What is the best office chair for your needs?
Many people starting out with their business think that buying a chair is a simple process. Nope...there are several traps...
There is not much that you could do wrong, you say, right?
Well, I am here to tell you that you definitively should invest some time into your research.
Even if it is very simple these days since the advent of amazon and the like to get everything you want without even leaving your home (office) -
and there are more products available than ever in recorded history, there will be only a few office chairs you should order.
So what should you be looking for to find the perffect office chair? For sure, you shouldn't only look for the price and design!
By the way, please share your favorite office chair below in the comments, and tell us why it is the perfect chair for you.
Office Chair Ergonomics
Firstly I want to introduce you to concept of "ergonomics".
Ergonomics is the science of designing things in a way that it fits human needs in an optimal. manner.
In our case this means that a chair must fit your body perfectly, support us and position us in the optimal manner.
Ergonomics teaches us that there is something such as an optimal chair and seating position. But it depends also on your physique.
On the right you see an illustration by the University of California, Berkeley. Their team has come up with a scientific description of the optimal seating position for office workers like us.
Why is this important? Because when we look for the best office chair for you, we need to take science into consideration.
So if you have lower back pain, perhaps your chair right now is not a good fit? And if you do, you should make extra sure that you find the optimal office chair for you, as well as the optimal office desk. There are even special ergonomic chairs available.
But even if you do not suffer (yet - your choice plays a major role) from back pain, you really should look for an ergonomic chair.
The best office chair offers
- adjustable arms height and width
- high back, supportive back
- 360° swivel
- pneumatic seat-height adjustment
- asynchronous three-lever control
- contoured, adaptive seat
- adjustable seat depth
And did you know that without enough seat depth, your legs might tingle quickly?
So it is not only necessary that the seat back supports your whole back or that the the seating surface is small (or big) enough for you to sit comfortably. The chair must also be high enough that you knees are in a perfect right angle and your feet firmly on the floor.
Ergonomics tells us how a chair (and desk and keyboard and screen) must be constructed that humans can work perfectly and for 8+ hours every day without becoming tired or hurting.
So if your choice does not fulfill these criteria, for me it cannot be the best chair for you. Period.
Secondly, let me also introduce to the concept of Total Cost of Office Furniture Ownership. It basically says that something might be a bargain right now, but if we take into account the costs over two or three years, the more expensive piece of office furniture might have come much cheaper.
So the investment might be higher right now, but you save a lot of money over time.
That is an easy one. If your bargain chair breaks every other month and you need to buy a new one, that will cost more in 2 years than if you had bought the best chair in the first place.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, here is what I believe to be the optimal office chair: The Aeron Chair by Herman Miller. Did you know that the University of California lists them in their internal catalog? They are kind of the inventors of the science of "ergonomics". They should know.
There are different models and sizes, so you should make sure that you find the one right for you. But I commit myself: For me, these are the optimal office chairs. Not the cheapest. But the best.
Your turn: What is in your opinion the best office chair? Share your opinion with us...and why you think so!