Sedentary work often leads to increased fatigue, back pain, leg swelling, and poor posture. As a consequence, various musculoskeletal and circulatory system diseases develop. Some companies practice an approach where employees stand or can sit on a sofa while performing their duties.
The question of how to choose an office chair also concerns those who work from home. Despite the less restrictive working conditions, freelancers also have to spend many hours in front of a computer.
Types of office chairs
Among office chairs, as among workers, there is a hierarchy. They are divided into the following types.
- For the head – the most respectable, expensive and functional group. They are equipped “to the maximum”: all sorts of position adjustments, headrest, may be a built-in massager. They emphasize the status of their owner. The upholstery is usually made of leather of noble colors.
- For employees they look more simple than the previous varieties, and for decoration use synthetic leather or textile. Meanwhile, it is important that the product has the maximum number of settings. After all, the furniture is bought for the whole office, and everyone has different height, weight and body structure. So that the sitter could adjust the furniture for themselves and need adjustment.
- For visitors – the period a person spends in a chair like this is limited to a couple of hours, and have a wide range of settings he is not necessary. For meeting rooms and reception rooms use more expensive options with a padded seat, a cover of leather or leather substitute and a stylish design. In less important rooms – in the lobby, for the reception of workers – set simple types with textile upholstery.
There are also other types of chairs, such as: for children, for gamers. The characteristics of the former should be similar to the chair for employees. The only thing is that such chairs have reduced dimensions, adapted to the height and weight of the child.
Gamer models for home have the highest rate of adaptability and can adjust to any wishes of the owner. Gamblers spend the whole day at the screen, so this armchair provides the ability to take different positions, up to lying down. Distinguished by the design of products: they are often decorated with bright inserts.
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Comfort and health depend on the thoughtfulness of the design and its ability to adjust to the characteristics of each individual. Let’s take a look at the main elements.
Chairs can be stationary and movable. As the name implies, the first type does not involve constant movement, and therefore is not equipped with wheels. There are the following bases:
- “conference base” – chairs on legs or frame;
- “swivel podium” – have a leg-stand and swivel seat;
- “stationary pedestal” – resemble mobile products with a crossbar, but without wheels.
The base of mobile models is a crosspiece – a long leg with four or five “rays” to which the wheels are attached. This part can be made of metal or plastic. And contrary to prejudice, objects made of high quality plastic are not inferior to metal in strength and durability.
All the stress of the weight of sitting during work is precisely on the cross. On average, any part can withstand from 100 to 120 kg. If the furniture is bought for a full person, it makes sense to pay attention to the reinforced metal or glass polyamide bases.
When sitting, the feet must stand flat on the floor, so the height of the chair must be adjustable. Most modern models have a lever under the seat and a “gaslift” mechanism. It is a cylinder of inert gas, which is located in the base.
The ideal backrest is the one that completely follows all the curves of the back and provides sufficient support. It is desirable that in the lumbar region was made an additional bend or roll, and on the sides there are small ledges. This helps to relieve the load on the spine as much as possible.
Here it is important that the bend is exactly in the lumbar region! Therefore, when buying a chair not for yourself, it is worth finding furniture with back height adjustment.
The backrest should have adjustable positions and in the standard state should be slightly more than 90 degrees. This way the back will not get very tired. And sometimes, for example at lunch, you can go almost horizontal and rest comfortably.
For those who write, draw, in general, do something while leaning against the desk, a negative angle of inclination is necessary when the back is as if tilted to the table. This will help avoid constriction of blood flow and excessive pressure on the inner thigh.
One of the most useful and necessary features is the synchromechanism, when the seat and backrest adjust to the movements of the worker and move forward and sideways following him. This will save you from unnecessary strain.
Another mandatory parameter: the resistance adjustment. It is divided into manual and automatic. The backrest should easily deflect when the sitter presses on it, but not too far. Due to the fact that everyone’s weight is different, the level of resistance must also be different and individual for everyone.
Another favorite feature of many is the rocking mechanism. Thanks to it, it is possible to use the work chair as a rocking chair. A mini workout is good for relaxing and relieving tension from the spine.
The shape of the seat is better to choose rounded with a small depression in the center. This will allow you to sit comfortably, not to crawl and not to interfere with blood flow.
