Choosing an Office Chair — 5 Must-Have Adjustment Features
Whether equipping a new facility with office chairs or upgrading your employees’ comfort with new office seating, there are a few important things you should consider to ensure you make a wise investment.
Most importantly, you should carefully review the warranty for the office chairs you’re considering, making sure it covers your intended usage. Commercial seating is available for light duty and heavy duty applications.
Light duty office seating is appropriate for a single shift with one employee weighing up to 200 pounds who uses the chair for an eight hour day, 40 hours per week.
Heavy duty office chairs are designed for multiple shift applications (24 hours a day/7 days a week) and also for larger individuals weighing up to 350 – 500 pounds, depending on the chair.
If you’re equipping your 24/7 customer service department, you don’t want to order office seating intended for a single user eight-hour shift.
5 Must Have Ergonomic Adjustment Features
1) Lumbar Support
A recent survey asked employees what would make them most comfortable in their work environment and the number one answer was adjustable lumbar support for their office chair. Slouching with an unsupported lower back in a chair for eight hours a day can lead to major back pain and overall body fatigue. The human spine naturally curves in the lumbar region and supporting this curve with an adjustable lumbar support mechanism built into the office chair relieves pressure and allows the spine to properly support the body and neck.
2) Seat Height
The chair’s seat height adjustment allows users to raise or lower the seat pan of the office chair so that their feet can sit flat on the floor, without an uncomfortable bend at the ankles or at the pelvis. If a seat is too high, the user will likely sit too far forward in the chair which leaves their back unsupported. If the pelvis is tilted from a seat that is too low, it will put more pressure on the spine and constant stress on the hamstrings.
3) Seat Depth
You might think sitting far back in a chair is important to allow full back support, but it can lead to numb feet because the front edge of the chair can reduce circulation to lower portions of the leg. A proper seat depth adjustment allows users to situate themselves so that their knees extend just beyond the edge of the chair while achieving full support from the chair’s back.
4) Seat Tilt
The seat tilt adjustment helps prevent the entire weight of the upper body from resting on entirely on the thighs. It also contributes to the proper sitting angle of the lower back. Tilted too far forward, the user will feel like they are slipping out of the chair and will spend the days scooting back. If the tilt is too far back, the user will spend the day wandering around the office avoiding their chair as much as they can get away with.
5) Arm Rests
Arm rests are important because they reduce overall arm fatigue. Trying to type on a keyboard all day without while using muscles alone to support the arms would quickly lead to neck and shoulder pain. Just as important as simply having arm rests is having the ability to adjust them so that the arms are bent at about a 90 degree angle while using a keyboard.
Letting Employees Choose Their Own Chair
We all know that people don’t like change. But, allowing them a say in the matter quickly changes even the most vocal employee to a more satisfied employee. Consider allowing your employees to test-sit the new chairs you’re evaluating for purchase. After a few minutes of adjusting they will quickly feel how comfortable their new chair will be.
ROSI Office Systems, with locations in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, can help you equip your facility with ergonomically-friendly office chairs and solutions to help your employees enjoy comfort while you enjoy their productivity. Contact us today and we’ll help take you through a needs analysis process and then provide you with a proposal for best-in-class office furniture, accessories and design solutions.