What is the Best Chair for my Home Office?

With COVID lockdowns over our heads again, most of you have already sorted out your working from home set-up. You probably already have a desk, PC and a monitor, but what about a chair? Have you chosen the right one?

Finding and investing in the perfect ergonomic office chair means you should not only be comfortable, but also find one that promotes optimal spine and body biomechanics.

When choosing an office chair there are 3 main considerations:

Can you adjust the height?

  • It has to be height adjustable. Most chairs are, but check before you choose. My work colleagues laugh at me. I have often have my chair on the lowest setting because I am short, but this means this means I can have my feet flat on the floor which is better for overall posture. A seat height that ranges from about 40 to 54cm off the floor should work for most people

Does it have lumbar support?

  • It needs to have good lumbar support. Think about how much time are you going to be spending in this chair? Is it 9am to 5pm 5 days per week or is it only 2 hours a day. That lumbar support should be able to maintain your natural lumbar curve. It is best to have a chair that can change it’s height and depth. A good supportive chair will stop you from slumping.

Does it swivel?

  • Does the chair swivel around to fit your workspace? Moving the chair is often easier than moving your body – no matter how lazy that may sound. You don’t want to spend your work day sitting straight on only to find you have to crane your neck all the way to your left to look at the monitor. Does it have castor wheels, too?

Other features you should consider include:

  • The seat pan (funny phrase eh?) and width. The width of the seat should be at least one inch wider than your hips. The edge of the chair should be positioned just behind the knees with your feet either flat on the floor or resting on a foot rest.
  • Do you need arms on the chair and are they height adjustable? A good width for resting your forearms is great, but what about the height? If you are pushed all the way in are your hands going to hit the desk top? Or will you rest them on the desk instead?
  • Do you need to recline? How much time are you going to be spending in this chair? Will you just be attending zoom meetings, be writing or typing furiously, or having the odd cat nap. Apparently, the ideal recline for relieving back pressure is between 110 and 130 degrees. People with back injuries benefit most from these reclinable chairs. Most chairs will also allow you to lock the reclining angle, but do your research first before purchasing.
  • What about the seat material ? Leather looks lovely and will cost you more, but often vinyl wears better. Vinyl will cope better with constant santising, but that might not be required in your own home.

WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE THERE, BESIDES THE TRADITIONAL OFFICE CHAIR?

The Saddle Seat / Stool / Chair

  • You cannot slump when there is a saddle between your legs. When the angle between your hips and knees is 135%, your spine is held in it’s natural curve.
  • You are less likely to experience hip and knee issues due to the change in angle compared to a regular chair and this also improves the circulation to your legs.
  • Saddle seats are height adjustable and you sit higher than a regular office chair. You can also tilt the seat.
  • Saddle seats make you activate your core muscles. What a great workout for those who think they don’t have any!
  • Some saddle seats have a split seat meaning you can sit comfortably for a longer period. In addition to this is reduces pressure on the pelvic floor and reduces the temperature in the genital area – particularly nice and a healthier position for men.