When we see the label Ergonomic office chair what does that mean and what should we expect from such a place? Perhaps we can best answer the question by defining the term Ergonomic.
My dictionary defines ergonomics as follows.
The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, aims at maximizing productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort
As stated in the above definition when applied to an ergonomic office chair, the term is open to many interpretations. It not only follows that it is described as ergonomically that the buyer gets something specific or properly specified.
At best, you really get a great chair that will be a pleasure to use and provide years of comfortable service. In the worst case, you get a much worse quality seat, possibly with coarse size foam in the back of the chair, claiming to give the lumbar support to the user. In reality, such a chair is more likely to give the user lumbago.
So how can we ensure that when we buy a place that claims it is Ergonomic that we actually end up with something of quality, fit for purpose and can give the user lasting comfort and relief from fatigue?
Well, lets start by ignoring the wild demands of manufacturers and considering the essential features that are needed for the chair to really reduce fatigue and discomfort and can really be considered appropriate for our purpose.
Here is a list of important features that an ergonomic office chair must have.
Height adjustable seat for gas lift
Almost all computer seats are now delivered with a height adjustable seat for gas lifts. You must make sure that you adjust the height so your feet are firmly on the floor with your upper legs angled slightly downwards. If you are not that long you may need to buy a footrest as well.
If you are a large framed person, check that the gas lift is appropriate, usually they are rated up to 18-20 stones. Upgraded gas lifts are generally available for safer office chairs.
Shift Depth Depth
This feature is not so common, but I think it is crucial for true comfort. People come in all shapes and sizes and it is so obvious that the user can adjust the seat depth to suit their leg length.
When adjusting the correct seat, the depth depth should be adjusted so that you can place your folded fist between the edge of the seat cushion and the back of the knee.
Height adjustable rear
The seat should have a height adjustable back and must be adjusted to give the user a good support in the lower back. It does not require rocky built-in foam foam constructions, a slightly curved foam shell should be perfect provided the user adjusts it to fit the back. Some chairs have adjustable lumbar support and the majority are good if adjusted correctly.
Height adjustable arms
Although some users, especially typewriters, prefer places without arms for most users, they are good at having. Correctly used, height adjustable chairs are definitely beneficial especially to minimize or relieve repetitive stem injury RSI.
The user should set the height of the chair by making sure that their lower arms are level with the desk. Use of keyboard and mouse should be convenient and not strained.
Tension adjustable chair
Cheaper work chairs have a fixed seat adjustment setting. Often these are combined with a permanent contact pad. The way these products work is that the seat and back move in relation to each other. Good if you are the right weight for the mechanism.
But if you are light framed and moving forward in one of these chairs, they feel as if they are trying to catapult you out. They are also very hard to lean back for those who are easily framed.
Conversely, if youre big or heavy framed you can find yourself bouncing everywhere.
Therefore, make sure that the tension on the seat can be adjusted to suit your own weight. Im not a big fan of permanent contact chairs and recommends that you choose a chair that has independent seat and back tension adjustment.
So, to summarize here, the most important points to consider when choosing an ergonomic office chair are.
Gas height adjustable seat that suits your height, with heated gas lift if required.
Protective depth adjustment that fits your leg length.
The height is adjusted back to ensure that the lower part is properly supported.
Height adjustable arms to minimize the risk of RSI and for easy movement.
Site voltage adjustment to enable the correct pressure for the individual user.
By applying the above checklist when considering a new Ergonomic Office Chair, you have a great chance to choose a suitable chair that gives you many years of good service and can rightly be described as such.