It is also important that the seat is adjustable in depth. It is established that the correct position is the one when there is a space between the edge of the seat and the bend of the knees, which is equal to the width of the palm (about 6 cm). If it is less than that, a man will start to slip, and if it is more, he will sink, and to hold on, he will have to strain his legs.
For comfort during work the degree of softness is responsible. There are the following varieties:
- Hard – the filler layer in the seat is thin or absent at all (this is in chairs for visitors). A long stay on such chairs is not a pleasure;
- The medium hardness – have a small layer of foam padding or polyurethane foam. You can sit on them a lot longer without getting tired;
- Soft – in addition to a large amount of filler, equipped with a spring block. Preferable for those who are in the workplace for a long time, and it is the best option for sitting.
Some models do not have armrests. But it is acceptable to stay on them only for a couple of hours: then your arms and back get tired. It turns out that for work duties preference should be given to chairs with handles.
Hand and forearm while working at a computer ideally lie at the same level, which means that the armrest should be of the same height as the table. Hence the conclusion that the height should be adjustable. Otherwise your arms will just hang in the air and your muscles will start to support them. This takes a lot of strength, there is a stoop and a decrease in performance.
It is best to buy a table and an armchair at the same time.
You need to choose wide armrests, covered with leather, with the ability to adjust the inclination.
There are different wheels for different floor coverings:
- For hard floors, wheels with soft felt attachments or rubberized ones are used so as not to damage the surface;
- For carpets, on the other hand, plastic elements, which are better slippery, are suitable.
You can find special mats on sale that protect the floor from scratches and damage by the wheels.
Be sure to check the strength of the attachment of the wheels to the support, and how they ride on the floor.
For those who do not like the fact that the chair moves freely, it is advisable to buy products with a wheel lock in one position.
The presence of a headrest is not required, and here’s why: in order for it to perform its purpose (to relax the neck), it is necessary to adjust the position exactly to the figure of the person sitting, and the anatomy should not be violated. This is possible when buying a chair for yourself, but when equipping an entire office – hardly.
If you really decided to provide your employees with the most comfortable options, you should choose expensive models with adjustable height and headrest position.
Almost always there is a headrest in the furniture for the manager, because its increased size allows to emphasize the status of the head, and gives solidity to the situation.
Upholstery material and color
Upholstery material determines the appearance and creates a harmonious atmosphere in the office. There are different variants of upholstery.
- Natural leather is used for elite objects, because it will cost a lot of money. However, in practical terms it is not the best choice: leather is poorly ventilated, so it is hot in summer, and this upholstery easily scratched. Also, such products must be protected from direct sunlight, put away from heaters and carefully cared for. In general, expensive and beautiful, but impractical.
- Artificial leather – will cost less than its natural counterpart, but has the same drawbacks: it is hot to sit on, easy to damage.
- Textile is more pleasant to the body, allows him to “breathe”. However, it absorbs odors and easily gets dirty, and it is impossible to wash the trim. It is impossible to remove stains, and the material loses its appeal. But it is the most budget models, but note that the fabric is worth to take a wear-resistant.
- Mesh is the most comfortable in a hot period, because the seat is perfectly ventilated. It springs well and provides support for the back. But, like fabric, it gets dirty.
Select the color should be based on the concept of the company and the interior of the room. For serious financial companies or government agencies suit laconic black, gray, brown color. Strictly look and light shades, but they are rather impractical, so that they are set not so often.
In marketing, travel or children’s organizations it is quite appropriate to use bright upholstery, which will set the tone for the entire room.
We have analyzed all the main characteristics, but there are also a few more criteria, which are also worth paying attention to.
Dimensions – it is especially important to consider the length, height, width and depth of the chair in conditions of limited space. Chairs for visitors and employees are usually compact, while the furniture of the head is quite massive, which emphasizes the status of the sitter.
Certificates of quality – demand documents to be sure that in front of you a quality, non-toxic and original product.
Warranty – every self-respecting manufacturer gives a warranty on its goods. If it is less than 5 years, then it is a reason to think whether you should trust this brand.
Additional accessories – some models come with certain parts: spare armrests and floor mats.
Buying a comfortable office chair for yourself is quite a task. After all, you will need to find your ideal model among a large number of proposals. But it is even more difficult to choose a chair when you do not know who exactly will sit on it. So if you have the responsibility to choose the furnishings for the whole office, then try to find the most adaptive furniture.