An office chair is an important purchase. You are likely to spend a lot of time sitting in it. As well as comfort and productivity issues, there are potentially major health consequences from poor ergonomics.
Sitting and Health
Workers spend an average 13 hours sitting each day (US News). And the bad news is: while sitting is easier than standing, it may also cause backaches, shoulder pains, neck pains, headaches and other discomforts. Time plus bad posture equals muscular and/or skeletal pains. The potential medical solutions – painkillers, massage therapy and chiropractic sessions – are a worse option than getting the right chair in the first place.
The best posture for office work is sitting upright, but not with a completely straight back, with one’s lumbar region flush against the lumbar region of the backrest. This provides maximum back support.
Such a posture is suitable for most people and will prevent pain problems if combined with other measures, such as regular breaks from sitting and good general fitness.
Purchasing a Good Chair
You may not need to spend a great deal of money on purchasing an office chair. But money shouldn’t be an obstacle to getting a chair that works for you. Don’t get a chair just because it’s cheap. Ergonomics is serious. Enjoying the proper posture at your desk reduces the strain placed on your back muscles.
If the chair is to be used by multiple people, it ought to have adjustable lumbar support. Before purchasing, test out whether the lumbar support fits closely into the small bit of your back. The chair should have acceptable neck and back support, with a gliding seat that makes reclining snug.
Expensive models are sturdy and provide many customisation and adjustment options. But you might also be able to find a cheap model that fits you well. If you’d like to buy a cheap chair, keep an eye out for sales, auctions or an enterprise that is being liquidated.
For laptop and tablet users, lying down may be the most comfortable work position. A good ergonomically styled chaise lounge will give lumbar support for lower backs and allow easy leg movement. The lounge will also include soft back pillows for air circulation.