What are ergonomic office chairs?

Our Guide to Ergonomic Office Chairs

Good ergonomics in the workplace is key for success, as it will help improve productivity and motivation as well as ensure your employees are healthier and happier overall. One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your office ergonomics that your employees will certainly appreciate is by investing in good quality office chairs.

Those working a 9-5 office job will spend the majority of their day sitting down, which can lead to many health implications such as back and neck problems, poor posture, muscle degeneration and more risk of heart attacks. 

While ergonomic chairs won’t cure all the afflictions associated with sitting for a prolonged period, they can massively help as they’re designed to offer maximum support and encourage proper sitting habits. 

Here, we’ll go through what an ergonomic chair actually means and the main features of an ergonomic chair for you to consider.

What Are Ergonomic Office Chairs?

So, what is an ergonomic chair, and how is it different from a regular office chair? Well, unlike a standard office chair, where typically there are no armrests (or armrests in an uncomfortable position), no lumbar support and no movement, ergonomic chairs are designed to support the human body in the best way they can. Ergonomic chairs take into consideration posture, comfort and health and are made to support the natural shape of the spine to prevent slouching and help reduce stress on the body. 

However, it’s important to remember that the chair won’t do all the work for you. So, you’ll need to remind your employees how to sit properly to reap all the benefits:

  • Ideally, employees should be an arm’s length away from their computer screen, with the top of the monitor level with their eyes.
  • They should sit up straight and avoid slouching, if possible, with the necks in a relaxed position.
  • Arms should be parallel to the floor.
  • For correct blood circulation within their legs, both feet should be flat on the floor, and employees should try to avoid crossing their legs.

Ergonomic Office Chair Features

If you’re thinking about getting ergonomic office chairs for your workspace, here are all of the features included for ultimate comfort and support.

1. Adjustable Seat Height

An employee who’s 6 foot tall or over will need a different seat height compared to someone who’s 5 foot 5 and under. So, having a chair with adjustable seat height will allow people to move the seat to wherever is most comfortable for them. Ideally, the seat height should allow employees to place their feet flat on the floor. 

2. Seat Tilt

You’ll often find that ergonomic chairs have seats that can tilt. This allows for the pelvis to be in the correct, neutral position with 80-degree angles at the hips and knees, whether your employees sit up straight or lean back. It’s a much more flexible design to offer maximum comfort while also helping your posture.

3. Seat Width and Depth

If the seat of the chair is too far forward, it can put pressure on the back of the knees, which increases the risk of a pressure injury. The optimal seat position should leave between 2 and 4 inches between the edge of the seat and the back of the knees. With an ergonomic chair, you’ll have full control of the seat width and depth to position it correctly.

4. Lumbar Support

Proper lumbar support is crucial when it comes to choosing an office chair as it focuses on supporting the lower back and can help prevent slumping, reducing stress on the spine and pelvis. Having a chair with an adjustable backrest will allow employees to properly align the chair to the shape of their spine for full support.

5. Backrest Recline

A backrest recline is a useful feature in a chair as it allows employees to adjust it multiple times throughout the day for more specific support on their spine. So, in the morning, employees may be sat more upright but will slouch more over time. The adjustable backrest will be able to move to a more comfortable position as employees relax, taking the weight from their upper body and helping to reduce the pressure on the spine and surrounding muscles. 

6. Adjustable Armrests

Armrests are extremely beneficial as they reduce tension in the upper body and allow the shoulders to relax without dropping too far. Chairs without armrests can feel vastly more uncomfortable when someone is taking a moment to sit back. Adjustable armrests will allow employees to move them to the perfect position for their specific needs.

7. Headrest

Having a headrest on your chair will help support the back of the head, along with the upper neck, which will reduce the tension in the upper body. Headrests can also help to improve posture as they generally stop people from hunching over and keep them sitting upright.

8. Breathable and Comfortable Material

Fabric is an important aspect of the chair you’re choosing. Since your employees will spend the majority of the day in the chair, it’ll need to be comfortable and breathable, allowing fresh air circulation on people’s backs. Mesh is a good option as its comfortable and springy nature responds well to everyone’s body shape. More high-end ergonomic chairs use leather or velvet for plush and professional-looking chairs.

9. Wheels and Swivel

Having an office chair that can swivel and has wheels helps employees easily manoeuvre the chair whenever needed. Whether it’s to turn to speak to someone behind them or scoot over to a co-worker next to them, a chair that can move easily will prevent employees from straining to get to different points.

At Officeology, we’ll work closely with you to deliver a complete end-to-end office fit-out solution for your new workspace, no matter how big or small.
We can also supply office furniture that’s ergonomic, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing for all kinds of workplaces.

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