Take the pain out of choosing office chairs.
Don’t worry – this isn’t another ergonomic guide to make you feel bad about the way you sit at work. We all know that we need good posture to protect our backs and wrists and everything else, but wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t have to think about it, and even better if we never had to look at one of those OH&S charts again? With the right office chair we can sit the right way, stay comfortable and stop the aches and pains. Even better, supportive office chairs have been shown to increase productivity and maximise efficiency! Here’s the top 10 things you need to know when buying chairs for your office:
- Your chair is the most important and most frequently used piece of office furniture
- Chairs are generally designed to suit 90-95% of the adult population
With all their fancy adjustable parts now, chairs are pretty much one-size fits all. If you are particularly tall, short or large you may need to find a special chair to meet your needs. Office National promises to source any special orders no matter how bizarre!
- The right chair reduces health risks
Everyone’s sat in a shocker of a chair at some point, so you know the different aches and pains they can cause. Over time these aches and pains can lead to more debilitating problems like RSI or chronic back pain. A good chair will have many adjustable parts to fit it to your body, and once adjusted should help you to sit comfortably and ergonomically so you don’t even have to think about it each time you sit down.
- The right chair improves productivity
The knock on effect of a healthier chair is improved productivity. Without injury or pain you can get on with your job and you’ll also be happier. As they say, “you’ve got to spend money to make money”, and in the case of office chairs it couldn’t be truer. This is not an area to scrimp and cut costs. Investing in quality chairs now will have long-term financial benefits for your business.
- Choose a chair, not a ball
We’re often made to think that “alternative seating” like fitness balls or saddle seats are better for you, but WorkSafe says they may not provide the best support for the workplace. Better to opt for a chair designed specifically for an office environment.
- Posture’s important, but movement’s better
Sitting in the right chair will reduce aches and pains, but it’s no good if you’re sitting for too long even in the right position. Research is now showing that sitting too much is making us fat and sick, so make sure you’re moving regularly by changing position, walking around or using a sit-stand desk to mix it up.
- The chair has to fit the user
Everyone is unique and while most chairs can accommodate most people there are still features that you need to consider in order to get the right chair for you. What type of fabric do you prefer to sit on? Is leather within your budget? Do you like armrests or do you feel like they get in the way? These are some of the things that will make the chair suitable for you.
- The chair has to fit the workstation
Your chair has to fit you but it also needs to fit your workstation. Armrests may not be an option with some desks and other desks may need the height of drafting chairs.
- The chair has to fit the office
The style of your office will determine the look of your chairs. In a more traditional office you may be limited to only black chairs for instance, but colour may be welcomed in trendier workplaces. Many formal work environments will require consistency in their office décor with more casual offices offering more flexibility. Check with management for guidance.
- Office chair accessories
Once you’ve picked the perfect chair you still need a few things to complete your workstation. Add a chairmat to protect the flooring beneath your chair and to make it easier to scoot around and access the stuff you need. It may also be necessary to comply with the warranty on your flooring and to protect your computer and other devices from static electricity. And kick in a footrest for optimal comfort while sitting.