Office chairs are easy to overlook but are necessary for creating a comfortable and safe workplace. The average office worker spends almost 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer, so ensuring their chair doesn't contribute to unnecessary health problems is vital.
Many employees who sit for the majority of their workday are at high risk of health issues like back strain, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and musculoskeletal problems in the neck. If you choose high-quality, comfortable office chairs for your staff, they are less likely to develop these problems.
In addition, studies show that comfortable employees have higher productivity levels. They make fewer typing mistakes, are less likely to need breaks, and are more likely to bring a positive attitude to their work.
Comfortable employees are more effective and contribute to a more positive work environment.
Choosing Office Chairs That Work for Everyone
The best office chairs are highly adjustable to meet the needs of different employees. A non-adjustable chair is typical for a five-foot-nine employee of average proportions, which means it will not be ideal for those shorter, taller, or of different proportions.
At a minimum, you should ensure your chair is height adjustable. Doing so will allow employees to keep their feet comfortably on the floor. Arm width and height adjustments, seat angle, back angle, and adjustable lumbar support are also good features to look for.
Employees who have health conditions or disabilities may need additional adjustability and support. Before purchasing a new set of office chairs, understand your worker's needs.
Ensuring Your Office Chairs Are Comfortable
Comfort is essential for improving productivity and workplace positivity. You do not want to sacrifice in this area when purchasing an office chair. Finding an office chair that is ergonomic is a good start when looking for supportive and comfortable furniture.
One of the most important aspects of office chair comfort is the upholstery. Ideally, the fabric should be breathable to ensure employees remain comfortable working several hours. Non-breathable fabric will create a hot and uncomfortable chair after the employee has been working for just a few hours.
Look for a chair with moderately thick memory foam or similarly durable cushion, not one that will wear out quickly. If you can feel the base of the chair through the cushion when you sit down, your chair is insufficiently cushioned.
Office Chair Purchasing Checklist
Ideally, employees should try out chairs before they purchase. Doing so helps office managers ensure the chairs they buy fit employees well and meet their needs before committing to a purchase. Some office supply companies will bring many chairs to the office so employees can try them out.
Here are a few things employees should look for when trying out a chair:
- The backrest should follow the shape of the spine and support the curve in the lower back.
- It should be adjustable to a wide range of body types and sizes.
- The back of the chair should come to the middle of the shoulder blades or even higher.
- The feet should rest flat on the floor or the footrest.
- Armrests should be close enough to the body to allow the shoulder to relax but not so close as to feel right.
- Arm height should be appropriate for the height of the desk.
- The seat should be long enough to put a couple of finger lengths between it and the knee.
Using these tips as a guide, you can ensure your office chairs promote happy, healthy, and productive employees. Everett Office Furniture has a wide selection of ergonomic office chairs that will ensure your workers are comfortable. With popular brands like Performance Furnishings, Global Furniture Group, and HON Office Furniture, we offer a variety of comfortable office chairs to choose from. Contact us today to learn more!