*This post was written in collaboration with Furniture At Work
How many times have you got to the end of a long day of work and you have been left feeling tired with an ache in your back? Unfortunately, this is a pretty common feeling amongst workers, whether they work from home or in an office.
According to a survey conducted by Furniture At Work, 70% of people believe that sitting on their office chair gives them a backache. Most workers spend more than 35 hours a week at their desks, so it makes sense to invest in a good chair. Not only will it help avoid a backache, but it can also offer other benefits. We take a closer look.
Benefits of a Good Office Chair
Even though workers spend so much time sitting at their desks, they don’t often have the best office chair to sit on. Sitting down for extended periods on chairs that do not provide adequate support and are not set up correctly can lead to more than just lower back pain.
Sitting for long periods of time is linked to various health issues and problems, including:
- Poor concentration
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance
- Higher risk of herniated discs
- Leaves you prone to injury
A good chair offers proper lumbar and pelvic support, which is important to help relieve stress on your back muscles. It also improves your posture, allowing you to breathe better and lessen fatigue while improving concentration.
What to Look For
Choosing a good office chair is about more than just picking something that will look nice beside your desk. It’s all about getting something with a good design. When it comes to choosing the right chair, here are a few features you should be looking out for:
The more you can adjust the chair to suit your specific requirements, the better. Important adjustable features include height, lumbar support, back angle and arm width. The aim is to get the chair to the right settings for the individual user – in this case, it’s definitely not a matter of one size fits all.
Look out for a chair that allows you to adjust the height, so your feet lay flat on the ground, and your thighs are horizontal. For most people, a chair that ranges from roughly 16-21 inches from the floor is sufficient. Your arms should be at an even height with your desk.
This feature is important as it will help to improve your posture by preventing you from slouching. Ideally, the chair will have a back that curves to the shape of your lower back and should be adjustable in terms of height and angle.
A Reclining Seat Back
Ideally, you should sit at a reclined angle of 135°, so you place the least amount of strain on your back. Regarding width, look for a backseat between 12 to 19 inches wide.
The Right Wheels
The best wheels will depend on the surface on which the chair rests. If you floor is carpeted, or the chair sits on top of a rug, then you need harder wheels that will allow you to navigate easily. On the other hand, if it’s going to sit on a hard surface, then look for soft rubber wheels.
If you’re worried about the wheels damaging your flooring, then you can also purchase a chair mat to place under your chair. They not only help prevent any damage to your floors, whether you’ve got hardwood flooring or carpets, but they also help to improve mobility, making it easier to glide around your office space.
While you shouldn’t rest your forearms on the armrests while typing, you do want to look for adjustable armrests that let you rest your elbows comfortably and allow your shoulders to relax.
Proper Seat Pan Width and Depth
If you want to be able to sit comfortably, then the seat width and depth need to offer you enough support. The standard width is between 17 and 20 inches, and when it comes to depth you need enough room so that you can have your back against the backrest, but you are still left with a couple of inches between the seat of the chair and the back of your knees.
At the end of the day, you want to be able to get comfortable in your chair if you are going to be sitting on it for so long. Cloth fabric with enough padding to keep you comfy is ideal, preferably one that breathes, so you don’t get too hot.
Setting Up Your Office Space
Once you’ve got the right chair picked out, you need to set your chair and computer up in such a way as to improve your posture. The height will depend on each individual, so use the following video as a guide to set it up properly:
Do you have any more tips to share with our readers? Place them in the comments below!