So you are on a quest to find the ultimate ergonomic office chair, one that is going to keep you sitting comfortably throughout the day while keeping those unnecessary aches and pains away. Does such a chair even exist? Your first thought might be to get in your car and drive to the nearest Staples to find your new ergonomic chair, but then you remember that they only carry cheap office chairs that are not designed for all day sitting. Your next thought then may be to visit an online office chair retailer, but you are not sure where to even begin looking with the wide selection of chairs to choose from. If you are looking for the one universal ergonomic office chair that works for everyone, think again, because such a chair does not exist. To find the ultimate ergonomic office chair for yourself, you need to first figure out what is going to work best for your body and your needs rather than purchasing a chair just because everyone else has it or you have heard it is popular.
The first step towards finding your ultimate ergonomic office chair is to figure out the dimensions needed to accommodate your body size. First, determine the seat depth(length of the seat) that will be required for your new chair. This is a crucial step because a chair that is too long will put pressure on the back of your knees and a chair that is too short may not fully support your legs. A good way to determine your ideal seat depth is to turn towards your current office chair; if your current seat depth already works for you then make sure your new chair will have the same seat measurements. If it is too long, look for a chair with a smaller seat depth and vice versa if your chair’s seat is too short. If you prefer a softer sit while working look for a chair that offers seat foam upgrades such as a gel seat or triple density foam otherwise some chairs come standard with an extra thick seat.
Next you will need to figure out the seat height range necessary for you to be able to keep your feet flat on the floor while working(or on a foot rest) and work with your height. You will also need to take into consideration the height of your desk to ensure your chair will fit underneath your desk if needed, especially if you would like a chair with armrests. Most standard desks are 29″ measured from the floor to the top of the desk, however some have higher workstations or adjustable desks that can be lowered and raised if needed. If you are a shorter individual a standard cylinder that comes with most office chairs may be too tall for you causing your legs to be bent at an awkward angle. The same can be said for taller individuals who need a longer cylinder and higher seat height adjustment range. Certain specialty ergonomic office chairs offer different cylinder size options to accommodate individuals of any height from children 4′ tall to adults that are 6’8″.
Having the right back height for your office chair can be of particular importance for those who suffer from back pain and even for those who want to avoid back pain. A good way to determine the back height that will be needed for your chair is to look at your current office chair. If you currently suffer from upper back you will want to look for a chair that’s back will come up high enough to support your shoulder blades. Have a friend measure your back in its entirety from the top of the seat on your current office chair up to your shoulder blades to calculate how tall you will need your back rest to be. If you experience neck pain look for a chair that comes with an adjustable headrest. Again you will need to measure your back to ensure you do not pick a chair that has a back that is too high or too low, otherwise your headrest may end up turning out to be detrimental rather than helpful. Many people suffer from lower back pain from having a chair that does not have proper lumbar support which is why it is crucial to find a chair that offers built-in lumbar support, adjustable lumbar support, or air lumbar support to prevent lower back pain.
The last factor to consider is how adjustable you will need your ultimate ergonomic chair to be. If you work for more 8 or more hours a day, you will likely need a highly adjustable chair that allows you to recline throughout the day with tilt lock and tilt tension control(allows the user to choose the amount of tension needed to recline back in their chair and to lock their chair in the upright position when typing then unlock when recline is desired). If you are a taller or shorter individual, it may be beneficial to have a seat slider adjustment that allows you to determine make your chair’s seat depth either longer or shorter. If most of your day is spent hunched over typing it would be beneficial to have a chair with back and seat angle adjustment to allow you to lean your back rest and seat forward while doing extensive typing. A chair with an adjustable back rest can benefit just about anyone if the chair comes with built-in back support, then the individual using the chair can adjust the back to reach their lumbar region rather than having a chair that pre-determines it for you and risking having it not fit your back properly. The level of adjustability need will vary amongst individuals and will require some thinking to decide which adjustments are absolutely necessary and which you may be able to live without.
