The modern world has changed significantly in the past few decades. We’ve gone from having a mostly active lifestyle to a sedentary one. Even those who work out of the home spend the majority of their time sitting down. According to OSHA, 33% of all workplace accidents in 2011 were due to musculoskeletal problems stemming from poor ergonomics, and if you have a home office, that applies to you. Your office chair is the first line of defense against these dangerous health problems. How do you choose a good home office chair?
Pony Up the Cash
If you’ve taken a look at ergonomic office chairs recently, you know they’re not cheap. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality chair. With that being said, you can’t really get a bargain-basement chair and expect it to hold up. You get what you pay for in many cases. Be prepared to pay a little more for a decent chair (say, up to about $300).
Adjustability Is Paramount
The number one rule of ergonomics is that one size does not fit all. The more adjustments a home office chair features, the better it will be for you. Look for a chair with adjustable height and tilt so you can adjust it to fit your body perfectly. You should also look for models with adjustable armrests as well, particularly if you spend a good deal of your day typing at the keyboard. Adjustability is paramount – you must ensure that the chair you purchase can come as close as possible to a tailor-made position for your specific frame, height and weight.
As a note, the chair’s height adjustment should provide enough travel that you can leave your feet flat on the floor. If your feet are angled so your toes touch the floor but not your heels, or if they’re dangling in midair, you’ve got the wrong chair.
Comfort is an important consideration when buying a home office chair. Avoid thinly padded chairs and those without padding on the armrests. Mesh chairs are something of a different beast – the mesh features natural give to provide almost the same comfort as thick padding. In a padded chair, look for a model that features memory foam so it will mold to your body’s contours rather than flattening out across the entire seat through use.
There are two forms of lumbar support in the office chair world – thicker padding in the lumbar region and adjustable lumbar support (usually via a lever on the side of the chair’s back). Both can work well, but you’ll get better results out of a chair with adjustable lumbar support. Usually, extra padding will wear down and reduce the amount of support offered, even with a high quality chair. If possible, opt for a lumbar adjustable model.
With the right home office chair, you can ensure that you protect yourself from dangerous musculoskeletal injury, enhance your comfort and even work longer if necessary.
Whether you work from home fulltime or you just need an office where you can take care of household paperwork, bills and keep your records, setting it up the right way is important. Ergonomics are generally thought of as being a workplace consideration, but that’s far from the truth. Any office space should be set up ergonomically, and anyone using an office area will find that doing things the right way can protect them from serious harm. Here’s what you need to know before you start.
Plan Your Space Effectively
Whether you’re setting up a home office in a separate room or you’re making use of your living or sitting room area for an impromptu office, you need to plan the space effectively. Part of your considerations here should be to ensure that traffic can flow through effectively. Obviously, this is more important in an office that will share space with other uses, but even an office set up in its own room needs to maximize space.
Light is a very important consideration for any office environment. Ideally, you’ll set up your office in an area with plenty of natural light. Set your desk so that sunlight comes in behind the computer monitor, though. Setting it up so that the monitor actually faces a window will force you to fight a glare, leading to eyestrain. If your office area doesn’t have any windows, make sure you invest in good lighting. Several lamps should be used to provide illumination even in an office where you’ll be primarily working with a computer (with a lighted monitor).
Avoid the temptation to buy a cheap office chair. While a good chair will set you back $100 or more, it’s important that you invest in a quality chair with an ergonomic design. Look for an office chair with good padding in the seat, adjustable armrests, adjustable seat height and good lumbar support. The chair should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your arms at the same level as the desk. If you cannot keep your feet flat on the floor, invest in a footrest or opt for a shorter desk (or a desk with an adjustable height work surface).
When setting up your computer workstation, it’s vital that you have the right amount of space and the right alignment. The monitor should be between 20 and 36 inches from your face, and it should be slightly below eye level when you’re seated in the chair. Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned just under your hand level (with a negative tilt), and if you’re using a keyboard drawer, it should be large enough for both the mouse and the keyboard.
These simple tips will help ensure that you’re able to set up a home office that keeps you comfortable and prevents serious injuries over time. As far as décor and style go, feel free to go nuts.
Many of us spend eight plus hours per day in our work space. After a long stint at the keyboard or drafting table, sitting can start to take a toll on the body. It isn’t uncommon to experience aches and pains in spots like your back, shoulders and neck. Although it may be necessary to spend a lot of time sitting at your job, there are ways to make your personal space more comfortable.
Here are several products that can make the long work days a little easier on you, physically and mentally.
One thing that can certainly be disturbing—and even unhealthy at times—is air quality indoors. Especially in a place of employment where there might be tens or even hundreds of people, the air can begin to get stale.
