The Beginner’s Guide to Choosing an Office Chair
If you think choosing an office chair isn’t very different from picking out a dining table or a shade of paint, it’s time to think again. The numbers provide all the proof you may need. Let’s say you’re someone who works 40 hours a week. Over the course of a year, you would have spent close to 2000 hours in your office chair! That’s more than enough time to develop chronic health issues that affect not just your productivity, but also your mental and emotional wellbeing in the long run.
From ergonomics and materials to brands and pricing, there’s plenty to consider while choosing an office chair. Our experts have gone ahead and made things a little easier for you. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your home office setup, or attune your establishment in line with the health and safety guidelines being issued for workplaces across Australia, here’s some practical advice to get you started.
Our top tips for choosing an office chair
When choosing an office chair for the first time, many buyers make the mistake of thinking that any seemingly comfortable chair will do. However, office chairs and regular chairs can’t be evaluated using the same parameters. Because office chairs are occupied for long durations, they need to support the back in the right manner.
Don’t overlook lumbar support
Lumbar support is a core aspect of office chair ergonomics. Without proper support to the lower back region, there’s a tendency for the body to slouch. This in turn strains the muscles in the lumbar area, puts undue pressure on the discs, and can trigger a variety of complications like pinched nerves.
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a key area of focus for Safe Work Australia. Comply with the recommended ergonomic measures in your state and ensure a relaxed and productive work environment by investing in office chairs that have lumbar support.
Opt for adjustability
Office chairs from trusted brands like Rapidline, Buro Seating and Style Ergonomics always offer a great deal of adjustability. This is because no two human bodies are alike, and what is comfortable and supportive for one user may actually be detrimental to another. This is why health and safety handbooks published by various states in Australia clearly mention adjustability as a priority. Even basic office chairs should have adjustable backrests that can be tilted forward and backward. High-quality task chairs will offer adjustable lumbar supports as well.
The height of the office chair’s seat should be adjustable as well. Ideally, you should be able to sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor, and your knees at a lightly lower level than your hips. If this isn’t possible, accessories like chair pads and footrests can help.
Good office chairs also feature adjustable armrests. You should be able to move them sideways (to keep your arms close to your body while working), and vertically (to have your arms resting at the height of your desk). These are the ideal conditions for preventing shoulder and upper back strain.
Curves are good
The best office chairs are designed to conform to the human body. Ergonomic chairs such as those offered by Style Ergonomics and YS Design rarely feature flat backrests or seats. Instead, you will find contoured backrests that support various sections of the back, and ‘waterfall’ seats that have gentle downward slopes and rounded front edges. This configuration ensures proper blood flow to the legs and feet through extended sessions at work. It also distributes your weight evenly, which in turn boosts your comfort level.
Keep it breathable
Customers across Australia tend to prefer office chairs with breathable upholstery. By increasing air flow and preventing sweat build-up, breathable fabrics and meshes play a key role in maximising comfort, particularly in warm weather. They’re also a safer option in terms of preventing microbial infections, as they don’t offer a suitable environment for germs to grow.
While leather chairs may look better and feel more comfortable to sit on at first, a breathable mesh chair will serve you better in the long run. It’s also easier to clean than its leather counterpart, which helps you comply with the cleaning recommendations made by Safe Work Australia to combat Covid-19. Brands like Rapidline, Buro Seating and YS Design offer well-designed mesh and fabric upholstered chairs that ensure air flow while also offering enough cushioning to keep you comfortable.
Should price be a consideration while choosing an office chair?
The downsides of a poorly designed office chair make it a no-brainer that you should invest in a reliable product from a trusted brand, even if it asks you to pay more upfront. However, user experience suggests that even the best office chairs have a usable lifespan of 7-10 years. After this, their materials and joineries begin to degrade, and adjustment mechanisms tend to become less effective.
This is precisely why Australian businesses have been choosing Office Corporate for their furniture needs for the past 20 years. We provide unbeatable discounts on genuine office chairs from your favourite brands like Buro Seating, Rapidline and General Office Products. With our budget-friendly pricing, guarantee of authenticity, Australia-wide delivery, and exclusive rewards for members, keeping your work setup efficient and ergonomic becomes a cakewalk! Get started now, and let us know if you need assistance with your purchase.Read Less