Ergonomic Office Chairs

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What is the definition of an ergonomic chair?

Steve demonstrates correct ergonomic seating posture

Last updated 23rd August 2019

There are plenty of fancy looking office chairs on the market in 2019. Chairs that look like pilot seats, formula 1 seats and even ship sails (sounds comfy!). Looks aside, if you want to work comfortably it pays to choose a chair that can be adjusted to fit your body and the way you work. Prices range from $100 to $2000 so how do you really know where to begin? Let’s start by examining the factors - to be considered truly “ergonomic”, a chair must have the following minimum requirements:

Seat Height Adjustment

Gary demonstrates how not to sit at a chair

One of the first things people do when they sit in a new chair is to adjust the height. Seat height adjustability is extremely important - too high and your legs may dangle, causing the edge of the seat pan to impede blood flow in major arteries in the legs. The optimal position is with your knees slightly lower than your hips, and your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Back Height Adjustment

We all come in different shapes and sizes. A chair setup that suits one person rarely suits the next. To be truly supported you need to able to adjust your back height to position the contours of the chair in a way that supports your back whilst still keeping you in a comfortable position. Naturally, this position will be different for everyone.

Back Tilt Adjustment

In a static working environment, movement is king. Improved blood flow increases alertness and concentration, resulting in huge gains in productivity.

Ultimately the best ergonomic setup is one that encourages posture changes throughout the day. You’ll be more comfortable over a long work day if you change positions from time to time. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is with a sit stand desk, but a close second is achievable with only the humble office chair. A simple adjustment of your back angle (forward or backward) every few hours can help you avoid discomfort and injury associated with sitting still for hours on end. The same effect can also be achieved by rocking backward and forward slightly in your chair if your chair back has the ability to free float.