A new ergonomic chair does not come at a cheap price, which is why you need to do your research and make sure that you know exactly what you need to keep you sitting comfortably. Make sure to look at the chair’s warranty, if the chair is warranted for only a few years this is a good indication of how long the chair will last you. Contrarily, if a chair has a ten year or lifetime guarantee this is a good indication that the chair is built to last and withstand tough working conditions. You may need to put a little extra money than you hoped to get your ultimate ergonomic chair but in the long run it will save you from visits to the chiropractor, money spent on having to replace a bad chair, and aches and pains caused by sitting in a poorly designed chairs.
You already have an ergonomic set up at your work office where you spend the majority of your time, so do you really need to have your home office ergonomically equipped too? Most would probably speculate no, especially for those that spend little time in their home office except for the occasional few hours after work or on the weekend. Outfitting your home office with proper ergonomic equipment is just as important as your work set up at your job, particularly for those who work from home. When you are at work, you may have little say in regards to which office chair you get to use and what office furniture gets purchased. However, at your house, you are the boss of your office furniture, and therefor get the freedom to determine exactly what you want and need in your home office. With this freedom, you can ultimately decide what you want and need in order to make working at home a pleasant and pain-free experience.
- ergonomic office chair that is fully adjustable to meet your body’s needs and keep you sitting pain-free. The Office Chair – Perhaps the most critical piece of office furniture in any work environment is an office chair; the most used piece of furniture that can greatly contribute to your overall comfort. If you only use your home office chair for a few hours a day, you will want to make sure that your chair is comfortable and has at least a little bit of adjustability. Ideally you will want a chair that has seat height adjustment, reclining capabilities(typically known as tilt lock and tilt control), and some level of lumbar support for your lower back. If you work from home or use your home office chair for more than a few hours a day, you will want an
- keyboard tray is a beneficial ergonomic accessory useful in any office environment where hours of typing at a desk is required, whether you are at work or at home. The Keyboard – Ever experience aches and pains in your wrists or forearms while typing? This is the result of a poorly positioned keyboard and can lead to serious health injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome if not addressed. Your computer’s keyboard should not be placed on top of your desk as this will cause strain to your wrists. It is best to have a keyboard tray installed underneath your desk as this allows for the most natural typing position with your shoulders rested and arms in a comfortable position. A
- monitor arm which allows for quick and easy adjustment. Most monitor arms are designed to fit any monitor of any size and come with an easy to install clamp or mount that does not cause any damage to your desk. If you use a laptop in your home office, consider purchasing a laptop dock to avoid neck pain from tilting your head down to read your computer screen. The Computer Monitor - Your computer monitor should be properly adjusted so that the top of the monitor is at eye level or slightly below. You should not have to look up at the monitor because this will put strain on your neck and upper back. An easy way to properly position your computer monitor with minimal effort is with a
- footrest is a necessary addition for any office where your feet can not be firmly placed on the floor when sitting in your office chair. This may be the case if your desk height is higher than normal or if you are a shorter individual whose chair can not be adjusted low enough. A footrest is also a nice office accessory to have if you want to rest your feet or have something to prop them up on when reclining in your chair. While you may not find a footrest in every office you enter, it is a nice addition to have if you need a break from keeping your feet flat on the floor, especially if you have a movable footrest that encourages movement of the legs to help avoid cramping or stiffness. The Footrest – A
- task light should be placed on your desk close to your computer monitor so that you have proper lighting when looking at your computer screen. Task lights are a relatively inexpensive investment and are an important accessory to have in home offices where the lighting usually is not as adequate as it should be. Task Light – More often than not, the lights in our houses are not adequate for reading especially for long periods of time. Bad lighting can cause eye strain and an uncomfortable work atmosphere. Just as you would have a reading light for your books, a task light is a great office accessory to invest in when working at home. Your
Setting up an ergonomic home office requires minimal effort and time, however it can sometimes be more of an investment than one would hope for. The benefits you will receive from having an ergonomic home office will greatly outweigh the costs by saving you from unnecessary medical ailments that can occur from purchasing cheap office furniture or trying to cut corners in order to save money. Your overall health can be affected from having an improper work set up and can lead to serious medical issues down the road. Your home is where you feel most comfortably so your home office should not be any different.
