• Bharati Jajoo

Looking for comfortable chair?



Well.. Good news is that commerce is opening up, more shops are open, websites ready to deliver and we are inundated with lots of consultation requests, questions, enquiries, to suggest a right home office chair.

Work from home without adequate set up, lack of movement, long hours of work is all adding up, hence that feeling of pain from sitting in chairs not meant for long working hours?

There has been a great effort on doing the most with the least while working from home. As a quick fix in given circumstances, trial of pillows, cushions, towels and what not, felt better for time being, could get by being productive.

However, now, as many people envision that they might be working from home for longer times, looking for some decent options if not perfect as their office.

So, what do you look at while deciding to buy a chair? Just look at e-commerce sites, compare prices, read reviews, look at ratings, feedback and bingo.. You are clicking your next button to buy?

Or maybe you are bit more detail oriented, so do some reading on chairs and what to look for?

Moreover, then you have so many choices to consider, understand and decide

So, what is driving your decision?

1. Price?

2. Looks?

3. Color?

4. Some features?

5. Go by chair's popularity?

Well... the most important part to consider is functionality and fit of a chair. Most decent office chairs are not bad but do they fit you? Support your body in key areas for a good postural support for those long working hours, long video meetings?

Over the years we have helped so many organizations to buy thousands of chairs when we consider ergonomics at design stages. It was evident that more often that not most decision makers would sit on a chair for a bit and decide comfort levels, of course the budget was a big part too. We had introduced many processes in making chair buying a scientific method for large population. Fortunately we continued to work with these organizations for over 14-15 years and got the first hand experience of seeing how well these investments in chairs have fared with employee comfort, health and productivity.

In totality chair is one aspect of comfort but a significant aspect of comfort. It is one single piece of furniture that is often adjustable and gives user options to find the right fit so that key areas of sitting postures are well-supported.

So, are you looking to buy one?

Have you given sufficient thought to every aspect before investing in a chair?

The process from ergonomic standpoint is to consider every aspect of other furniture (desk,monitor,keyboard,mouse,phone etc) that you will be using in conjunct to chair to make right decision for your long term health and productivity.

List of things to consider before buying a home office chair:

1. Adjustable Seat Height

This is the first thing to consider before buying a home office chair. You might not be the only user of your chair; other people who use the chair may differ from you in height. So, your chair must have an adjustable seat height in order to accommodate all the differing heights of the people who will be using the chair.

The height should be adjusted so that the user faces at the monitor. Ideally the height can vary from 16 to 21 inches approximately off the ground.( It is tough to find this height adjustment readily available in the market)

2. Lumbar Support

Our lumbar is arched inwards naturally. Sitting too long in a chair without any support may cause slouching in the lower back and strain in the structures in the lumbar spine.

Therefore, the chair must be able to support the user's lumbar area (and it should be adjustable too if not adjustable then back rest should be adjusted, at least 1 component needs to have adjustment). Keep in mind if your lower back is properly supported, it will ensure that you can sit for an extended period without any discomfort.

3. Width and Depth of the Seat

Let me stress that the longer you sit in a chair, the more stressful the experience will be if the chair does not have the proper width and depth that fits your physique. A home office chair ought to have sufficient width and depth to support any person comfortably, seeing that your lower back is supported, while having a clearance of 2-3 fingers at least behind your knees. Seat pan too big or too small both are not right for long sitting hours.

4. Material

The material of the chair should be of a better quality. However, the quality of the chair that you might desire depends upon the need, purpose and length of usage of the chair.

If you sit and work for a longer period, a cloth seat may be more beneficial to you than leather. In current situation an antimicrobial material will be desirable at an organization level. On the other hand, chairs made up of leather are easier to clean.

That said, you should determine the fabric that best suits your needs before buying a chair.

5. Adjustable Backrest

A chair usually has an attached seat and backrest or a separate seat and backrest. If the seat and backrest are a single unit, your chair must have the option of tilting forward or backwards depending on what you prefer.

Additionally, when back rest and seat are separated, it should have a single or multi lock mechanism and backrest must be adjustable in angle (Recline)

6. Armrest

An armrest is optional. Better not to have one if armrests of the chairs are in fixed position. You do get highly adjustable arm rest in three directions. Whether to get arm rests or not, it depends on a number of things: if you move around more often or if you sit in a chair for an extended period of time.

Essentially, your arms and shoulders should be relaxed on the armrest.

Keep in mind that your elbows and lower arms should rest lightly on the armrest.

It may be beneficial to have a chair with detachable armrests, so that there will not be any hassle when performing work that requires more mobility.

7. Easy Adjustment Control

We have been talking about adjustment in each point discussed earlier, that It is undeniable that a good chair must adjust as per user's body dimension and movement requirements, but it should also be easy to control for better comfort. The controls should be reachable from the seated position without any strain or special effort.

You should be able to change your height, tilt, arm rest position and swivel from the seated position as you do not want to keep repeating the process of standing, adjusting the chair, sitting in the chair over and over again

8. Propel Wheel

Being able to move in and out of the chair is a comfort we’d all like to be able to have. The right kind of wheels on your chair allows you to do just that.

The wheel depends upon the types of floor you want to use the chair on.

If your office desk is on a hard surface, buy a chair with soft, rubber wheels. If it is covered with a carpet, it may be better to have hard wheels.

It is absolutely necessary to ensure that you’ve got proper wheels on your chair to avoid any functionality problems. If you are worried about floor damage, an easy rule of thumb is to choose a caster material that is the opposite of the flooring material; hard casters for soft floors like carpet and soft casters (softer wheel materials such as soft rubber, polypropylene, nylon, polyolefin or urethane).If you have a tile floor, you want to steer clear of hard wheel materials like steel or cast iron,

It is important to note that even if you use these casters with softer wheels on carpet they will not cause damage to the carpet itself, although they may not roll as smoothly as the hard wheels listed above.

9. Swivel

Your computer chair must swivel to allow you freedom to move.

Your chair should be able to rotate 360 degrees so you can have easier to move in chair and reach easily for other things in your work are.

10. Price

When buying a home office chair, the price is going to be one of the biggest deciding factors. So, before you go out searching for your home office chair, it is prudent to decide on a price point. Chair comes in all shapes, sizes and functionality, but do remember you get what you pay for? That is absolutely true while buying a chair for your office. On the contrary just because the chair is priced high does not mean it is the best chair for you from every aspect.

Well .. Do think before you invest for your long term health of your spine. It is not just going to get something to sit on!

It is a decision for your health and productivity. Make it right!!