Sitting on the same chair for long periods puts undue strain on the spine’s supporting systems. Even so, so many people choose to work in offices, and as a result, an ergonomic office chair that cushions the lower spine and encourages proper posture is essential to avoid or minimise the onset of back problems.
What Is the Best Ergonomic Office Chair?
Office chairs can be ergonomic or non-ergonomic, depending on the task. Meanwhile, there isn’t a single style for ergonomic chairs that’s best, but there are a few key features. These features allow the chair’s user to customise it to meet their requirements.
So, this article will examine traditional office chairs and alternative office chairs better for those with back problems.
Which Ergonomic Office Chair Features Are Essential?
First, let’s look at the “traditional” office chair type. So, an ergonomic office chair must have the following features:
The height of the seat: The height of the office chair must be adjustable, and the easiest way to use it is with a high adjustment lever. Most people can tolerate a seat height of 18 – 21 inches above the floor. Meanwhile, having your foot flat on that floor, thighs horizontal, and the arm level with the desk’s height helps the user work comfortably. As such, back pain can be prevented by maintaining the correct posture.
Seat dimensions: The seat must be deep and wide enough to accommodate any user comfortably. Typically, a 17-20-inch width is considered the norm. As such, seat depth (the distance between the front and rear of the seat) should be enough to enable you to rest your back on the backrest of the office chair while still leaving about two to four inches between both the back of their knees and the seat of the chair. Also, you must make sure that there is an option to modify the seat’s inclination.
Alternatives to Regular Office Chairs: Ergonomic Chairs
Support for the back: In an ergonomic office chair, lower back support is critical. Meanwhile, slouching (that flattens the natural shape) and placing undue stress on the structures of the lower spine when sitting for extended periods is bad for your spine. So, an ergonomic design should feature a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) to accommodate the lower back’s inward curve. As such, an ergonomic chair must be made considering the anatomy and physiology of the lumbar spine.
Backrest: If you’re looking for ergonomic chairs, the backrest should measure between 12 and 19 inches. There should also be a height and angle adjustment for any backrest that is not attached to the seat itself. That should be capable of supporting the spine’s natural curve, with a particular focus on the lumbar region’s support. And with a one-piece backrest and seat, the backrest must be able to be shifted forwards and backwards in both directions, with a locking barrier to avoid it from inclining too far back.
The material of the seats: The seat and back padding of an office chair should be comfortable enough for sitting for long periods. Meanwhile, breathable fabrics are prefered to those that are rigid.
Armrests: In an office chair, armrests should be adjustable, as it allows you to rest your arms and shoulders in a comfortable position. And when typing, the arm should not rest on the armrest; instead, it should rest lightly on the elbow and lower arms.
Swivel: Regardless of its design, an ergonomic armchair should allow users to reach all desk parts comfortably without straining their back.