To view Sitbetter’s comprehensive site of ergonomic office chairs and ergonomic office accessories please click here.
Having an ergonomic office chair has become a necessary piece of office furniture for any business where employees are required to sit consecutively for multiple hours at a time. While purchasing an ergonomic chair is certainly the first step towards achieving a comfortable work environment, another essential step to take after purchasing is to fully understand how each adjustment works on your new ergonomic chair. No matter how adjustable a chair is, it will not benefit the user unless it is properly adjusted to meet their needs and specifications. If you have recently purchased an ergonomic office chair with advanced adjustments that go above and beyond the typical seat height adjustment most chairs come with standard, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with your new chair in order to utilize its full capabilities and comfort potential. By educating yourself on the features of your office chair, you will be able to properly adjust your chair to fit your body and you may even find yourself pleasantly surprised with additional features you were not even aware of when purchasing. We have outlined a few advanced adjustments found in highly ergonomic office chairs that your chair right now may have or may need, and how to properly use this adjustments.
Seat Slider – A seat slider is typically an add-on or an upgrade for most chairs, however it does come standard on some ergonomic office chairs. A chair that has a seat slider adjustment is advantageous to shorter or taller individuals as it allows for you to increase or decrease the depth of the seat. This is also a great feature to have if multiple people use the same office chair to accommodate the different heights of the users. A seat slider can be extended typically by pulling up on a lever located directly under the seat while simultaneously pulling the seat out to make the depth longer. If you would like a smaller seat depth you would pull up on the lever again and simultaneously push the seat in to make the depth shorter. A seat slider is always beneficial to have on any chair as it allows for you to have the correct seat depth for your body, without having a seat that is too long and hits the back of your knees or too short that your thighs do not receive enough support.
Air Lumbar Support – Air lumbar support is a pump built into the lower part of the chair’s backrest that allows the user to inflate or deflate the level of support needed in the lumbar region. Because of its uniqueness, most office chairs do not come with air lumbar support and can only be found on more advanced ergonomic chairs, typically as an upgradable option. Air lumbar support is ideal for those who suffer from lower back pain and want to have the ability to determine the level of support they will receive in the lumbar region. Typically a hand pump can be found on the side of a chair’s backrest and with this pump you can choose your level of support. Deflating is also a simple task, by simply pressing a button on the pump it will automatically return the chair’s back to its original state.
Adjustable Headrest – Having a chair with an adjustable headrest allows the user to position the headrest in a position that is comfortable for both their neck and head. Depending on the chair, there are two ways to adjust a headrest. The first and easiest way, if your chair allows for it, is to manually adjust the headrest by simply moving it up and down or in and out until you reach your desired level of comfort. On other chairs with a less advanced adjustable headrest, you will have to unscrew a knob on the side of the headrest at which point you can then pull the headrest up or push it down until you find the right height. At this point, you could then would tighten the knob to keep the headrest in place. Having a chair with an adjustable headrest is helpful for those who suffer from upper back and neck pain by providing that extra support needed.
Back Angle Adjustment – A chair with back angle adjustment allows the user to position the angle of the backrest and lock it in place. To increase the angle of the back, lift the paddle up while putting your weight on the back of the chair until the desired angle is reached. Release the paddle to lock. To decrease the angle of the back, lift the paddle up while removing your weight from the back until you reach the desired angle. Release the paddle to lock into place. Back angle adjustment is best applied in environments where heavy tasking is required and typing with the back and a forward angle and seat with a downward angle is most comfortable. It can also be useful when you want to take a break from work and lean back in your chair.
