Few things are as comfortable as a good office chair. Few things are as miserable as an uncomfortable office chair. We hear about ergonomics, lumbar support, recline, etc., but what, really, should a person look for when buying an office chair?
Lumbar support and comfort are nearly equal on the ladder. Since sitting at a computer for several hours a day puts strain on the lower back, a good office chair should have adequate lumbar support. This should not feel like a large knot in a chair’s back. If it is unobtrusive, yet supportive, it’s perfect. It should also be in the correct place. This may sound obvious, but it’s not. People of different heights have backs of different lengths, and the lumbar support should fit that person’s lumbar area, not be above it or below it, more in the sciatic area.
Comfort is also key. An office chair should be soft enough for comfort, but firm enough for support. It should also be wide enough in the seat to support the hips. The only way to find out is to go where sample office chairs are offered and sit in them until the “right” one is located.
This is why buying the same office chair for an entire department is not usually a good idea. The same chair simply will not fit everyone the same way. It is much more desirable to have each worker comfortable than to have the same office chair, just to save money. If a company is selling that many office chairs to one department, it will usually offer a discount on all the chairs, not just the ones that are alike. Companies should therefore allow employees to try out different chairs and pick the one most comfortable for them.
Office chairs should all have adjustable height, but many offer features such as recline, fully adjustable armrests and controls which can even increase or decrease the degree of lumbar support. Of course, all these features are not inexpensive, and a person will usually consider price as a major factor in buying an office chair. One good way to do this is to set a price range and try all chairs within that range. In most cases, one of them will feel the way the person wants the office chair to feel. An office chair can range in price from about $50 US Dollars (USD) to $800 USD. It all depends on the materials, quality and features.
When an office worker spends the majority of his time in front of a computer, a comfortable office chair is a must. He should be willing to spend the time and money necessary to find the one that makes him most comfortable and gives the most support. Doing so will enable the worker to function at peak efficiency.