How to choose an office chair for your needs

Choosing the perfect office chair for your employees is no easy task. As an essential piece of office furniture, plenty of research will need to be carried out to ensure you choose the right one for people’s needs. While some business owners may pick up any old standard chair to keep costs as low as possible, they’ll likely find it’ll need replacing much more often.

From the comfort and support to the style and adjustability, there are many factors to take into consideration and in this guide, we’ll explore all of the most important factors to help you choose the best office chair.

1. Lumbar Support

Choosing an office chair with good lumbar support is crucial as it provides support for the lower back which prevents any strain that could lead to sciatica. Some of the best office chairs even offer adjustable lumbar support so the individual can fit their chair to their lower back as needed. Being properly supported by a chair can help with concentration, lower stress, reduce pain, increase productivity and improve posture too.

2. Backrest

The backrest of a chair will need to support the natural curve of the spine. With most chairs, you’ll probably find that the backrest is between 12-19 inches wide to suit the majority. An ergonomic chair will also allow the user to try different reclining postures, rather than the static upright position, to relieve any weight from their backs every now and then, making it much more comfortable.

3. Adjustability

Everybody is different and has different needs when it comes to sitting comfortably for work, this can depend on a person’s age, health and even their height. So, having a chair that can easily adapt to each individual user is vital. While nearly all office chairs have a height and arm adjustment, the best chairs will allow someone to adjust the back, lumbar, tilt, headrest and more. Getting a chair with so many adjustment options will mean your employees will be able to change their chairs to their exact preferences.

4. Seat Height, Width and Depth

You’ll want to invest in a chair where the seat height can be adjusted from 15-22 inches from the floor. This is the range that suits people who are between 5-6’4 inches tall. Ideally, your employee’s feet should be flat on the floor with their knees at 90-degrees to reduce stress on the knees and lumbar. 

The width of the seat is also important and something that many good office chairs will allow the user to adjust. The standard seat size is somewhere between 17-20 inches wide which should provide enough space to support the thighs. The ideal is that the person is sitting with at least 1 inch on either side for ultra-comfort.

When it comes to the depth, the seat will need to be deep enough for someone to sit with their back against the backrest but still with space between the end of the chair and the knees. It can be a tricky balance as no one’s body is the same, so we’d suggest looking for chairs with a seat that can slide so the user can adjust it however they want.

5. Chair Materials

It should be no surprise to learn that the material of the chair plays a big part in how comfortable it is to sit on for a long period of time. The fabric you choose should be breathable so the chair doesn’t become too hot after a few hours. A mesh backrest is ideal as it’ll keep the air flowing while also contouring to the body. The seat should be made of high-quality foam with enough cushion so the person sitting can’t feel the base of the chair. Insufficient padding can cause many health issues such as misaligned hips, back pain and general discomfort.

6. Armrests

The armrests on an office chair should be broad, padded and comfortable. They should allow both the elbows and the forearms to rest comfortably on them even while typing. This is also another feature that a good office chair will allow you to adjust. Some chairs may also have armrests that can be removed if the person wants. Ideally, the height of armrests should be from 7-10 inches above the seat.

7. Style

Once all of the functional features have been considered, start thinking about the style. While function is important, the look of your chair can have a great impact on your office interior too. Choosing a colour that matches the scheme of the office, materials such as leather or plush upholstery or a modern or classic style can massively improve the look and feel of your office.

8. Manufacturing and Warranties

Your office chair is a piece of furniture that needs to be reliable and stand the test of time. You’ll want it to last for years and survive general wear and tear so make sure it comes with a good warranty and from a reputable manufacturer. If possible, check where the chair was made to make the most sustainable choice possible – the closer to home the better.

If you require any extra assistance when it comes to choosing office furniture, contact our team at Officeology who will provide office furniture and fit-out solutions.

Need some more inspiration? Check out our blog full of ideas for the best office furniture to refresh your space.

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