Seat Angle Adjustment – Seat angle adjustment allows the user to determine the degree at which they would like to have their seat tilted at. To tilt the seat forward, first recline slightly in the chair and then rotate the handle clockwise until desired angle is reached. To return to the neutral position, rotate the handle counter-clockwise. Other chairs simply have a lever next to the seat which needs to be pulled up apply pressure to the front of the seat for a downward sloping angle or the back of the seat for an upward sloping angle. As aforementioned, a seat angle adjustment is most applicable in heavy tasking environments where long periods of typing may be involved.
While these adjustments are considered to be advanced they can be very valuable to have, especially for individuals that suffer from back and neck pain or as a preventative measure to avoid experiencing back pain. Ergonomic office chairs with advanced adjustments are normally more expensive in price, however they offer supreme levels of adjustability allowing the chair to be tailored to the individual while helping you sit healthy and happy at work. They are also more cost-effective in the long run than a chair with basic adjustability that may break down after only a year or two of usage; advanced ergonomic chairs are designed to last ten years or longer with warranties that reflect this. Your wallet may not be happy but your back will thank you for years to come.
To view our extensive line of ergonomic office chairs suitable for every budget click here!
Office chairs are becoming a thing of the past, as more offices and home users are making the switch to exercise ball chairs. While the idea of using an exercise ball as a chair may seem unconventional, many have already took a leap of faith and have thrown out their old office chairs and replaced it with a ball chair. Whether you use your office chair 8 hours a day at work, an hour a day while studying for a test, or for browsing the internet at home, a ball chair can easily substitute an office chair in any of these circumstances. If you haven’t already seen a ball chair in your office or other offices, you may begin to see them soon as more and more people become familiarized with the benefits of using an exercise ball as a chair.
- Better Posture – Most ball chairs come without a back rest which at first may feel a little unnatural, especially if you have spent years sitting in a traditional office chair. Although it may seem like sitting in a backless chair may be more harmful than beneficial, this actually helps remind the user to sit with proper posture and slouching or slumping over becomes more apparent. Sitting on a ball chair also requires some level of balance forcing your spine into proper alignment because coincidentally, sitting with perfect spinal positioning is the easiest way to balance oneself. Sitting with proper posture not only helps decrease your level of back pain but also improves your health.
- Improves Balance – Sitting on a surface that is unstable requires balance, especially when you are accustomed to consistently sitting on an office chair that stays in one place. Most ball chairs come with a sturdy base which allows for more stability over just using a regular exercise ball, however, some degree of balance is still required. After sitting for a few weeks on a ball chair you will start to see your improved balance, even outside of the office.
- Movability – Sitting on a ball chair naturally causes you to frequently change positions in order to keep balance. Moving around frequently creates a healthy work environment that usually can’t be achieved in a standard office chair. These constant small adjustments build the endurance and strength of the postural muscles which facilitate optimal posture. With this dynamic sitting experience you are taking away the stress of sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time which tends to happen when sitting on a traditional office chair.
- Get Fit While You Sit – What most do not realize is that when you are sitting on a ball chair, you are working to stay balanced. Staying balanced and in an upright position requires your core muscles to work overtime, therefor giving you a low-key abdominal work out while you are working. Despite the low intensity abdominal work out, if you consider all the hours you spend sitting everyday at work those hours are going to eventually add up , resulting in strengthened ab muscles.
- Work Out While You Work – A great benefit of owning a ball chair, whether it has a stability base or not, is that you can easily transform your chair into a work out instrument. If your ball chair comes with a base, simply take it off its platform and it is as easy as that to perform a wide range of exercises and stretches. Your breaks and time spent waiting can be transformed into a productive work out and your equipment of choice is conveniently sitting right beneath you.
- Burn Calories While You Work – Moving around is the easiest way to burn calories, and with the continuous movement you will experience from sitting on a ball chair, it is possible to burn up to 350 calories in one day of working. This is a clear advantage over sitting in an office chair that forces you to sit in one position throughout the day. If you use your ball chair for multiple hours at a time on a regular basis, you may find yourself feeling and looking more fit.
- Inexpensive – A good ergonomic chair will cost about $200 and up depending on the desired quality and level of adjustability. Ball chairs are an inexpensive means of sitting with most averaging around $139 for a ball chair with a sturdy base or as little as $15 if you are just looking for an exercise ball.
