If you’ve ever committed the office faux-pas of “borrowing” someone else’s favorite chair, you know what turmoil such an act can generate.
We all seem to appreciate the importance of a great office chair, but why exactly is it that we are willing to practically brawl over the perfect seat?
Perhaps it’s because the average American spends nearly six full hours sitting in their chair. If you happen to have the misfortune of a less than ideal chair, those six hours are going to feel like an eternity.
According to turnstone.com, an alarming 86% of office workers say that they are uncomfortable and 50% of them think their office chair is to blame.
This all underlines the fact that selecting your office chair is a very important decision that can affect not only your comfort, but also your productivity and efficiency at work.
What You Need to Consider
When you go shopping for your next office chair, there are a few key elements you’ll need to consider before making a selection, including:
- Comfort. Obviously, comfort should be your first consideration when looking at chairs. You and your chair are going to spend some real quality time together every workday so you need to be sure that you feel completely comfortable in it. Just because a chair looks super comfortable doesn’t mean that it actually is – you will need to sit in each chair to get a real sense of how it feels on your spine and pelvis.
You should also pay attention to the type of fabric it is made from. Breathable fabrics will prevent you from getting uncomfortably hot and sweaty after long hours. The bottoms cushion also needs to be substantial enough to prevent the underlying chair structure from jutting into you.
- Aesthetics. Comfort may be key, but you also can’t completely disregard the aesthetics. Unless you are completely apathetic about interior design, you’ll want to choose a chair that has a pleasing color and texture that compliments your pre-existing office décor.
- Flexibility. Since everyone’s body shape and style of sitting is unique, your office chair should be flexible enough to adjust to fit you. This includes height adjustments, arm rest adjustments, tension control, etc.
- Mobility. Your office may have carpeting or it may be hardwood or tile. You may require a chair that allows you to move freely around your work area or you may prefer one that is stable and stationary. You will need to look for a chair that suits your mobility needs.
A Look at the Popular Options
There are quite literally hundreds of different options when it comes to office chairs. To give you an idea of the available options, let’s take a look at some of the most common types.
- Ergonomic Chairs
Ergonomic has recently become the hottest buzzword in the world of office chairs but surprisingly few people actually understand what it means. The term ergonomic applies to any type of chair that is designed to provide superior spinal support and thus comfort. They achieve this by incorporating a number of adjustments and features such as armrests, variable height, reclining seat backs, special seat depth, and lumbar support.
- Executive Chairs
These chairs feature larger backs than most other types of office chairs and they offer great comfort while also having aesthetic appeal. In addition to the high backs they also incorporate increased padding.
- Mesh Chairs
As their name suggests, these chairs have mesh backing which makes them light, breathable, and adaptable to many different work environments.
- Drafting Chairs
These chairs are often used in research laboratories, art studios, and for engineering purposes due to their ability to swivel and easy height adjustment.
- Unconventional Chairs
There are a number of unorthodox but fun and interesting options including large exercise balls, inflatable chairs, beanbag chairs, backless chairs, and edgy modern designs.
With so many different options out there, you should have no problem finding the perfect office chair for you, and that chair will make you a happier, healthier, and more productive employee.