In Search of an Ideal Office Chair

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bidorbuy sellers spend a lot of time in front of their computers. A good office chair is a must for them if they want to keep their back and neck pain-free. 

To be regarded as “good”, an office chair must offer at least the following: 

  • Good lower back support;
  • Flexibility (ability to swivel and to be adjusted to various heights and angles);
  • Ease of use;
  • Good quality.

The Wheels (Dis)Advantage

The naturalist Charles Darwin is usually credited with inventing the earliest known modern office chair. He put wheels on the chair in his study so he could get to his specimens more quickly.

Today, wheels are a necessary feature of an office chair worthy of its name. Wheels let you re-adjust your position without having to lug around the chair. They let you reach a number of locations within your work area without spending time and energy on standing up and walking.

However, what you gain on the productivity side, you may lose on the health and fitness side. Armed with wheels, you are more likely to roll over to the fridge for a snack than to stand up and walk all that distance. And as we all know, sitting for prolonged periods of time is bad for your body.

The Armrest Controversy

The advocates of office chairs with armrests say that armrests are good because they take some of the load off the user’s shoulders, neck, and arms, thus preventing aches associated with prolonged computer use.

The opponents do not recommended armrests, because they can prevent a user from getting close to the desk, or even cause serious injury due to jamming of one’s fingers between the armrest and the bottom edge of desk.

Manufacturers have devised a simple solution: they made the armrests both shorter (up to about 25 centimetres) and adjustable. Therefore, if you can afford this additional feature, go for it.

A Place to Rest Your Head

Some say that a well designed head rest allows you to relax your neck while continuing to be productive. Others say that it’s good only when you want to take a quick nap in between work tasks.

In any case, if you feel the need to rest your weary head while sitting in your office chair, expect to pay extra for this feature.

How to Adjust your Chair

A standard, fully adjustable office chair will typically accommodate about 90 percent of the population. About five percent of the shortest and the tallest of the population need custom-made chairs. If you are lucky enough to fall into that 90 percent, here is how to adapt your adjustable chair to your body:

  • Adjust the seat: Stand in front of the chair and adjust the height so that the highest point of the seat is just below your knee cap. (And yes, ladies, you do need to re-adjust the height of your seat every time you change the height of your heels.)
  • Re-check the seat height: Sit on the chair upright with your feet flat on the floor. There should be a space between the front edge of the seat and the lower part of the legs (your calves) to fit a clenched fist (about five centimeters).
  • Adjust the back rest: Move the back rest forwards and backwards and up and down until you feel that it fits into the hollow in your lower back.
  • Adjust the arm rests (if you have them): Sitting upright, bend your elbows at a right angle and adjust the height of the armrests until they barely touch the undersides of your elbows.  Some experts recommend removing the armrests if they elevate your elbows even slightly.
  • Adjust the head rest (if you have it): The top of the head rest should be in line with the top of your head. Do not place the head rest behind your neck.

Beyond the Chair

While a good chair is probably the single most important element of a good workstation, it is not the only one. Even the best of office chairs will not do you much good if you, for example, keep your keyboard at arm’s length and perform stretches every time you need to type something.

It is also a good idea to practice typing with a soft touch. Exerting too much pressure on keys may not harm your keyboard, but it may injure your wrists and fingers. If you use the mouse a lot, learn to operate it with both your right and your left hand, and alternate between the two throughout the day. And most importantly: take regular breaks.

An ergonomic workspace does not come cheap. However, you can look at the expense as an investment. A local study conducted among bank employees found that an improved work environment can increase productivity by one third. Just think how much more you could do on bidorbuy if you had 30 percent more time in which to do it!

In that name, head for the bidorbuy office furniture section and review the options for designing a better workstation for yourself.

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