It is not at all uncommon to talk to adults who complain about how much their back hurts every day. It seems anymore like every adult over the age of 18 is always complaining about their back pain.
Studies show that most people who complain about back pain are suffering so much due to the office chair that they are sitting in for eight to ten hours a day.
Are Expensive Office Chairs Worth it? Most employers encourage ergonomic desk arrangements designed to help their employees to remain healthy and happy every day at work. That being said, not everyone is going to be comfortable in a basic office chair. People come in all shapes and sizes and thankfully, so do office chairs.
If you have wondered how much of a difference a high-quality office chair can make, you should read on to learn about the features and functions that a good quality chair can offer which are designed for your comfort and health.
Cheap chairs are easily identifiable by more than just their price point. Be aware of these key signs that the chair you are sitting in is too cheap to benefit your health and comfort.
- It feels cheap. If the materials of your chair feel cheap and flimsy or if the padding in your chair seems lumpy of uneven, it will likely not help you to work comfortably all day. If your chair is hard and lumpy, you know for sure that it is a cheap chair.
- You Have Aches and Pains Every Day. If you are noticing that your aches and pains grow worse each day and progressively are more noticeable throughout the work week, you probably are sitting in a cheap chair each day.
Neck pain and back pain are the usual indicators that your office chair is injuring your body with its low-quality adjustments and materials.
- You Can’t Get Comfortable. Cheap chairs often don’t offer the adjustment options that will make them comfortable for each unique user. A low-quality chair will probably only have a few basic adjustment options. If you can only adjust the tilt and the height, you are likely sitting all day in a low-quality, cheap chair.
- It is Too Tall for You or Too Short. If that max adjustment for your chair simply doesn’t meet your needs, you are likely stuck in a cheap chair. A high-quality chair will adjust for almost any height and weight user.
- You Feel Like You Are Sliding Around. A low-quality chair will often have a generic seat on it. Seats on office chairs come in various sizes designed for the height and weight of each user. If you feel like you are slipping around in your chair all day, you are likely impacting your overall health negatively.
- It’s Second Hand. Many people think that a used chair is a good choice to make to save some money. Good chairs are expensive and it can seem ridiculous to spend many hundreds of dollars on a chair.
However, a used chair might already be past its best years of life. Most people will not sell a chair that is still working well for them, so you need to remember that you probably are going to get a chair that is well past its prime if you buy used.
- You Feel Unproductive. Your comfort is surprisingly important to your ability to focus. If you are finding that you are having a hard time focusing on your work, you might be suffering because of your office chair.
Even if you aren’t experiencing back pain, your body can still let you know that your chair is uncomfortable in other ways. If you are feeling tired, distracted and generally uncomfortable, your cheap chair might be to blame.
An expensive chair is often immediately identifiable by more than just the price. An expensive, high-quality chair will have the following features available to users.
- It Has a Full Back. This seems relatively basic but there are a lot of office chairs out there that have cheap and flimsy backs or no real back support at all.
- They Adjust in Many Different Ways. A good quality office chair will be very adjustable. You will want to be able to adjust the back, the height, the tilt, the arm rests and the height of the back of the chair at minimum.
- It Does Not Require Tools to Adjust. A dead giveaway of a cheap chair is the need to use tools to adjust the chair. A high-quality chair will be adjustable easily and at any time that the user needs to adjust it.
- The Chair Comes in Many Sizes. Many people are unaware that the size of the actual seat of the chair can affect how comfortable it is. A high-quality chair will be offered in various sizes so that any height or size user will be comfortable.
- It Has Leg Support. Many high-quality chairs will offer an option to recline with your legs supported by a leg rest. A hallmark of an expensive chair is consideration for all kinds of comfort needs. Many high-quality chairs will be set up for both reclined and upright working positions.
- It is Made of High-Quality Material. An expensive chair will be made of high-quality materials. The stuffing will be even and thick. The arms will be padded just like the seat itself. Some expensive chairs will even offer headrests.
- The Material is Breathable. Remember that you will be sitting in your office chair for at least eight hours a day. If you are not sitting in a chair made of breathable material you could be sweaty and uncomfortable in a matter of hours.
- It Supports your Lower Back. Lumbar support is crucial. A high-quality chair will offer superior lumbar support. Your lower back needs to be supported properly for the rest of your body to be comfortable and healthy all day.
- It is Made to Roll Smoothly. Many people are unaware of the amount of strain that a chair which does not roll easily will put on your body. If your chair does not wheel smoothly, you will have to push against the chair with your legs and likely will also rock and pump your upper body. Any kind of twisting or slumping is very hard on your body and can cause long-term injury.
How to Know Your Chair Fits You
So, you’ve found a good quality chair which has the adjustments that you were looking for. But do you know if it will fit you properly? There are some easy ways to test a chair that you are looking at to make sure that it will fit you.
- Stand in front of the chair and make sure that you can adjust the highest point of the seat to be just below your knees.
- Sit down and make sure your feet are flat on the floor. The clearance between the edge of the seat and the lower parts of your legs and calves needs to allow room for a closed fist to fit behind them (about 2 inches of space).
- Make sure that the backrest fits right in the hollow of your back.
- Sitting upright in the chair, let your arms hang by your side. If you can bend your elbows at a right angle (90 degrees) and adjust the armrests to fit under your elbows, the armrests fit you.
- Make sure that the seat tilt is sufficient to support your lower back and to help you to sit up straight and comfortable in the chair.
- Make sure that the chair rolls easily across the floor. Know for sure if you are going to be working in a carpeted environment or not. Some chairs are specifically made to roll on carpet and others are not.
- Be certain that the stuffing feels comfortable and equal under you. A high-quality chair can still be made for a different height and shape user. Sitting in a chair with stuffing that doesn’t fit you will be just as likely to cause injury as buying a cheap chair.
If any of the above tips do not work for you in the chair that you are trying out, don’t buy it. There are hundreds of chairs on the market at various price points.
Settling for a chair that does not fit you will only impact your health and comfort negatively. There are many hundreds of employees who are forced to retire early or to quit their jobs each year due to strain-related injuries.
Whiles it might seem frustrating trying to find the right chair, your body will thank you for making the effort. Working without back and neck pain will be worth the effort to find the perfect chair for your needs.
Your boss will be happier if you are more comfortable as well since your comfort is likely necessary for you to be able to achieve your max productivity. Put your health and sanity first and buy an expensive, high-quality office chair.