Thinking About Buying An Office Chair? Read This First!

Before you even sit look over these 10 considerations into picking a chair!
Other than your mattress or maybe car, the office chair is likely to be your most frequently used seat. In Fact the average Australian working person sits at their desk on average 4 hours each workday.

If your lifestyle is like these Australians (Maybe You Are One!), Have you started notice whenever sitting in your office chair for extended periods of time your upper back or neck aches?

These are only two of many signs it may be time to replace your current office chair.

For the ergonomically minded few that know its time for a change and that are back on the market, ready to give their next five legged friend a spin. I highly recommenced reading through these curated considerations.

Buying An Office Chair
Descending Geese At The Rice Fields, Utagawa Hiroshige, CC0 Public Domain Designation
CONSIDERATION #1

What are the MUST HAVE Functionalities To Look For In An Ergonomic Office Chair?

Five Comfort Essentials In An Ergonomic Office Chair.
Every sitter may not need or want these “must have” features in their office chair, and that is perfectly fine. The Journal of the ergonomics Society of Korea published a trend analysis of dynamic sitting.

Their research found that changing functionalities of a chair to the sitters activities plays more of a role in healthy sitting posture than generalized dynamic chair technologies.

So choose ergonomic features to make your perfect office chair!

1) The Back Rest Should Have Adjustable Lumbar Support.

If you want to sit with reliable proper posture in the lower back, then having an adjustable lumbar support system is a MUST. Avoid memory foam pillows because they do not curve to your spine with as much accuracy.

2) Look For A Thick Back Rest & Ergonomically Curved Seat Pad.

If your legs are constantly falling asleep during long sitting sessions, it may be a lack of a contouring waterfall seat pad. These seats make circulation easier on the lower half of your body. Be sure that your prospective office chair has curved edges, move on if not!

3) The Chair Should Be Able To Tilt & Lock In Place.

Adjustable tilt-forward-control increases overall mobility. It usually takes this feature is usually for granted, but when it’s missing. The sitting experience is noticeably worse.

4) Armrest Are Optional Depending On Workstation Activities.

One sitters sanctuary is another sitters nightmare. Armrest are a personal preference that really depend on what you will do while sitting and the chair’s surroundings.

Certain situations and (or) desk make armrest a more painful sitting experience than without them. Choosing a set of armrest that compliments the activities you’ll be taking part in while using the chair can enhance the sitting experience.

Types of Armrest For Office Chairs

Luckily many chairs give the user the option to take them off so make sure to look for detachable armrest in the features description.

In situations where mobility is the top priority, the slide-down armrest is an ideal choice. Four-directional armrest make for a better experience however if the situation is long termed such as gaming or video editing.

Are cushioned armrest or vinyl non-padded armrest right for you?
  • Cushion armrest are better for workplace situations. If you often wear short sleeve shirts, cushion armrest might show earlier signs of wear and tear because of the bodies natural oils.
  • Non-padded armrest are made from durable material and are commonly used to address this issue.

5) Headrest are beneficial depending on how you sit.

If you like to sit leaning back in your chair and rest while reclining, then the headrest is a great additional feature. Avoid stationary headrest or exterior pillows!!

Adjustable headrest is the ideal choice because they can position these ergonomically based on the individual sitter.

How To Find The Right Size Chair For My Body

If you're going for the best sitting experience, then follow these tips!
Most office chairs have a design for a medium-sized people and in effect neglect a not so small segment of the market; plus & petite sized sitters.
Optimal Seating Height For Petite Sitters Average Sitters Large & Tall Sitters
Seated Height 14.0" to 16.0" inches. 19.0" to 16.0" inches. 20" to 28" inches.
Seated Width 15" to 18 inches. 18" to 20" inches. 20" inches. plus
Seated Debth 15" to 18" inches. 18" to 20"inches. 20 inches. plus
Backrest Height 13.9 to 18.0 inches. 18.0 to 22.0 inches. 22.0 inches. plus
Five important dimensions to look for when finding the right sized chair.
  1. The depth of the chair’s seat.
  2. The height from casters to seat pad.
  3. The width of the seat.
  4. The height of the backrest
  5. The range of height for the armrest.

The majority of office chairs have a design for a medium-sized people and in effect neglect a not so small segment of the market; plus & petite sized sitters!

If this is all the consideration you need and just want to sit comfortably in the perfect-sized chair? We already did the research and found the best office chairs for petite sitters and large and tall individuals.

