Why do we need office chairs? What makes an office chair different from a regular chair? Why is it so important that one chooses the most compatible chair? To answer the latter is not so straightforward – but to answer the former, humans sit of an average of around 4.7 hours a day, notwithstanding the amount of time spent in bed sleeping. A chair, by definition, facilitates the action of sitting and whether it be deemed comfortable or not, allows one rest from the motions of walking and standing. A chair allows further dexterity in our hands, helps mental focus and is often associated with an action – working, studying, etc.
Then we must consider what distinguishes an ordinary chair from an office chair, of course all office chairs are chairs but not all chairs are office chairs. From a quick ponder, we think an office chair has adjustable seating, is at the least comfortable, and most importantly – is used in an office setting. The purpose of an office chair is simple – to provide the most comfort to facilitate work – the chair should not ostentatiously be a defining element, rather a humble agent that helps one sit quietly in the background.
Thus, we arrive at the preceding question – Why is it so important that one chooses the most compatible chair? The answer is simple – a good, compatible office chair should never have a negative affect on someone’s sitting experience – at the least they should feel more comfortable than before whilst they were not in the chair and at the most give a sense of joy.
Things to Consider:
We’ve established the significance of an office chair – bringing us to the final question – What should one consider when buying an office chair?
What should you consider when buying an office chair? To start, important features should include ergonomics, cost, material, adjustability, aesthetic and accessibility. Accepting that some of these considerations are subjective but affirm that most would objectively agree, and that the ordering of significance of these is of a subjective nature.
Firstly, the ergonomics of the office chair would have to be considered a priority. Most of us that work in an office or study, spend most of our time seated, so to find a chair that would ergonomically help our backs and posture is important to avoid potential aches and pains, strains and even injuries after long work days. The chair should, at least display some qualities of ergonomics. Underpinning the ergonomics would be the adjustability factor – the seat height should be adjustable, the seat foam should be comfortable and supportive, the seat and back rest should be independently tilt and angle adjustable to suit the individual user.
Another important factor would be cost.
Within the cost we must evaluate whether the other criterion suitably aligns with the price point to a feasible amount – of course we can’t expect a chair with Herman Miller attributes for a few hundred dollars. But also, would not expect a chair that is considerably more expensive to perform worse than say, a mid-range fully ergonomic chair.
So certain compromises will have to be made – perhaps to sacrifice some of the aesthetic for a ergonomic solution or vice versa.