Your quick guide to ergonomic office chairs
Research shows that static sitting for long periods increases stress in the back, arms, shoulders and legs. Ergonomic office chairs can help workers maximise back support and maintain good posture while sitting. But simply owning an ergonomic office chair is not enough – the individual needs to be able to adjust the chair to suit their body, before they can realise the full benefits.
What to look for when buying an ergonomic office chair:
Seat height: Users should be able to adjust the height of the chair so their feet are flat on the floor, or on a footrest. Knees should be at 90 degrees, so hamstrings are parallel to the floor. This helps prevent slouching and keeps the pelvis in an upright position, reducing pressure on the thighs and hamstrings.
Backrest height and lumbar support: Lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) provides the proper fit to support the natural ‘S’ curve of spine, in particular the inward curve of the lower back. The user can adjust the height of the chair back to ensure they have the correct support. Also, a shaped chair back can also provide dedicated lumbar support.
Seat depth adjustment: The seat depth (from front to back) should allow the user’s back to maintain full contact with the backrest. At the same time, there should be no more than two fingers’ gap between the back of the knees and the front of the seat. This provides proper support for the legs, reducing pressure on the back of the calves.
Dynamic sitting: Dynamic (or “active”) sitting promotes blood flow and nutrients around the body – which is essential to maintain back health and prevent fatigue. To achieve this, the chair should be adjustable in forwards/ backwards motion. The tension of the chair’s tilt should adjust to suit the user’s bodyweight.
Seat armrest positioning: Armrests need to be adjustable to reduce muscle strain, while letting the user perform a variety of tasks. The armrest height should let the elbow stay in contact with the arm pad, with the arms and shoulders at a relaxed 90-degree angle. Not too high that the shoulders are hunched, or too low that the arms don’t rest on the arm pad.
Swivel and roll: A chair with wheels and swivel ability is more important than you think, as it prevents reaching, twisting and unnecessary strain on your body.
In 2014, Jarad introduced Business Interiors by Staples to the Australian and New Zealand market, adopting the brand from our North American operations.