In the modern world, most people are exposed to a lot of sitting either in their workplace or home. People do not consider the aspect of good seating when carrying out your daily tasks important, but that is not true.
Poor sitting practices result in an immediate negative impact on you including exerting extreme pressure on your spine resulting in injuries, but all is not lost. There are ergonomic chairs that will help you reverse this effect. This article will enlighten you on the features to consider when buying your ergonomic chair.
The Definition of an Ergonomic Chair
Ergonomics is a scientific discipline that involves looking at how items or objects can be designed to the best compliment as well as easy and safe for human interaction. Therefore, an ergonomic chair is a chair that has been made or designed to offer the best support to your body with considerations like comfort posture, health, and support.
A good ergonomic chair should be adjustable to enable better control as well as customized settings. Adjustability is a key thing if the chair is meant for different users. This will allow every user to sit comfortably for long hours without feeling fatigued.
What Features Will Make a Desk Chair Ergonomic?
When it comes to an ergonomic approach, sitting is taken as a specialized and specific activity that is influenced by the way you interact with your working environment while seated. The features below are mandatory if your desk chair is to be considered ergonomic.
– Adjustable seat height.
A basic feature in any ergonomic desk chair is an adjustable seat height. The height of your chair should be easy to adjust. The reasonable seat height is where two feet are touching the floor firmly while you are seated and your knees assume a bent angle of 90 degrees. To easily determine whether your desk chair ergonomic seat height is good for you, just measure the length starting from the top of your knees to your feet sole and if it is between 16-21 inches, it is good for you. Alternatively, you can stand in front of your desk chair and adjust the height ensuring the top of the seat is slightly below your knee cap.
– Adjustable arm support.
Including your hands, your arms comprise about 12% of your total body weight. Therefore, robust arm support in your desk chair is crucial for relieving the load from your neck and shoulder in a seated position.
Your arm support should be height adjustable. The arm support should be adjusted to the height of your desk chair so that the arms are parallel with your desk when you are computing. If your office space is tight, the armrest should be lowered to tuck your chair under your desk.
If your ergonomic desk chair is good enough, the armrests should pivot, meaning they can be angled outwards and inwards. Pivoting your armrests is great to support your forearms when the hands are too close to each other when you are typing on your compact keyboard or texting. Armrests that are width adjustable are perfect for people with broad or very narrow shoulders.
– Adjustable seat depth.
This is also known as seat sliding. An adjustable seat depth is good for ensuring that there is a 1-2 inch gap between the end of your thighs and the edge of your seat regardless of the sitting position or body size. This prevents your seat from cutting off the circulation to your legs or putting more pressure on your knees. Most of the higher end ergonomic desk chairs boast this feature.
– Backrest angle.
Unlike a kitchen chair or a bench, your ergonomic desk chair will feature some kind of backrest angle adjustment to reduce the pressure on the back when seated.
The backrest angle can be changed by reclining or tilting. The most strongly-built ergonomic desk chairs support both mechanisms. When tilting your ergonomic chair, the backrest angle changes through the swivel and this tilt mechanism is directly beneath your seat. Tilting is important for offering mico movements to your back and absorb the pressure that a fixed backrest builds.
Unlike tilting, reclining happens in the backrest itself without involving the seat. The reclining angle is much greater since some ergonomic chairs can recline up to a horizontal level to enable you to take a quick nap in your workspace.
– Backrest height adjustment.
A good ergonomic desk chair ought to have a height-adjustable backrest, mostly if it is a low back or mid-back chair. A height-adjustable backrest enhances the chances that your backrest will fit with the curvature of your spine perfectly. Adjust it to the exact height that supports your entire back. Height backrest adjustment is different from lumbar adjustment since lumbar support only takes care of your lumbar area and not the entire back.
– Adjustable lumbar support
The lumbar area of your body is your lower back and it is a common source of pain in your modern workplace. Therefore, lumbar support is crucial for any ergonomic desk chair. There are three types of lumbar support:
– Dynamic lumbar support: it adapts to your sitting position automatically.
– Adjustable lumbar support: you have to manually adjust the depth, height, and firmness of this desk chair.
– Fixed lumbar support: The support is fixed on your backrest.
You might be tempted to assume that the dynamic and adjustable lumbar support is superior, but this is not always the case. The dimensions, material, and amount of flex are important for your comfort. Moreover, different individuals have varying preferences.
– Neck support.
The neck support is a crucial feature in your desk chair’s ergonomics. If you end up working in a leaned position or you are experiencing neck pain, this is a must-have feature. Look for neck support that pivots outwards and inwards and with adjustable height. This will maximize the chances of your headrest conforming to your various sitting posture as well as the shape of your neck.
– Seat Design.
Taking into account that your seat chair carries most of your weight, it ought to be supportive without being extremely firm. It should be soft but should not sag. In terms of shape, your seat should have a waterfall edge to relieve pressure on your thighs while ensuring blood circulation to the lower limbs.
When it comes to the materials of your ergonomic desk chair, no agreements have been made about the most comfortable materials.
Mesh material is breathable, flexible, and is easy to clean. If you reside in hot regions, a mesh chair is perfect. However, it lacks the softness of leather or fabric.
Leather chairs come in different types from faux, bonded to genuine. Each type has its advantages and drawbacks, but the genuine leather is more breathable, durable as well as hypoallergenic, though it is pricey.
– Quality Casters.
Your ergonomic desk chair should boast quality casters that allow you to roam freely or move around the chair and closer to your desk. Depending on the type of your floor, go for casters that glide freely and do not damage your floor. Soft wheel casters are hardwood friendly, while hard wheel casters are ideal for carpets. Premium rubber casters are good for both surfaces. There are three types of casters for your office desk chairs:
– Safety brake casters: They lock up automatically when you stand up. This is possible since they detect weight changes. They help prevent accidents when you stand up quickly and try to sit immediately.
– Manual brake casters: You have to perform a physical switch on the casters to unlock or lock the wheel.
– Reverse brake casters: The casters lock up automatically when you sit down. This stops unwanted movements in your seated position
In conclusion, given that you spend most hours seated in your office, it is important to get an ergonomic office desk chair to improve your productivity and for good health. The above features will help you acquire the best ergonomic office desk chair.