The office chair is probably the most important item of furniture in your office design.

Correct selection and adjustment of the office chairs you use is a major factor in reducing back pain, the second largest cause of sick days.

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What Factors Should You Consider?

  • Seat height should be easily adjustable between 16-21 inches to allow the operator to have horizontal arms and thighs with both feet flat on the floor. Obviously this will be different for very large or small operators.
  • Seat width of 17-20 inches is sufficient for most and enough depth to allow a gap roughly 3 fingers width between the back of the calf and front of the seat. The seat should also tilt forwards and back.
  • Lumbar support is a very important factor and should be adjustable to fit the inward curve of the bottom of the spine.
  • Backrest can be slightly narrower than the seat, needs to be adjustable in angle and height and cater for the lumbar region as mentioned above.
  • Seat material should incorporate enough padding to make sitting for long periods comfortable and be breathable

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Design and Cost

Design becomes important once the chair the fulfills the above requirements. Finish of the base, back and wheels all come in to the aesthetics. Expensive leather gives a luxury feel and at the same time makes for easy cleaning. The castors should be suitable for the floor surface the chair is to be used on.

On more expensive chairs, the attention paid to the “out of sight” areas under the seat and under the legs of the base is immediately apparent. No one wants to damage their Louboutins on rough edges under the leg spokes nor cut a finger on a poorly finished seat bottom. The price saving on a cheap chair will soon be forgotten when the arm breaks or back mounting bracket rivets come out. Make your decision based on performance not cost and take trustworthy advice.

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