Top 5 Tips For Selecting an Office Chair

Adapted from the OCA’s Your Back Health June 11, 2013 article.  

relaxed-businesswoman-sitting-on-office-chair-thumb21119916If you have to be inside while the weather is so nice this summer, make sure you have the best ergonomic office chair you can!  Getting a chair that fits your unique needs should be the top priority. Not every chair labeled “ergonomic” has all the adjustment features necessary to truly be ergonomic. The top 5 things you need to consider when selecting an office chair are listed below:

1. Seat pan comfort and shape: The seat pan should be at least one inch wider than your hips and thighs on either side. The seat pan should not be too long for your legs otherwise it will either catch you behind the knees or it will prevent you from leaning fully back against the lumbar support.

2. Adjustable features: You should be able to adjust the height of the seat pan so that the front of your knees is level or slightly below level and your feet are firmly on the ground. In most cases there should be no need for you to use a footrest. The mechanism to adjust seat height should be easy to reach and operate when you are seated.

3. Lumbar support: The lumbar support should be firm enough to support your low back throughout the day, and should not be too high or low for your specific body type.

4. Hip room: A chair that doesn’t provide enough hip room can make you sit too far forwards on the seat pan, resulting in reduced thigh support and less effective lumbar support.

5. Cushioning: Think about how the chair will feel after 60 or 120 minutes. Low-density foam seat pans can become permanently deformed after long term use which can affect cushioned support leading to discomfort, imbalance and hip and back fatigue.