You are convinced of the benefits of an ergonomic chair and you want to buy one for your company or your home office? Great! Now, how do you go about choosing an ergonomic chair? Before starting to shop around, take a few moments to go over the main features of an ergonomic chair and think about what would be most important for you or the employees of your company.
1. Headrest: The headrest supports the head allowing you to relax by leaning back the head. This relaxes the muscles of the head and neck, especially when sitting for long periods. It's highly appreciated by people who work in front of their computer for long hours without breaks.
2. Lumbar support: The lumbar support protects the lower back, where there is generally the greatest stress. It is one of the most important ergonomic choices. It should provide firm and adjustable support. The lumbar support is typically adjusted up or down, but sometimes also in depth, adjusting to the natural curve of the back.
3. Armrests: The armrests help to reduce tension in the shoulders and arms. Depending on the chair options, they can be adjusted up or down, sideways, or at an angle. For comfortable posture, it is preferable to maintain a right angle at the elbow, and the wrists in a straight line with the forearm.
4. Seat: Adjusting the depth of the seat adapts the chair to the length of your legs. The padding of the cushion and its covering also have their importance. Look for a firm cushion and a covering of leather or durable material that doesn't slip. The front of the seat should be rounded to allow for good blood circulation in the legs.
5. Adjustable height and tilt: Look for a chair that lets you adjust the height of the seat and the tension of the tilting mechanism according to the weight of the user. A standard chair tilts around a point located under the centre of the seat. If within your budget, choose a synchro-tilt or knee-tilt mechanism. The synchro-tilt mechanism synchronizes the tilting movement of the seat with the chair back, while the knee-tilt mechanism tilts around a point under the knees rather than under the centre of the chair.
If you are responsible for a group of employees, you should choose an office chair with a sufficient number of adjustments to allow the greatest possible number of employees to have the best possible ergonomic adjustment. On the other hand, if you are the main user of this new office chair, you will want to choose ergonomic options specific to your posture and your personal level of comfort.
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