Selecting a good office chair for your home business is an important decision. If you will spend 5 hours per day working for your business in a chair, that’s about 940 hours over the course of the year. That’s a lot of time to be spending sitting on your home office chair!
A good chair can make it easy on you to work, especially if your business requires you to sit long hours. You’d want a home office chair that helps prevent fatigue and discomfort when you are seating on the same chair for hours on end. Having a good chair also increases your productivity and maximizes your efficiency. You’ll spend less time complaining about back aches and pains (especially if your business still can’t afford health insurance!) You want your body, back and arms supported well while doing the work your business requires.
When selecting a chair for your home office, here are some general guidelines to consider:
Determine How the Chair will be Used
The first step in determining the best office chairs for your company’s needs is to determine the function that each chair must provide.
Select a chair designed to support your usage requirements. Some office chairs are designed for short-term, infrequent use while others are designed for daily, heavy duty usage. Today’s chairs also come with a variety of mechanisms to control the comfort level of each user height control, tension adjustment, and lumbar support, tilt angle control, and several other chair controls.
Different Chairs Serve Different Purposes
When it comes to choosing office chairs, it is important to realize that different chairs serve different purposes. Therefore, you will need to choose from a variety of office chairs to ensure that the chair you select serves the function that is needed. For example, in an office you will need one type of office chair for working at a computer desk, and another type of chair used for seating in a conference room.
Conference and general seating rooms require that chairs are easy to stack, transport, and are sturdy. Since many people share these chairs they should also be very simple to clean as well. The chairs should also fit comfortably to the desk or table that is being used and provide adequate support for the back. When someone is giving a presentation, lecture, or holding a company meeting it is important that the listener pays full attention. Even though general seating office chairs may not seem as important as computer desk chairs, don’t be misled. If these chairs are uncomfortable, unstable, or provide discomfort to those seated in them, the will cause a great distraction that will ultimately cause the company loss of productivity. To ensure that your meeting is successful, you must begin by providing comfortable, yet sturdy general seating office chairs.
How Long You Will Use the Chair per Day
Think about how much time you’ll spend in the chair each day. If your business requires you to sit long hours in the chair, you may need to look for chairs that will provide you with the utmost comfort and posture-supporting ease. While some of the better chairs, especially those with lumbar support, may be a bit on the high side, consider it as worthwhile investment.
If you will spend countless hours seated at your desk, choosing ergonomic office chairs is of the utmost importance. This type of furniture will ensure that you will not suffer ill health effects as a result of your work performance. If you will be sitting at a computer desk, it is imperative that the office chairs used provide a backrest with the option of adjustable height. This ensures that various people using the chair can adjust it to their exact specifications. If only one person will be using the chair then there is ample opportunity to select a chair that is tailored towards just one person’s needs and preferences. This is important when looking for office chairs designed for management or executives.
Check the Fit
Test it first. The best way to select the right home office chair is to test it firsthand. If possible, the person who will be using the chair should take it for a test drive.
Make sure the chair height can be adjusted to ensure your feet rest on the floor. Are your knees below your hips? When seated with your feet resting on the floor, you want to ensure your knees are below your hips. This is especially critical on heavy use chairs to ensure you maintain proper circulation below the knee. As a general rule, the angle formed by your torso and thighs should be between 90 and 105 degrees. Is the chair rounded at the front? A rounded front also helps to maintain proper circulation in your legs.
Make sure the office chair provides proper back support and that the back rest feels comfortable. Your back should be comfortably supported to maintain an erect posture. Make sure the chair can adjust to different posture positions.
It’s also important to pay close attention to the seat or cushion when choosing office chairs. Is the seat cushion comfortable? Does it feel stable and balanced in a variety of positions? The seat should be deep and provide firm support without sacrificing comfort. However, the seat must be wide enough to support the person adequately. If the seat is to narrow, the worker will suffer great discomfort and possible injury. By choosing office chairs that provide ample support as well as comfort you can rest assured that your office chairs function at maximum capabilities.
Check Available Adjustments
Almost all office chairs allow for height and arm adjustment. Look for a home office chair that allows you to adjust the lumbar support, arm width and height, seat and back angle, seat back width and height, and tension control.
A good office chair should accommodate a number of different tilt options to accommodate different seating positions throughout the day. Also, check to make sure the tilting tension can be adjusted. Tilting back in an office chair should be easy, but there should be some tension. You’ll need to adjust this based on your height, weight, and needs.
Consider the Armrests
If the chair will be used at a desk or computer workstation, then make sure the armrests are designed so that the chair can be pulled up close to the workstation. Adjustable armrests are also a nice option. Some chairs come with armrests that extend 10 inches or less from the back of the seat. These armrests allow you to work close to the workstation while also providing a place to rest your arms.
Select Appropriate Wheel Casters
Make sure the chair wheel casters are appropriate for the flooring they will be used on. Hard wheel casters are appropriate for carpet and some solid surface materials. However, if your chair will be used on hardwood floors or other flooring material that can be damaged, then you should strongly consider soft wheel casters.
Choose the Right Fabric
The fabric should be one that allows a firm seat with no sliding. It should also be a breathable fabric that allows easy cleanup of spills. If you are planning to sit on the chair for hours, breathable fabric helps as it prevents the fabric from becoming hot and uncomfortable.
Recommended Books on Setting Up Your Home Office:
- The Home Office Handbook: Rules of Thumb for Organizing Your Time, Information, and Workspace
- Taunton’s Home Workspace Idea Book (Taunton Home Idea Books)
- Building the Custom Home Office: Projects for the Complete Home Work Space