How to Select the Perfect Office Chair
When it’s time to select new office chairs for your staff, taking the time to closely evaluate your options will help ensure your chairs will last and your employees will be safe and comfortable using them. Here are the most important features to look for and why they matter.
Choose chairs that have a five-star base. Employees in small offices are more likely to scoot around on their chairs than get up and walk. If they try to scoot around on a chair with a three-leg or four-leg base, they’ll likely end up on the floor at some point during the day. The five-star base provides adequate support and stability, even when force is applied horizontally as in a scooting motion, to prevent tipping. This is especially important if your office is carpeted or has hardwood floors with seams. On those types of floors, if one wheel catches on the carpet or on a ridge, the base will normally spin until the next wheel catches and that’s when the employee is at the greatest risk of tipping.
Casters are an absolute must for office chairs. They allow the employee to easily position themselves in front of their work. And, the material the caster is made of is just as important. Choices range from low-end hollow plastic to rubber, nylon, iron or steel. Most of these materials have both advantages and disadvantages so you’ll need to consider which types of flooring will be beneath the casters, and which features of each material are important to you and your employees.
- Rubber casters rate best for quiet operation, cushioned ride and floor protection, but they rate low for resisting oil, grease and chemicals and they don’t stand up well to impacts.
- Iron casters resist impact but they do not rate well for ease of rolling.
- Polyurethane casters rate well for resisting chemicals and ease of rolling, but not as well for floor protection.
The most common office chair coverings are fabric, leather and mesh. Make your choice based on the appearance, durability and comfort desired. Leather is generally considered the most durable and visually pleasing and may even provide some level of status. Since full grain leather is not a breathable material, it may cause the employee to get hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Mesh material is aerated and does not absorb or retain heat or cold so it may be a more comfortable choice for those temperature sensitive employees. But, mesh does not provide the comfort of a foam-filled fabric chair. While the foam beneath a fabric chair may be the most comfortable option, it may not be the most durable. Look for fabrics that offer stain resistance.
Up to Code
Make sure that whatever office chairs you decide to purchase are manufactured to meet or exceed ANSI / BIFMA requirements for safety and performance, and are in compliance with flammability standards.
Check out our article, 5 Must Have Adjustments for Office Chairs to learn more about the importance of ergonomic features including Lumbar Support, Seat Height, Seat Depth, Seat Tilt and Arm Rests.
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.