This is why it’s a good idea to get an air purifier. These things can filter out a lot of allergens, smoke, viruses and even some chemicals in the air that may result from paint or building materials. They quietly and efficiently clean the area around where you work so that you can be sure you’re getting clean oxygen, no matter how big or small your working area is.
Sometimes comfort has more to do with mental health than your physical well-being, or it can be just as important, anyhow. Think about how you feel when the spot where you toil is filled with clutter and disorganization; it can certainly make you feel chaotic inside, as well.
Organizing carts are the perfect solution. They often contain two or three shelves that let you corral wayward items and give belongings a designated spot. Many of these commodities are height adjustable and have rolling castors in case you want to use them elsewhere for a presentation. Surge protectors are included a lot of the time, and you can typically store at least 75 pounds worth of objects atop the sturdy steel construction.
There is nothing more annoying than having your chair constantly get stuck on the carpet and other items while you are trying to work. Especially when you have a rolling seat, things can get in the way, making it hard for you to seamlessly move between work areas without interruption.
A chair mat can really help with this, and it may also add some pizzazz to an otherwise humdrum space. Bamboo mats, for instance, are smooth, non-slip and can be had in natural and dark cherry finishes. They are also eco-friendly because they are responsibly harvested, and they are made from a species of bamboo that is not included in the panda bear’s diet.
Physical comfort has a lot to do with ergonomics. If your body isn’t aligned properly or if you aren’t able to switch positions frequently it inevitably leads to aches and pains. Having a good footrest in your cubicle can assist with this. These items can have wheels on them so you can take them wherever the day leads. The nicer ones can also contain foam and mesh to cradle your feet and ankles at a cozy height.
Step stools don’t just have to do with comfort; they also relate to safety. If you work in a place with higher ceilings, chances are that you may need to retrieve something from aloft on occasion. Having a quality stool will allow you to safely reach items that are high up. Some can even support up to 500 pounds and are non-slip, so you can be sure that they’re durable.
Check out SitBetter.com to find practical office accessories to keep you sitting comfortably at your workstation.
The single most used piece of furniture in almost any business is an office chair with most of us clocking around 8 hours everyday sitting in one. If you will be spending the majority of your day sitting in an office chair, it is best to familiari
ze yourself with the functions and capabilities to ensure you are maximizing your chair’s usage. Knowing how to properly adjust your chair can also save you from unnecessary work related pains that can occur from sitting in a chair that is not properly adjusted to your body. It can also provide you with insight as to why your current office chair may not be the best fit for your needs, especially if you are experiencing any pain during the day while sitting in it. While some features of a chair may seem relatively self-explanatory, it is best to get fully acquainted to understand the benefits of having your chair properly adjusted and what features your current chair may be lacking that you may need.
Seat Height Adjustment – Perhaps the most basic adjustment of all, the seat height should be adjustable on almost every office chair. This adjustment can typically be found on the right hand side of the chair, located just to the right underneath the seat. To ensure your chair’s seat height is properly adjusted, make sure that your chair is lowered enough for you to place your feet flat and firmly against the floor. Your legs should form a 90° angle. You may need to adjust your chair’s seat height periodically if you wear heels while you are working as this will add height and cause your legs to not form that necessary 90° angle.
Tilt Tension – Tilt tension is a great feature most office chairs possess that allows the user to control the rate and ease with which the chair reclines for different weights and strengths of users. This adjustment always comes in the form of a knob that is located directly underneath the seat. By twisting the knob one direction it will allow the user to lean back in the chair much easier and without much pressure. By twisting the knob the opposite direction, the user will have to exert more pressure into reclining back in their chair.
Back Height Adjustment – Back height adjustment allows positioning of lumbar support(if your chair has built-in lumbar support) within a fixed range to alleviate back stress. If your chair comes with an “S” shaped back or has built-in lumbar support you will want to adjust your chair’s back to have the curved protruding portion align with the curve in your lower back. This allows you to feel the full advantages of having a back rest with lumbar support especially if you suffer from lower back pain. Back height adjustment is usually a knob located near the bottom of the back rest that can be loosened to move the back bar up or down, ad then tightened once the desired height is reached.
Tilt Lock – A tilt lock control locks out the tilt function when the chair is in the upright position. This feature is advantageous if you want the ability to recline in your chair for a few minutes but want to return it to lock in place in the upright position while tasking. Most office chairs that have tilt tension control will have tilt lock control as well. Tilt lock control is a lever on the chair that when pushed down allows you to recline in the chair, and when the lever is pulled up when your chair is in the upright position you are locked in place.
