Are you sitting comfortably whilst reading this? If you chose the right office chair you will be. After all, what could be more important than a comfortable and well-designed office chair? When investing in office furniture, the chair is arguably the most important. You sit on them for hours, work, eat and chat whilst using them so it’s imperative you think carefully when choosing chairs for you and your staff.
What type of office chair do I need?
So what are your options when choosing the best office chair? Well, there are lots of designs to choose from and you won’t have a problem finding the right type of office chair. Below is a list of the types of office chair:
- Task chairs
- Ergonomic chairs
- Executive chairs
- Meeting room chairs
- Stackable chairs
- Soft seating chairs
At Radius Office we stock all of the above office chairs as part of our extensive office furniture stock. It’s worth checking the details of each chair because every type of office chair has specific features or roles.
Task chairs are the most common office chair because they are designed specifically to be partnered with a desk. Models in the range vary from the basic typist style chair through to the mesh armchair style with height-adjustable seats and adjustable armrests. Prices vary from around €40 to €500 for the fully adjustable, ergonomic models.
Ergonomic chairs are generally more expensive than task chairs but have more mechanisms designed to improve the posture of the user. This type of chair can be easily used with all office desk designs and is becoming the favourite type of chair for office work.
Executive chairs generally have more padding in the seat and high, comfortable backs. Some models have head and neck rests and are made from soft leather for that ‘corporate executive’ look.
Meeting room chairs have padded seats and have either fixed legs or wheels or castors. They are intended to provide comfort to the user during long meetings but are not designed for 8 hours use per day.
Stackable chairs are all-purpose chairs designed to maximise the space in your office. They can be used for meetings or visitors or as spare chairs.
Soft seating chairs are the perfect solution for those break out areas you have designed into your office space. Available in a range of colours and styles, position these chairs to provide a chill out area for employees or as comfortable seating for your visitors.
Lots of different mechanisms
These days, the best office chairs are pretty much completely adjustable. The more money you are prepared to invest – the more adjustable features the chairs have. Lower back pain is a real problem for people who spend a lot of time sat down so an adjustable lumbar is definitely something to look for in an office chair. Other features, such as synchro tilt, height adjustable arms and adjustable seat slide and seat height are highly recommended. By choosing an office chair with lots of adjustable features, the chair can be modified to each user, providing your office with greater versatility.
So what should I be looking for in my office chair?
There are four key features to look for in an office chair. Mobility, comfort, adjustability and durability.
Mobility. Chairs with castors can be moved around the office easier, from one desk to another. With adjustable height features, the chairs can also be used with different desks and environments.
Comfort. Perhaps the most important. Someone who is not comfortable in their chair is going to fidget, get up, move around and basically do anything apart from sit and work. Comfort also benefits the user’s long-term health. Many back, leg and neck problems are caused by uncomfortable chairs.
Adjustability. As detailed above, office chairs now have so many different mechanisms. This allows the same chair to be modified to each individual user. Gone are the days when offices were full of chairs with someone’s name written on the back.
Durability. The last thing you want is to have to replace chairs every six months or a year. Invest in quality office chairs and save money in the long term.
It’s important to remember your whole body benefits from a quality office chair. Serious damage can be done to your body if you sit for long periods in the wrong position. Your lower back, arms, legs and neck need to be supported, otherwise you will suffer from back pain and other complications.
If you need an office chair that will be used all week for eight hours a day, a chair with ergonomic features is definitely the way to go.
But the important thing to remember is there are lots of different types of office chairs available and it’s important you choose the right one.
Does it matter if I’m tall or short?
“I failed to make the chess team because of my height.” Woody Allen.
Height might not matter in a chess team, despite Woody Allen’s protestations, but does height matter when it comes to office chairs? Well, one of the great things about modern office chairs is, a very tall person or a very short person can use the same chair, as long as it has the right adjustable features. So mechanisms like adjustable arms, movable back height and seat slide can make an office chair fit for any shape of person. Perhaps the main feature to look for if you are particularly tall, is an adjustable seat slide to provide extra comfort for your thighs and a chair with an adjustable back height.
The benefits of a good office chair – for business and for health
Investing in quality, ergonomic office chairs for you and your staff will save your business money in the long term. Research shows the most common cause of sick days are bad backs and neck pain. By choosing the right office chairs you will reduce the amount of time your staff take off.
But it’s not just sick days that can be improved by quality office chairs. If your staff are comfortable sat at their desks, their productivity will increase, making your business more successful.
How a quality office chair fits into office design
So how do office chairs fit into a successful office design. As already mentioned, quality office chairs are vital to the performance of workers and their health. Choosing the right design is vital, whether it be an ergonomic mesh style armchair to an executive soft leather chair for the manager and leadership team.
When planning your office layout, don’t forget about your chairs. Think about the different areas of your office and how they will need different types of chairs. Perhaps comfortable task chairs will go with the row of bench desks whilst comfortable sofa style chairs should go in the break out areas.
So remember, the most important thing in an office is what you sit on… (your chair!)
When sitting, your shoulders should be relaxed so that your elbows can rest below the level of your wrists. Avoid chairs with non-removable arm rests as they may otherwise cause your shoulders to hunch.
After a decent computer chair that’s hopefully not too pricey, which seems to always be the case if you add ergonomic on the tag?