If you have a desk job, you are likely to spend 56 hours a week sitting. That’s not just at your desk; that’s also in your car, on your couch, at your kids’ soccer games or at the movie theater. But seeing most of us maintain a 40-50 hour work week, one of our most important places we sit is our desk chair.
For this reason picking any old chair cannot work. You’ve got to research it, study it and try it out. You need the most ergonomic chair for your body type.
Ergonomics. I’ve read many articles saying it’s simply a buzz word for comfort. I have several colleagues that respectfully disagree. It’s a scientific construction and design of a product that supports the human body in the most comfortable and supportive way possible.
The question is – how do you pick the most ergonomic chair for you? We have worked with AliMed’s Ergo Expert and pulled together some great tips to consider when looking to purchase a new office chair.
4 Things to Look for in an Ergonomic Chair:
- Height of the Chair. The Ergo Expert suggests measuring the distance from the floor to the underside of your desk, then subtracting 8”-10”. Your new chair will most likely match this height measurement. Humantech®, an ergonomic consulting firm out of Ann Arbor, MI, says the perfect chair will allow your feet to be planted on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor; your knees will thus be at a 90 degree angle. (Reported in The Wall Street Journal)
- Back of the Chair. The Ergo Expert’s top suggestion is focus on the lumbar support. The most convenient chair is one that can adjust the lumbar support, allowing an adjustment for the user’s height. You can also find a chair with the proper, non-adjustable lumbar support for you, by trying the chair out before you buy it.
- Seat of the Chair. The most comfortable chair is one that fits you explicitly, including the depth of the seat. It should measure the same distance from the inside of your knee to the base of your spine, says the Ergo Expert. Also, the perfect chair will only improve your health. A waterfall front to the seat will provide you with improved blood circulation to your legs.
- Armrests for the Chair. Armrests are possibly the most overlooked aspect of the chair. If you spend 90% of your day typing, you’ll understand why. But for the other 10% of your day, armrests that are too low or too high can put heightened strain on your upper back, neck and shoulders. That’s why, unless you find a chair that’s non-adjustable armrests perfect for you, the armrests should be adjustable to accommodate any user.
A comfortable, supportive chair should be the goal of any employee or employer. This is why you should NEVER purchase a chair without a money back guarantee or taking it for a test drive. You probably spend 30-40 hours a week sitting in your desk chair; make sure it is the best one for you.
No matter how comfortable the chair is, don’t sit down all day. Leading a sedentary life can often lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Try to walk around your office at least once every hour. As for your new, ergonomic chair? It is said absence makes the heart grow fonder.