Most people who spend their days in an office setting tend to do so sitting down. While standing desks are quickly becoming popular, the vast majority of office desk space requires employees to be seated while working. Unfortunately, many office seating solutions can encourage poor posture and actually cause neck and back pain in the long run. Ergonomically designed office chairs, however, prevent these issues from arising. Take a look below at just three things to look for when purchasing an ergonomic office chair.
The lumbar spine is another term for the lower spine, which is often unsupported in traditional office chairs. This can result in a tendency to slouch, which in turn causes tightness and discomfort in the lower back. A good ergonomic office chair will not only have lumbar support — primarily in the form of a curved base — but also allow this support to be adjusted to the sitter's unique preferences. Keep in mind that whatever your preferences, lumbar support should be aimed toward a general alignment of the neck, shoulders, and pelvis. Without lumbar support, sitting down for long periods of time can quickly become a pain.
There are several things to take into account when evaluating a chair's backrest. It should, of course, be curved, naturally supporting the spine and pushing the shoulders blades slightly forward. Users should be able to adjust the angle of the backrest to their liking, as well as be able to lock it at a certain angle in order to keep from leaning back too far. Though backrest fabric choices are virtually unlimited, many people also prefer their backrest to feature fine, breathable mesh. This goes a long way toward providing long-term comfort and discourages the often unconscious tendency to lean forward that often occurs when people want to avoid sweating too much.
While most of the focus of ergonomic chair design is understandably on things like the backrest and lumbar support, there are other design features that are often overlooked. Armrests, for example, can have more of an impact on posture than many people might assume. Some office chairs that otherwise have good support still have armrests that are uncomfortable and unadjustable. Make sure when you are considering office seating to check for close-set, adjustable armrests that allow your arms to rest at a natural height, thus relieving your shoulders and neck of tension.