Sitting for hours at an uncomfortable office chair? The stress and pain of a chair that’s not quite right might have you ready to ditch your existing chair and spring for the first chair with “ergonomic” in its name that you see, but before you do, read on. Purchasing a generic ergonomic chair from a big-box retailer ignores some very basic truths about human anatomy and physiology. Let’s take a look at the true culprit.
The Reverse Cookie-Cutter Approach
When most people shop for a chair, they sit in each available floor model for about 5 seconds before deciding whether it’s comfortable or not. In this scenario, shoppers are looking for a cookie-cutter solution to their unique anatomy and physiology. Worse, they’re doing it in reverse—trying to find the chair they fit into, rather than the chair that fits them. When first choosing a chair, it’s important to fiddle with all the knobs and levers until you find the most comfortable fit.
First, get the seat height right. There’s an easy trick to this: just stand in front of the chair, and adjust the seat pan height to just below your knees. Sit in the chair with your back firm against the backing, and adjust the seat cylinder height. Keep your feet flatly grounded and your knees at a 90 degree angle with the floor.
Seat Pan Depth
Most consumers overlook this setting, which determines the space between the back support and the seat. Taller consumers will want a greater distance apart, and shorter customers will want it closer together. If you can only fit your clenched fist between your knee and the edge of the seat, you’ve got a good pan depth.
Everyone wants a chair with lumbar support, but few adjust this setting. It should fit in the natural curve of your spine, right above the belt line. Note that some chairs combine lumbar support with the height of the chair’s back, while others operate independently.
Armrests should allow your arms to rest comfortably without pressure or strain from your back and shoulders. In other words, it shouldn’t take any effort to keep your arms on the armrest. Adjust the height and depth.
Not every chair has a headrest, but if yours does, adjust it so that your head is in a position that promotes near-constant eye level to your computer. This way, you won’t have to use neck and shoulder muscles to maintain a position you’ll be holding much of the time.
When Adjustments Aren’t Enough
If you’ve tried everything on our list, but your chair’s still not comfortable, you might need a specialized chair. Most office chairs, such as those designed by Office Master, are well-designed to accommodate 90% of the workplace population, and support up to 300 pounds in weight. However, it does happen that sometimes, a very large or tall person, or a very small or short person, might need not only the proper adjustments to a chair, but a different size chair altogether, such as big and tall computer chairs.
Get the Perfect Chair for You From the Experts
If you’re having a hard time with your current chair despite our adjustment guide, stop by Arenson Office Furniture for a new office chair near San Diego. Our team is well-versed in proper ergonomics and can help you understand how to get the best fit. We can also match you to a new chair. everybody is different, but everybody gets treated like the only customer at Arenson Office Furniture.