There is no question that if you’re most likely spending a good chunk of your day sitting on one – it should be the right one for you. Choosing the right office chair is critical for many reasons including comfort and health, but it isn’t always easy. With the many different features available you want to make sure you’re getting everything you need in a chair. That’s why we are here to help outline the different features in office chairs so that you can make the right choice!
First, start by noting your specific chair needs and any areas of concern you may have. This could be certain tilt motions if you need you chair to move in specific directions, or health concerns such as lower back pains. Take note of these needs and it will help you filter through the features below to find your perfect chair.
Most ergonomic chairs have the ability to adjust the height of the seat. You want to make sure your feet are flat on the ground when your knees are bent in a ninety degree angle. In order to do so, make sure you chair offers a seated height range that corresponds with your own height. Seated heights from 15″ to 22″ will accommodate users from 5’0″ tall to 6’4″ tall. Not all chairs offer such a large range of seating height, so make sure you pay close attention of the height range of the chair you are considering.
When you sit back in your chair, the back of your knees should not make contact with the seat. The gap between the back of your knees and the chair seat should be approximately 3 fingers wide. If the gap is too small and the seat is too long, there is a risk of experiencing an increase in pressure on the back and knees, which can lead to blood flow issues. If the gap is too big and the seat is too short, there is a risk of getting too little support from the chair and therefore increasing pressure on the back of the mid-thigh.
There are three different back height options for chairs: low-back, mid-back and high-back.
Low-Back Chair: This height usually ends at the users shoulder blades. This type of chair is great for one who needs lower back support or is active at their desks and constantly leaning forward.
Medium-Back Chair: This height focuses on the support of the mid-lower back. The back of the chair will come up to the user’s shoulders or slightly below. The medium-back chair is great for someone who needs a good deal of back support and is usually at a computer for most of the day.
High-Back Chair: This option offers more support for the shoulder blades. The seat will come up over the shoulders and may feature a headrest. This option is great for those who suffer from shoulder problems and need additional support.
First you need to choose if you want armrests on your chair or not. Those who need assistance getting in or out of their chair, or need arm support for certain tasks, such as reading, should make sure their chair has armrests. These armrests can be height and width adjustable, allowing you to lock the armrests in certain positions.
Chair Tilt Mechanisms
A chair mechanism is what helps control how the seat and back move. There are two mechanisms that are the most popular among office seating:
Synchro-Tilt Mechanism: This option connects the seat and back in order to tilt simultaneously as you lean back. The synchro-tilt offers a few less adjustability settings than the multi-function mechanism, and does not allow the seat and back to tilt independently of each other. However, this option is suitable for someone who is comfortable in fewer positions or lesser movements.
Multi-Function Mechanism: This option is the preferred option due to the wide range of adjustability it offers. The back and seat tilts can adjust independently of each other or together and you are able to lock the chair in many different positions.
Task: This is the most basic mechanism to choose and is usually limited to just the adjustability of the seat height and/or seat depth. Task chairs do not feature a tilt option and therefore discourages movement, making this chair best suited for a more simplistic use such as in a home office or conference room.
Mesh: Mesh office chairs are quite popular and also very modern looking. The mesh fabric allows for maximum ventilation along the users back. This fabric keeps you cool while you work and is also very durable due to the strong weaves of fabric it takes to create the mesh.
Leather: The leather office chair gives off a prestige, executive image. It may not be the most affordable of the chair fabrics, but the durability makes it worth it. Leather can last a very long time and is very easy to clean. Spilled coffee or tea? Nothing a simple wipe can’t fix.
Wool: This is one of the more popular choices of chair fabric due to the endless amount of colours, designs and textures that are available. Wool also tends to be much more affordable, especially compared to leather. However, the fabric is not as easy to clean and therefore requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good as new.
As you can see, there are many different features and options when considering a new office chair. After noting all your chair needs, it will be easy to identify which chair has the right features for you.