Being a larger sized person doesn’t always make things easy. In fact, I think most can agree it’s more of a hindrance than anything else. Whether you are larger because you are 7 ft. tall, or maybe you are just a little overweight, the question that plagues most of us always seems to rear it’s ugly head; am I going to fit in that chair? I’m a big guy (6’2″ 350lbs), and personally I can relate to this in so many ways. When you go over to a friend’s house and you decide to just stand for fear of breaking their furniture, or even worse when you go over to your grandma’s house and all she has is wicker furniture. All of these situations are embarrassing to say the least, but what about your workplace? When you have to sit in a chair for 8+ hours a day, finding the right chair is extremely important.
Speaking from experience, there is a lot to consider when purchasing a new chair when you are big and tall. We spend all the time in the world picking out a new car, or a new cell phone, but what about that thing you are sitting on day in and day out? I’m going to break down some of the more important things to look for when purchasing a chair.
First and foremost, you need to be comfortable.
Choosing your fabric and foam are essential. If you are not a leather or vinyl person, don’t get leather or vinyl. The last thing you want to do is buy something you’re not going to be comfortable with. When you’re spending $500+ on something, it’s not the best time to be adventurous. The same goes for the other options, don’t get a mesh or fabric chair if you know you are going to want something in leather or vinyl. The benefit to leather or vinyl is it has a classy look as well as being a little easier to clean. The benefit to mesh or fabric is they ‘breathe’ a little better, but may not be as easy to clean as a vinyl or leather.
You want to be confident when sitting in it.
This means you need to take a look at the weight rating. Just as I steer away from wicker furniture or cheap plastic lawn chairs, if you are bigger you should also stay away from chairs with a low weight rating. On Sitbetter we do our best to keep pertinent information on each product page. If you are 300 lb.s, don’t buy a chair that is rated for 200 lbs., you will wind up wearing the chair out far before you should. The last thing you want is to have to buy a new chair every 6 months or worse, you could end up breaking it and falling and hurting yourself, or at least your pride. Not that I have any experience with that .
Another really important feature when ordering a chair is the cylinder.
If you are 7 ft tall, you probably shouldn’t purchase a chair with a low cylinder. You want your feet firmly on the ground, but you don’t want to sit in the chair like it is a bean bag all day. This can be tricky when you are taller, because a lot of desks sit at a standard height, and sometimes getting your legs at the proper angle just isn’t possible with the current desk situation you have. Be sure to measure and measure again. Measure your desk from the floor to the underside of the desk. Also measure your current chair and where it sits from the floor to the top of the seat. The measurements for the seat range are posted on most, if not all of our chairs. If you can’t change your desk, do your best to cut the difference by ordering the proper cylinder.
For the most part, many of us sit in our chairs for 8+ hours a day. That is a lot of wear and tear, especially when you are bigger. Sure, you can buy a cheaper chair, that isn’t rated for your height or weight and you may save some money. But in the long-run, if you’re having to spend money on a new chair every 6 months, you will be spending a LOT more. The best thing to do is research, make a smart spending decision, and buy a chair that is going to last a couple of years, but more importantly, a chair that you will be happy with.
Sitting is something that the average person does all too frequently. From work (where many of us sit for eight or more hours daily) to driving to eating to watching television, far more time each day is commonly spent seated than not.
Being Sedentary – The Effects
Most of us know that spending too much time seated isn’t great for our health. Recent studies have even shown that sitting for 11 hours daily (including leisure time) can actually increase the risk of premature death.
Even for those who are physically fit, too much time in a seated position can lead to difficulty with metabolic functions, increased HDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels, higher triglycerides, and insulin desensitization. This translates to potential heart, stomach, and vascular issues.
Ways to Be Healthier
Luckily, there are things we can do to offset the effects of spending so much time sitting on our behinds. If your job requires you to be sitting all the time, you can reduce the time you spend in this position by participating in leisure activities before and after work.
For instance, if your job is within a short distance from your home, consider walking or biking to your place of employment. If you take public transportation, even getting off a few stops before the one closest to your home/office can get you some extra exercise.
Also, consider eating standing up for some meals. Many people have breakfast and/or lunch on the go, so these can be good times to munch and stand.
Another thing you can do is invest in an elliptical or treadmill for your home. This means that you can still watch the shows and movies you love without crashing on the couch for hours. Can’t afford this equipment? Think about joining a gym and getting your TV fix there, while also getting a workout.
Ways to Make Time Spent Seated More Comfortable
A lot of people suffer from additional side effects of being stationary, especially at the office. Common complaints are back, neck, and/or shoulder pain. If you use a computer a lot, wrist and hand aches are also prevalent.
While it may be inevitable that you need to park yourself permanently during work hours, there are things you can do to make that time more comfortable. Using seating that has special features to offset these discomforts can really help.
Ergonomic chairs for back pain have numerous adjustments to help you feel more at ease.
One of these is lumbar support. Lumbar support pushes out part of the chair’s backrest in order to support your lower back in the form of the shape of the backrest or with specialty devices such as an air lumbar support.
Arm, foot, and headrests are also great options that many ergonomically designed chairs implement. Typically, you can adjust the height of foot and headrests to correspond to a level where they feel most natural when you’re in the chair. Sometimes armrests can be adjusted in terms of height, too, and/or removed for when they aren’t necessary or practical.