Adjustable Armrests – If an office chair comes with arms, most of the time they will be height adjustable armrests which is your standard up and down adjustment. More advanced arm adjustments include width adjustability, pivoting, and sliding forward and backward. Proper ergonomic thought deems your arms should not be resting when typing, as that slows the blood flow to an area that requires it because of the movement. However, having the ability to adjust arms up and down can help prevent this. Most armrests that are adjustable have a button on the side of the arms that allows you to either pull the arms up or push them down depending on your needs. While arms are not an essential feature to have on an office chair, they can come in handy when your arms need a break from continuous typing.
Having an office chair with basic adjustability is crucial as not every person can conform to a standard office chair. If your current office chair does not contain the above adjustments(excluding adjustable armrests) it may be time to start searching for a more ergonomically correct office chair. In the long run an adjustable chair can save you from back pain and other work related ailments that can occur from sitting for long periods of time in an awkward position. The aforementioned adjustments are the bare minimum that every office chair should contain, however, there are many more adjustments available for an even more ergonomic sitting experience.
To view our large collection of fully adjustable ergonomic office chairs please click here!
There comes a point when every office needs to update or add office chairs, and when that time comes the majority of us are on a strict budget constraint. There is the pressure to find the cheapest and best possible price without compromising the quality of the chair, however more often than not this does not seem to be possible without having to sacrifice key adjustments. Purchasing a fully adjustable ergonomic office chair suitable for sitting in multiple hours a day can be a bit pricey, let alone having to purchase ergonomic chairs for the whole office. This is where the big question comes into play, how can your company save money and get the most bang for your buck? The best place to start answering this question is to think about whether you would like to purchase new or used office furniture, and consider the pros and cons of each.
Used Office Chairs
1. Advantages – Perhaps the greatest benefit to purchasing used office chairs is the significant price savings that will incur. Because the chair has been used by a previous customer, office chair retailers must mark a certain amount off their used chairs in order to sell the chair again. All used office chairs should be thoroughly inspected for defect by the seller to ensure there are no problems with the chair before making it available for purchase again. Internet office chair retailers typically advertise their used office chairs as “open box deals” which essentially means the chair was returned back by a previous customer for any reason other than defect or damage. Used office chairs can also be a great bargain; if you do your research you may find that the used chair you are interested in has only been slightly used by the previous customer. Many customers order the wrong color or try out a chair for a day to find it does not work for them, in which case you will be getting an essentially new chair at a used price.
2. Disadvantages – If you purchase a used chair and find at a later point in time you are not happy with it, there is a strong possibility that you will not be able to return the chair. When used office furniture is purchased, it is generally a final sale because retailers simply can not keep reselling the same piece of furniture. Each time the chair is returned, it has less value and is worth less. Perhaps the biggest drawback to purchasing used office chairs is that the original warranty the chair came with will be void. If the original owner of the chair purchased the chair with a lifetime warranty, if you then proceed to purchase the chair secondhand the original warranty would not be passed down to you. This would leave you out of luck if any part were to break on the chair that would have normally been covered had you purchased the chair new.
New Office Chairs
1. Advantages – Purchasing a chair brand new allows you to have the freedom to decide exactly what you want and need in an office chair including level of adjustability, color, or upholstery, without having to settle for anything less. You can also rest assured that your chair will be under warranty; the length and specifics of each chair’s warranty varies between manufacturers. If a part breaks or you receive your chair and it is defective, you will be able to have your parts fixed promptly and free of charge. A new office chair is also much less likely to break or wear out as quickly as a used office chair will over time, and you will be guaranteed a specific lifetime of the chair based on the manufacturer’s warranty. New office chairs are more often than not readily available for purchase no matter what quantity you are seeking. In many cases, there will only be one model of a used office chair available for purchase which is not ideal for bulk orders where multiple office chairs of the same model are needed.
2. Disadvantages – Getting a quality brand new office chair with multiple adjustments is expensive and may not fit into every business’s budget, especially when multiple chairs are needed. Purchasing a used office chair can help your company save significantly over a new chair. It also may take longer for the chairs to get shipped and delivered over a used chair, because some chairs can be highly customized to the person’s liking and this requires additional time to manufacture whereas a used office chair has already been made.
Whether you company decides to purchase a new office chair or a used office chair it is important to do your research on your chair of choice prior to purchase. Try to determine whether the chair comes with a warranty and how long that warranty will be extended to you, especially if you are looking to purchase a used chair. If you are looking to purchase numerous chairs and you have to purchase them brand new ask your retailer if you can get a volume discount; most of the time they will say yes, particularly if the quantity is 6 or greater. If you need a specific type of chair to fit your needs, do not settle for a used chair if you know it will not meet your needs or you may find yourself having to purchase another chair a few months down the line. Both new and used chairs have advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to decide which will be the best purchasing decision for your company and provide the most return on investment before making a purchase.
Whether you are looking for used office chairs or new office chairs Sitbetter.com has them both! Click here to see our wide selection of new office chairs or click here to view our used open box deal specials!