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Buyer's Guide

The office chair is an essential tool for office workers. After all, the office chair is where you spend nearly all day, everyday. For that reason, it's important to make sure you choose the right chair for your comfort and well-being.

An important factor to consider when choosing an office chair is ergonomics. Ergonomics is a scientific discipline concerned with the fit between how human bodies fit and function within a workplace. Ergonomics ensure that your body fits in the best way possible within the demands of your job.

Besides being uncomfortable, improper sitting can affect your muscles, spine, circulation, respiratory system and digestion. An ergonomic office chair is the first step to sitting properly and supporting your body for healthy posture. Here are some of the most common types of problems associated with improper sitting and the best ways to prevent them:

Arms

Poor posture and lack of arm support can cause circulation and strain issues in the arms and wrists. The best arm rests are padded and adjustable for your exact fit. Adjust the arms to create a 90 degree angle at your elbow. Keep your arms close to your body.

Legs and Back

Sitting improperly can cause numbness in the legs and strain the back. A padded seat and back with lumbar support can prevent strain. A chair that allows you to adjust the height, back and tilt is ideal. Your legs should be at a 90 degree angle at the knees and you should sit all the way back in the seat.

Head and Shoulders

All day sitting can cause workers to unconsciously lean forward toward the desk or computer. This can cause neck and shoulder strain as well as throw your whole body out of posture. A chair with overall and adjustable support (i.e. back, height, arms and lumbar) plus a high back with head rest can help you stay in a healthy posture and prevent strain.

Material Options

Leather is always a popular choice for its attractive and upscale aesthetics. Leather is also soft and comfortable. You can find office chairs in real leather and enhanced leather products like LeatherPlus and Caressoft (enhanced for extra durability and softness). The downside to leather is that may be too smooth for some users and cause you to unintentionally move within your seat. Make sure that a leather chair is contoured to support your body and hold it in place.

If leather isn't for you, consider fabric covered chairs like microfiber, microsuede and mesh. Fabric chairs are comfortable, reduce slipping and are more breathable than leather. Breathability helps control moisture build up and can keep you cool.

Shapes and Styles

The shape of your chair affects your posture as well as the look of your chair. An executive chair is designed for managers and executives and is typically larger than regular office chairs. They tend to have higher backs, thick cushions and supportive features like lumbar support and several adjustment options. Cushions can range from very soft to very firm. Styling is often and important feature for executive chairs, but be sure that the material and support are right for you as well.

Task chairs cover the wider range of office chairs. A good task chair should be able to support a worker for at least eight hours. Consider the demands of your job and the support that you will need. If you will be sitting for a long time, you will want arms, height and back adjustment options as well as contoured cushions in your task chair.






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