No matter the nature of your workplace, be it an office that follows traditional business hours or a 24-hour facility, a good office chair really does make a difference. In fact, for many people, it is the single most important piece of office furniture.
Helps with Posture
Many people sit in their office chairs for an hour or more at a time. Even those who take frequent breaks may experience problems such as lower back pain. There’s no question that sitting in the same position for an extended amount of time leads to more back, shoulder, arm and leg stress. People unconsciously tend to bend over or slouch down as they sit, actions that worsen a problem. A good office chair, particularly an ergonomic or mesh one, helps support your body and helps you maintain proper posture when sitting. It’s also essential that you fine-tune the office chair to your individual body specifications.
One note about ergonomic chairs: while they are made to suit a diverse range of people, they may not be the best choice for, say, a short and thin person because the armrests might be spaced too far apart. And even if you have the best chair in the world, it’s always a good idea to move around and keep your body limber.
What “Good” Means
Given the above paragraph on ergonomic chairs, it goes without saying that one person’s “good” chair might not be another person’s good chair. When you are considering office chairs, look at factors such as:
• Stability (making sure you have the right type of casters or a floor mat)
• Seat height adjustability range
• Backrest adjustability, both frontward, backward and vertically
• Firm lumbar support for backrest
• Armrest sizes compatible with the worker’s job
• Ventilation (you should look for a thin fabric back if considering a mesh chair)
• How the chair fits with workstation elements (desk and footrest, for example)
• Mobility (does the chair move with you)
• Cushioning (go for high-density foam if possible; a thicker cushion does not always mean more comfort because it may break down quicker)
• Seat pan (try to have 1 inch of space on both sides, and 2 to 4 inches of space between the back of your knees and the edge of your office chair)
In an ideal situation, you would pick out your own office chair and be able to try it out in the real work world before committing to it for the long term.
Appearance is another essential factor in how a good office chair makes a difference. For instance, we at Creative Office Furniture know that client impressions are valuable. Clients will form one kind of impression about your business if they see stylish and sleek chairs in your office versus stained and outdated chairs. To this end, consider factors such as color, fabric and style. Faux leather and vinyl are popular and affordable choice for impressive office chairs which also allow your company style to shine through virtually limitless design options.
In the best situations, your office chairs will last at least 10 years, and high-quality chairs typically do not need upkeep. As you mull over your chair choices, take a look at manufacturers’ warranties. Structural parts such as bases should be lifetime, and foams and fabrics covered for at least five years. Moving parts and mechanisms should be warranted for a minimum of 10 years.
Darker chairs help you better conceal stains and spills, but messes on lighter colors are increasingly easy to clean and remove. Leather and faux leather fabrics are the easiest to maintain, but they may need some breaking in due to their stiffness.
A quality office chair is an essential piece of any office furniture picture. It’s an area no business should skimp on, as an office chair directly affects employee health and even client impressions. A good office chair makes a world of difference.