Buying an office chair? Here are some tips when choosing an ergonomic chair, and the right way to sit on them.
16 July 2015
We all know the importance of ergonomics; the applied science of equipment design to reduce fatigue and discomfort in our bodies. With the right study room or office chair, your body is more relaxed and you will feel more comfortable when working at your desk. Ryan Chin from Soho Living offers some tips on buying an office chair and the correct way to sit at your desk.
The ideal ergonomic chair, according to Ryan, should be able to solve all ergonomic issues. Because the parts are adjustable, it should be able to conform to your body shape, size and needs. So when buying an office chair, the most important factor you should look into is the size. If you have a petite frame the depth and width of the chair seat should be able to comfortably fit you, and the inverse is true if you have a larger frame.
Mesh chairs are trendy right now, but with good reason too. The permeable material helps to cool your body, especially when you’re sitting at your desk for long periods of time. Aesthetically, it looks better as well. With that said, Ryan points out that leather chairs remain a popular choice, especially in the corporate world. “Leather office chairs are widely regarded as the boss’ chair,” he says.
Arm rests are not necessarily a must-have for an office chair, but they’re good to have anyway. Just make sure that the arm rest isn’t too high. If your shoulders are being pushed up because of the arm rests, your neck and shoulders will be strained.
According to Ryan, the material of the chair base doesn’t really affect the chair’s ergonomic features. Whether it’s nylon or aluminium, the chair will still function the same. But in terms of durability, a metal base is obviously more long-lasting. Generally, Ryan adds, a good chair base should be made up of a five-pronged base and PU castors.
When sitting down, make sure that your shoulders are not being pushed upwards. They should be relaxed and hanging down, leaving no strain on your body. Adjust the height of the chair and the armrests to make sure your arms and shoulder feel comfortable.
Your lower back should be well-supported. When you’re sitting down, push yourself all the way to the back of the chair seat so your back is pressed against the chair. Gently press yourself against the chair back and make sure that your lower back is comfortable propped up.
With your back upright and your shoulders relaxed, make sure that your thighs are parallel to the floor. This can be easily controlled by adjusted the seat height. Next, make sure that both your feet are resting flat on the floor. If not, you can rest them on the chair base.
A good ergonomic chair will have knobs, handles and levers that allow you to adjust every component. Look for the one that controls the seat back. When sitting down you want to make sure that you’re able to slightly rock the chair back – that’s how the body naturally moves. Ryan advises not to lock the back rest. instead, tighten the tension knob so you have enough resistance but will still have enough slack to lean backwards.
There really isn’t an ideal distance between you and the table – it should depend on how comfortable you are. More importantly is the height of your computer screen. You shouldn’t have to strain your neck. A good tip is to raise your screen to your eye level by propping it up on a computer stand or even a thick phonebook.
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