CONSIDERATION #2

Balancing Aesthetics, Durability, & Comfort

What material works best for you - Mesh, Leather, Or Something else?
Everybody wants to sit on the Iron Throne, it's a badass chair that is made of durable as Valyrian steel. The only problem is comfort and also the risk of impalement while using it.

What I’m getting at is that a chairs quality will usually rank high in one regard and perform poorly in another.

It’s hard to find all three in an office chair and most will have to compromise… Basically you can’t have it all!

Office Chair Materials

Which Type Upholstery Compliments With Your Workstation?

If your determined to get a certain aesthetic for your workstation. Then you should know upholstery affects the selection of chairs there are to choose from. This happens for a couple reasons such as…

  1. Industry adopted innovative technologies.
  2. When a certain chair gets popular off its looks, all its competitors copy it.

Most gaming chairs are covered in Faux PU Leather, while executive office chairs are hard to find not draped in leather.

Luckily there is a variety in ergonomic office chairs, but the best are usually made from mesh upholstery. As for vinyl, they are mostly reserved for budget brand office chairs.

Below is a table that describes some positive and negative attributes of each type of office chair upholstery. Its based on personal experience rather than facts, so your results with them may vary.

Upholstery Pros Cons
Fabric Cleanable & Breathable Could irritate some sitters skin.
Mesh Comfortable & Breathable Could leave some sitters itchy and is hard to clean.
Leather Cleanable & Long Lasting More expensive and may make some sitters sweaty.
Vinyl Cheap & Breathable Could irritate some sitters skin.
CONSIDERATION #3

A Chair Should Compliment Your Workstation

Certain features are designed for different work spaces like casters (wheels).
Aesthetics like upholstery and color aside. Functional features such as casters, armrest, and niche specific extras. Hobby specific features like for sewing or gaming chairs.

Sewing chairs come in all shapes and sizes, but traditionally these thick cushion seats are equipped with a storage space underneath them. Gaming chairs sport 4D armrest and seat tilt control adjusts to any gamers individual playing posture.

Avoid Disasters By Choosing The Correct Caster! 

The importance of picking the correct caster for your workstation is the difference of scratched floor and washable scruffs.

Hard casters are more common while soft casters are usually an add-on purchase and look more like razor scooter wheels.

If you hard set on going with hard-casters but have a workstation with hardwood floors. I recommend looking into a chair mat to help mitigate deep scratches and scrapes. Also wheel-lock-in capabilities is easy to find in hard-casters, but challenging for soft casters.

Soft Caster

Soft Casters Best For

  • Hardwood Floors
  • Tile or Patio
  • Hard Plastic Chair Mats

7 Considerations To Make Before Buying An Office Chair 1

Hard Casters Best For

  • Carpet Floors
  • Rugs
  • Soft Chair Mats
CONSIDERATION #4

How Much Should You Spend On Comfort?

You can find a quality chair at any price point if you look for the rite things.
Research shows the best bang for your buck is between $250 - $500 dollars. Spending less than $150 is a not a very good investment on your well being, and you might very well have to replace it within a couple years.
Price Tier Budget $ $$ $$$
Price In USD Less Than $250 $250 - $500 $500 - $750 Over $750

This data was gathered from Amazon, Walmart, & eBay Market Values.*

Anything around $250 or more should last longer than five years and also offer a better warranties than budget chairs.

So should you really spend that much extra for a quality office chair?
Yes, if your suffering sedentary aches or spend to much time sitting. Splurging on something you might spend a fraction of your day using may actually save you money.
 
The University Of Utah School Of Medicine conducted a study on people who sit all day and found that moving even 2 minutes every hour lowers the risk of developing serious health conditions by 33% percent.
 
Not convinced? We explain the importance of why it is necessary to spend extra on your next office chiar.
CONSIDERATION #5

What are the most overlooked Attributes When Buying A New Office Chair?

Quality Chairs have these three attributes in common.
As customers become more savvy to their purchasing decisions. Brands that use responsible sourcing and back their products with extended warranties are gaining a competitive edge.

1) Are Extended Warranty Worth It?

Manufacturer warranties cover faulty mechanics and certain types of wear and tear between 3 and 5-year of the purchase date.

The average office chair can last 7-9 years and ergonomic office chairs are upwards of 10 years (Budget Brands Aside) . It may be worth looking into warranty NO more than 10% of the office chairs final price.

2) What Is Manufacturer or Brand’s Reputation?

