If you are like most people, you spend a lot of time at your desk: checking email, balancing your books, maybe even working a 40-hour week from your home office. Since you spend so much time at your workspace, you want the experience to be comfortable, and that means having an office chair that feels like it was built with you in mind. There are all sorts of office chairs to choose from, ranging from the basic plastic number to a luxe leather model, and as you can imagine, prices vary as much as the designs.
Choosing an Office Chair
You could easily walk into your nearest office supply store and grab the first chair in sight. But if what you really want is a chair fit for a king, then you'll want to buy it knowing that it is the right one for you!
# '''Consider how many hours a week you'll spend in the chair'''. Maybe it's as few as two or as many as twenty. The longer you sit, the more comfortable you'll need the chair to be.
# '''Establish a budget'''. Office chairs vary from $40 to $700 or more, which is a vast range as far as chairs are concerned. Usually basic models cost less than $100 while executive chairs, designed with status and style in mind are the most expensive of all. On average, a quality office chair for moderate to heavy use will cost around $200 to $400.
# '''Determine who will use the chair'''. The key to any chair is comfort. If you are the primary user of this chair, then all you have to remember is that you want a chair to fit your body so that it offers proper support and healthy alignment. If it needs to suit multiple users, you may want to look for a chair that offers more adjustability.
Comfort is the most important aspect of buying an office chair. It should offer support for the curve in your lower back, following the natural shape of your spine. The seat should be sufficiently padded so as to relieve pressure from joints, but still firm enough so that you don't sink into the chair. The chair should be spacious, and big enough so that the seat extends about one inch past your hips on both sides and so that there is a two inch space between the edge of the seat and your knees. Another important part of a chair's comfort is its adjustability. You should be able to raise or lower the seat so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor with your thighs supported parallel to the floor. Armrests should be at the right height so that they support your elbows.The most high-tech chairs will allow you to adjust every part of the chair so that you get a comfort fit, but sometimes a chair will fit you well without adjusting. Because fit varies so much from person to person, it is always recommended to try on a chair before buying.
Back Support & Chair Styles
Each chair offers a different type of support. Choose according to your needs and make sure that whichever style is best suited you choose allows for easy adjustment of your posture.
Choosing a material type may have to do with aesthetics or practicality depending on your needs.
* If you opt for a chair with wheels (a.k.a. casters) make sure they are sturdy but offer plenty of mobility.
* Look for large wheels -- small ones will not roll as well.
* Does the chair recline? If so, how much does it recline and is it so much that it feels like it could tip over?
* When you recline, does the seat of the chair slide forward? This is called a gliding seat.
* If you choose a gliding model, keep in mind that there should be about a fist width of space between the back of your knee and the front edge of the chair at all times. This will properly support your thighs and optimize your posture while seated.
* Most chairs will have their weight limit written on the box.
* If you aren't sure how much weight will be on the chair, opt for one that supports more just to be on the safe side.
* These days, office chairs come with all sorts of bells and whistles: they recline, vibrate, massage and more.
* Be sure these extra features work properly and don't cause excessive noise or shaking.
* Remember that you can always update a chair with a portable massaging seat for a smaller price later on in case you are undecided on buying a chair with a massage feature from the get go.
* A few minutes testing a chair out in the store will give you a good idea of how you'll like it.
* You might still want to test out your new chair for several days in case you are uncomfortable about your purchase.
* Check the return policy at the store you plan to buy from; if you can, bring your chair home and use it for a few days to see if you like it.
* Be sure to try several chairs and not just get the first one you like.