- Make Work Fun – Use your imagination to see why a ball chair can be a fun and exciting alternative to an office chair. What kind of office chair allows you to bounce sporadically throughout the day while relieving your back aches and pains at the same time?
New users are recommended to make a gradual transition into sitting on a ball chair full-time to give your body time to adapt to this new way of sitting. Start off by sitting on the ball chair for 15 minutes your first day and increase your time by 15 minutes on each subsequent day until you make your way up to 8 hours. Some users have found that they like to use their ball chair in conjunction with their regular office chair, allowing them to switch to the ball chair at their convenience when their back wants a break. Still apprehensive about owning a ball chair? With its unique ergonomic qualities, obvious health benefits, and inexpensive cost you have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain if you make the switch.
To view Sitbetter’s ultra ergonomic Evolution Ball Chair please click here!
There are many different styles of office chairs available both online and in retail stores, however most modern or new models are designed to be adjusted pneumatically. Chairs that feature a pneumatic height adjustment can simply be adjusted by pushing or pulling either a button or lever located right below the seat. With a little bit of pressure exerted by you while pushing or pulling the button or lever below the seat, you may easily have the chair’s height go down. If you get off your chair and pull or push that same button or lever you can just as easily have the chair’s height go up. Older office chair models can be adjusted by turning a thick bolt which allows you to pick the height you would like to have your chair positioned at. Adjusting the height of your chair may seem like common sense and a trivial matter, but it is actually very important to adjust the height to fit your body type. Chairs that are not properly adjusted to meet the needs of the user may cause back pain, eye strain from not being properly positioned in front of your computer screen, fatigue from poor circulation, and numerous other health issues. This can be especially true if you sit in the same position for long periods of time.
When determining the correct height to have your office chair at, first make sure to place it in front of the desk or work area you will be spending most of your time at. If you have a keyboard tray installed underneath your desk, you will also need to take that into consideration when deciding the correct height your office chair should be at. Keep in mind that you will want to have a good amount of clearance between your keyboard tray or desk and your thighs to enable you to work more comfortably. If your computer chair comes with arms you will also want to take that into consideration as well especially if they are not height adjustable.
Once you have determined where you will be spending most of your time sitting and ergonomic accessories that may also play a part in the height adjustment of your chair, you will want to locate where the button or lever is on your chair that controls the height. On most chair models, it is generally located on the right hand side of the chair right below the seat. Some higher end chairs may even have pictures on their levers explaining what each lever on the chair does. All chair models will vary, and you will need to take the time to understand what each button does in order to fully adjust your chair to meet your needs.
After you fully understand how to adjust your chair, place the chair in front of the work area in which you will be using it most often. If your chair can be adjusted pneumatically simply apply a little pressure and push down on the seat while pulling the lever up to have the chair go down in height. To have the chair go up, apply a little pressure to the bottom of the seat and pull up with one hand while simultaneously pulling the lever up with the other. Computer chairs that do not have a pneumatic lift can be adjusted by loosening the height adjustment bolt by hand and pulling up or pushing down on the seat until the desired height is reached. Once you are happy with the height of the chair you will then need to tighten the bolt back to its original place.
The most important part of this process is making sure to test the chair’s height. Once you have reached the height you think your chair will work best for you at, take a seat to see how it feels. Your feet should be resting flat on the floor, with your knees bent at a ninety degree angle to optimize blood flow. It may take a few tries to get your chair positioned at the correct height, but keep in mind that it is important that you do to avoid unnecessary stress and pains. Some chairs will automatically lock into place once you have released the pneumatic height lever. Others may have a separate locking mechanism. If your chair requires a locking mechanism to lock the height in place, make sure to do so before putting your full weight on the chair.
With all office chairs, be sure to treat them with care. Raising and lowering your chair often may cause the chair to wear out quicker over time. If you do not share your chair with others, try to find your ideal height and keep it there, only adjusting it when necessary.