Arguably the most important piece of furniture in your office are your task chairs. They may never been seen by your customers or clients, but task chairs support the driving force of every business: employees.
Let’s face it, we’ve all made the mistake of buying the cheapest chair because we needed to stay on budget. But when your chair is uncomfortable, what do you find yourself doing? Everything but sitting at your desk and working. Thankfully, replacing office task chairs is not as complicated as it may seem. With better technology and a more competitive market, you’ll be able to find a comfortable and functional chair at any price point.
Task Chair Ergonomics
For starters, did you know there is a governing body of office furniture standards? The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, more commonly called BIFMA, has safety and performance standards for 9 different furniture categories including office seating, and yes, even home office!
Here are some things you should consider when purchasing task chairs.
Armrests – Are they height adjustable or fixed? Fixed isn’t always a bad thing, but those arms are better suited for executive or conference seating, not task. Armrest height should be high enough so that your mouse arm rests at all one level from elbow to finger tips. Optimal chairs will have armrests that also expand width wise from the seatpan and/or have pivoting heads for maximum adjustability.
Lumbar Support – It’s easy to overlook how important a healthy back is until we have sustained an injury. Proper lumbar support is essential to the comfort of task chair users, and it can range from fixed curve to fully functional asymmetrical support.
Tilt Mechanisms – A good task chair will do more than go up and down. Forward tilt, synchro tilt, recline, and seat depth are some of the many options that are available on most task chairs. For users who tend to lean forward while seated, a seat that mirrors their motion is best so that the rest of their body can be supported properly. There are, of course, those who tend to lean back, and task chairs that can adjust the tension of the recline can keep these users from loosing their balance. For taller than average employees, seat depth adjustment can provide a more comfortable fit without sacrificing your office style.
One other thing to keep in mind about task chairs is the kind of surface they will sit atop; is it carpet or hard surface. The surface type will depend on which casters (or wheels) your task chairs should have.