Chairs are often an overlooked part of the office, a last consideration when furnishings are considered. However, choosing the wrong chair can create many issues in the long run. Choosing the right chair is important for the health and wellbeing of yourself and your employees. Studies show that sitting for long periods of time can be as dangerous as smoking.
By choosing the right office chair, you can avoid stress on the back, workplace injuries, and even improve productivity. Today we are going to discuss the 10 things you must remember when buying an office chair.
1: Workplace Ergonomics
The average office worker is in office for an average 10 hours a day. Further, of those 10 hours, at least 6 are spent at a workstation. As a result, it is important that you choose adjustable chairs. This way, your employees can adjust their chairs to suit their individual needs. Your employees are not only comfortable, but also protected in the workplace.
2: Adjustable Chairs
As mentioned above, adjustable chairs are best for ergonomics. A multifunction mechanism allows your employees to not only adjust the height, but also the seat tilt and arm rests. This ensures your employees are safe and protected, resulting in fewer sick days due to spinal issues. There is no one-size-fits-all chair – using an adjustable chair ensures each office chair is customised to their individual needs.
3: Who is Using the Office Chair and What is the Purpose?
It is important to consider who will be using the chair as different occupations will require different seating solutions. A healthcare worker will have very different needs to the average office worker, for example. An architect will need a different chair to an IT professional. Consider the individual as well as their tasks, before choosing an office chair.
4: Lumbar Support is Important
Protecting the lumbar spine is incredibly important. Without proper lumbar support, your spine can experience a flattening effect that badly affects the natural curve of the spine. All office chairs should have correct lumbar support for each employee. If the standard support that comes with the chair is not adequate, you can buy additional support pieces or cushions, like these from Premier Office.
5: Check the Size of the Seat Pan
The seat of the chair needs to be the correct size for each employee. While you can adjust the angle of the seat pan, this does little to help if the seat pan is too big or too small. As a result, you could be endangering your employees’ comfort and health. There should a 2-4 finger space between the back of the knees and the front of the seat.
6: Do You Need Armrests?
A chair needs to fit each different workstation and employee. And while some employees require arm rests, others do not. Further, some workstations make it impossible to get a chair with arm rests, in the right position. Ensure you check all workstations and make sure arm rests are appropriate.
7: Test Chairs
You should always test chairs in person before buying. While you can research specifications, there is nothing like actually trying the chair out. That way you can tell if the chairs will be suitable and comfortable enough for your employees.
8: Humans Cannot Sit All Day
No human being is designed to sit all day. Those who do are likely to experience some sort of discomfort. And this discomfort can morph into pain and spinal issues. As well as choosing the right chairs, you need to design a workplace that encourages changes in posture, and encourage movement and stretching. This might mean implementing sit-stand desks as well.
9: Design Options
As we mentioned before, there is no one-size-fits-all option. Ensure your chosen office chairs feature adjustable seat pans, heights, arm rests, and seat backs to make sure the chair can be customised to suit each individual.
10: Don’t Test in a Relaxed Position
When testing a chair, it is important not to lean back and “relax” into the chair. An office chair needs to be comfortable when you and your employees are seated in a working position, not leaning back and relaxing.
Are you looking for the perfect, ergonomic option for your office? Premier Office Furniture has the right office chairs for you. You can buy online, chat to our knowledgeable staff or come down to our showroom. We also provide office fitouts, to take the stress off your shoulders. Contact us now!