SitBetter.com carries a range of seating that fulfills these prerequisites. If you follow these tips, sitting can feel more comfortable.
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.
When one pictures an office chair in their head there is a universal perception as to what a typical office chair looks like. This image usually includes a set of five wheels, a black nylon five-star base, a cylinder which allows the chair to be adj
usted up and down, a seat, and a backrest. While this is the case for over 90% of chair models out there, there are the unique 10% that break away from the mold. The difference is most commonly found in the shape of the backrest. While these backrests may appear to be odd and out of the ordinary, sometimes when it comes to office chairs the weirder it looks the better it actually is for your back.
Independent Lower Back Support
One popular type of backrest that can be found on specialty ergonomic chairs is a backrest that is separated into two parts, one part for the upper back and one part for the lower back. The advantage to this type of back support is the independent lower back support provides extra and exacting lumbar support, especially favorable for those that suffer from lower back pain. This chair is ideal for lower back pain sufferers as they need additional support in their lumbar region that can often not be achieved with a standard back rest. The most popular office chair model that has this type of support is the Ergohuman by Eurotech.
Chairs that are designed for scapular independence allow for freedom of motion for individuals around their shoulder blade area when seated. The benefit of having a backrest that tapers away from the shoulder blade area is that occupants have the advantage of being able to sit back and avoid interference that is often caused by full back rests. This is helpful for occupations that call for having to reach for the phone, different parts of the desk, for supplies, files, cabinets, etc. when seated. The overall idea of this is to promote healthier sitting postures which are often not achieved with full chair backs. This type of backrest also promotes a more active work environment as users are now able to stretch and bend without having to worry about their chair getting in their way. This type of backrest can be seen on the Allseating Therapod and Office Master Discovery Back Chairs.
Winged backrests are another unique type of backrest that are found on specialized ergonomic chairs that feature a shape that is designed to focus on providing support for the mid to lower back. With two pronounced side contours, the wing shape envelopes the users middle and lower back which works to provide back pain relief. A popular model that features this backrest is the Ergocentric Mycentric.
Perhaps the most odd -ooking of all the backrests available are those that focus on all parts of the spine. This type of backrest provides the most overall back support for those that suffer from upper and lower back pain. This support is unique in that it supports all different parts of the spine through either a strap support system or individual “ribs”. The strap support system is built into the backrest, either covered or uncovered, and allows the user to pull the straps to tighten them wherever they need more support along different parts of their spine. On other chairs that have “ribs” these are located along the middle of the backrest and can be pushed in or pulled out depending on how much pressure is needed along different points of the spine. Both types of support are the best at achieving customized support for the whole back. Chairs that incorporate this distinctive advantage are the RFM Preferred Verte and Allseating CPOD.
To view SitBetter’s extensive line of ergonomic office chairs please click here.
When you start looking for a new chair for your office, you are faced with a number of choices to make. From the style of the chair to the way it compliments your office décor to the ergonomic and comfort factors that you require, there are many t
hings to consider as you find the right one for your body type.
One of the biggest factors that people look for in an office chair is the amount of support it gives your back. Back pain is a common ailment of desk job workers because of the lack of cushioning and flexibility that their spine receives throughout the day in conjunction with sitting for long periods of time. If you have pain in your back, hips and lower body, you need lumbar support for your chair. This comes in two different forms: active and passive.
There is one basic difference between active and passive reinforcement when it comes to your sitting posture. With active, you have a standalone approach that can be added or is built separately onto your backrest, for example an air lumbar support is considered to be active. Passive, on the other hand, has this extra reinforcement already built into the frame. While both ultimately have a goal to provide the same benefit, there are a few questions you must answer before determining which option is right for you.
Can you adjust your sitting patterns throughout the day?
Being able to adjust your body throughout the day is one of the most important parts of being ergonomically correct. Your body needs the flexibility to move around and avoid putting long periods of stress in one particular area. Where you sit must adjust to your body type and put you in a position that encourages good posture. This way, your body can be supported throughout the day, and you can maintain a healthier sitting position.
How much time are you sitting each day?
If you sit for long periods at a time, the support you get from your office furniture is crucial. While you sit, you are putting more pressure on your spine. This is especially true when you do not have any cushioning for your lumbar curve. This will catch up with your body quickly and may lead to back problems over time.
Do you have any previous back problems?
If you have pre-existing back conditions from before your desk job, you will need extra assistance to sit comfortably throughout the day. Your spine is already damaged and more sensitive, so this type of care is important to your overall health. This may require a combination of both active and passive care.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to determine whether you need active or passive care.
For the vast majority of people, active care will be the best. This will not only allow you to adjust your body position more throughout the day, but it will also give you extra reinforcement along your lower spine so that when you sit for long periods you will get an added boost that will keep you sitting up straighter and with far better posture.
Passive reinforcement already built-in can also be beneficial for some people. If you have not had any previous back conditions and do not sit for long periods of time, using a chair with passive care can still deliver the ergonomic benefits that your body needs. If you do choose a passive style, make sure that you also find one that is easily adjustable so that you can position it correctly.
The way you sit can have a profound impact on your overall health. Choosing ergonomically friendly office furniture with lumbar support will help you to feel better and work more efficiently.
To view Sitbetter’s large variety of affordable back support cushions please click here!