to a really uncomfortable, old office chair - they can be horrible and complaint worthy every minute spent on it.
Do I recommend buying chairs over a copier? Not if we sold copiers too! On a serious note, though, all I am saying to take from the episode and this post is you cannot overlook the seating in the office. You can always use carbon paper to make copies - can't exactly have employees be productive sitting on a crappy office chair.
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