Features of an office chair

People in an office job spend the day sitting at their desk.  An ergonomic desk chair should provide comfortable sitting to the occupant and reduce sitting-related health complications.  But even the best office chair alone cannot prevent sitting related diseases such as back pain, overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and so on. But a good ergonomic chair may encourage and promote a bit of natural movement. Adjustment features to adapt the chair to the occupant body can support healthier varied sitting positions.

Features an office chair should have

An office chair, in which one spends sitting 40 hours a week and more, has to adapt to the body and the individual sitting habits. The essential features of an ergonomic office chair are:

  • Backrest – supports the back and relieves it
  • Seat height adjustment – the seat height must be individually adjustable for each person.
  • Seat pan features -allow for posture changes
  • Armrests – help to relieve the shoulder and neck part
  • Back-ward tilt – provides relief to the discs
  • Lumbar support– additional support the lower back

Backrest

An important aspect of a good office chair is its backrest.  Being adjustable in height and inclination the chair provides optimal comfort to individual fit the chair to your own body. Large people benefit from a “High Back Chair”, which can provide extra relief to the neck and shoulder muscles. Office chairs that have the backrests upholstered with mesh, ensure better air circulation to the back.

Seat height adjustment

This is one of the most important standard features that is found in about every office chair. Easy hight adjusting with a lever that activates a gas spring is the standard today. The design with the screw height adjustment is only found in very old chairs. Every office chair must be adjusted to the individual occupant’s seat height. The health friendliest sitting position is achieved when the upper and lower legs form an angle of 90 degrees. If the chair is used by different people, care must be taken to adjust the optimum height.

Seatpan Adjustment Features

The lumbar area of your spine is naturally curved. Extended sitting strains the disc in this sensitive area. An adjustment feature of the seat pan helps to compensate strain on your lower back and reduce pressure on the back of your thighs.  For comfort, the seat pan should have rounded edges and be large enough not to squeeze you or put pressure on the sides of your hips. A seat pan inclination and a backrest tilt allow for posture changes.

Armrests

Armrests are an integral part of any office chair, they provide relaxation and relief to muscles in shoulders and uper back.  The best ergonomic chairs have armrests that can be adjusted in height and width, as this ensures that the arms can be placed on the armrest as preferred by the occupant of the chair. comfortably and loosely on the armrests. Cushioned armrests are a beneficial feature as they do not cause any pressure points on the lower arms.

Backward tilt

The tilt mechanism provides for a valuable relief of the back muscles during the recline. Some modern office chairs are equipped with backward tilt function of up to  180 degrees, good enough for a quick power nap in between work. This function requires manual adjusting.
However, in most office chairs, a slight backward tilt can be achieved by just leaning backward.  The change from an upright sitting posture will bring temporarily relieve the vertebra discs and ensures that you are not in a monotonous posture. Changing sitting positions frequently is always beneficial.

Lumbar support

The lower back is often the zone of health problems in people that spend their day sitting and working in monotonous positions at a desk. A lumbar support ensures stability in this sensitive area of the back. This may be achieved through an additional removable lumbar pillow or a clever design of the lumbar area of the backrest.

Good ergonomic chairs reduce the risk of back pain…

… but always keep in mind: We are not made for sitting! Nature has made us to be physically active creatures that need to hunt and gather in order to eat. Not to sit in a chair all day and order food be delivered when we are hungry.

Just take a look around. Who is fit? Who sits too much?

No question,  a good chair will provide additional benefit to your health.
But only regular physical activity keeps you and your back healthy. 

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