Our motto Choose Your Chair Wisely is based on this buying consideration. As white label merchandising gets cheaper and more widespread, we must stay diligent on who we give business to.

One downside of purchasing from an unknown company is that its usually harder to submit your warranty.

There is even the possibility that this unknown company disappears all together and sells office chairs under a new name to avoid warranty claims.

3) Is The Manufacturer or Brand Practicing Responsible Sourcing?

This consideration piggy backs off the one above it. Few things can increase a millennial’s perspective on a brand like ecologically viable sourcing of materials. It’s a positive trend that top-tier chairs such as the Steelcase Leap are early adopters of.

Consideration #6

Take it or leave it, office chair features?

What are aspects in an office chair purchase should be an after thought?
Some accessories and features can be more of a gimmick than enhancing the sitting experience. These may be bias or personal preference, but here are some office chair aspects that I consider afterthoughts.

Cushioned Armerst Do NOT Stand the test of time.

These types of armrest seem to like must have if you ever experience sore elbows from hard surfaced armrest. Overtime however the cushion interior bears its ugly foam face and you remember how useful duck tape can be. 

Extendable Foot Rest

There is a reason the top chair brands like Herman Miller or Steelcase have not released extendable foot rest with their products. Its a gimmick feature that will most break after a few months of use.

The better choice for sitter that needs a foot rest are drafting chairs. These are niche swivel chairs are great for standing desk, workshops, and feet danglers.

180 degree back recline

This basically means the seat can be reclined to a fully horizontal. That being said most individuals are sitting a room away from their beds or a couch. 

If you think sleeping in your chair is a good idea? Think again, office chairs are designed for staying alert not sleep. Zero-Gravity Chairs offer a more optimal sleeping experience.

Casters that lock in place

Unless your sailing the seven seas and the floor is not leveled, there is little reason to care about this mobility feature. Casters hardly roll around, especially if your sitting on a chair mat or rug.

Consideration #7

Do I need A New Office Chair or An Alternative To Swivel seated Sitting?

If your current chair sits fine, an additional alternative is a great option.
Sometimes your just need a minor ergonomic upgrade like a posture support cushion or floor compatible casters. Buying an accessory in combination with an office chair alternative may actually provide a less painful experience for sedentary sitters.

Even the most expensive of office chairs will contort your body in the same upright stance. Sitting at your desk for extended periods of time in just one single position creates tension on your lower back and tailbone.

Adding another chair to your rotation can help alleviate lower back pain. A good second sitting purchase is the Kneeling chair, which enables the individual to rest in a unusual ergonomic position to eases pain points common in conventional office chairs.

That is why its important to mix up sitting in a chair with different ergonomic seated positions and if your feeling ambitious; switch from sitting to standing!

7 Considerations To Make Before Buying An Office Chair 2
Repair Your Office Chiar | Common Issues & Solutions

Related Questions

Helpful Info About Office Chairs & Some F.A.Q. Answered

Ergonomics Chairs Promote better posture which has many benefits.
There is a positive correlation between reducing an array of health issues and workstation ergonomics. Three benefits of reduced doctors visits, improved productivity and is overall creates a better first impressions to customers.

Office Chairs VS Gaming Chairs?
These two types of swivel chairs appear different in aesthetic but have most of the same features. Compared to most office chairs, gaming chairs are often equipped with head and lumbar pillows, and a larger backrest for added support

We conducted a rundown on these two types of chairs so you can find out which is best for you.

The average sitter may find the expensive price tag on an ergonomic chair and wonder what differences make the price so high?
Here are just four of many reasons why ergonomic chairs are valued the way they are.

  1. Durability Has a Fixed Price; You Get What You Pay For!
  2. More Features Will Add Extra Cost.
  3. The Finish You Choose Significantly Affects The Price.
  4. Cost of Research and Development

This is basically covers the reason behind their high prices. We covered all about why office chairs are so expensive, if your still left wondering.

Choosing a choice chair is not just good for your back!
In a business environment, first impressions are important! A prospective customers or client will be more likely to give you their business when they see that invest in your business and self.

SOURCES

Srinivasan Beddhu, Guo Wei, Robin L. Marcus, Michel Chonchol and Tom Greene CJASN July 2015, 10 (7) 1145-1153; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2215/CJN.08410814

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Claude

ChairPickr | "Writer"

Hello, My name is Claude and I enjoy sitting comfortable. Research into what separates the good from the bad, in the matter of chairs started when I made a new years resolution to have better posture.

You clicked here to find that first-rate chair, why not stay and learn some self care?

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