While advancements in ergonomic chairs have been a godsend for those individuals who suffer from chronic back pain, all the customizable features found on these chairs can be a bit overwhelming.
With that in mind, we offer the following information to help demystify the various features of these office chairs, and shed some light on what they can do for you.
Armrests – Proper armrest design walks a fine line. It must provide proper support for the arms during typing, but must also allow for some movement during long stretches of work so that there is no stiffness or cramping in the arms and shoulders. Because of how different arm lengths can be between individuals, ergonomic office chair makers have installed adjustable arm rests controls in most of their products. This will allow individuals to find that “sweet spot” between support and control.
Lumbar Support – The lumbar region refers to the area surrounding the abdomen in the torso. Because this area bears most of the brunt of movement and stress in the back, chairs that include adequate lumbar support are the ones that will increase comfort and enhance good health over the long haul.
Backrest Angle – By shifting the angle of the backrest as it pertains to the seat, the chair is moving pressure off of the lower back – the area at the greatest risk for workplace injury. Many backrest angle control features are handled automatically, with the springs in the rest doing most of the work. Some are controlled by a device located on the adjustable desk chair.
Backrest Height – Adjustable backrest height helps individuals insure that the right areas of the back and spine are being supported. This is an absolutely crucial feature of ergonomic chairs, since a backrest placed too high or too low on the back will do much more harm than good. The ideal spot is different for everyone, but should be placed near the bottom curve of the spine.
Chair Recline- It is important that the back rest of your office chair takes on most of your body weight. The ability to adjust the chair’s recline (or angle at which the chair can be tilted back) gives the individual a chance to find the optimal compensation for the weight placed on their lower back.
Seat Height – In order to achieve ergonomic correctness, it is important that one’s feet are firmly planted on the floor when working at the desk. In order to accommodate individuals of different heights, most ergonomic chairs feature an adjustable seat height control that can be moved a span of several inches.
Seat Depth – The depth of the chair seat, or the distance from the front to the back of the chair, plays an important role in how well the chair supports your back. By making this seat depth adjustable, the chair can be made more accessible to shorter (smaller seat area) or taller (larger, longer seat area) individuals.
Taken together, these advanced office chair functions represent the height of ergonomic technology. When buying a desk chair, look for one that offers support and customization capability – an unbeatable team in the fight against workplace back pain.