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How to Choose an Ergonomic Chair

by Chandler Warnick

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Ergonomic chairs should have good lumbar support

Anyone who spends hours at a desk knows how important a good ergonomic chair is. The right ergonomic chair helps you maintain good posture for an extended period of time, which relieves strain on your back, improves circulation and helps you remain comfortable and productive for a full day's work. However, choosing a new ergonomic chair can be a chore if you've never purchased one before. If you're planning on picking up a new ergonomic office chair, keep reading for a few suggestions that will help ensure that you get the best ergonomic chair for you.

Choosing an Ergonomic Chair:

  1. Choose a style of ergonomic chair. Before you go about determining the details of your ergonomic chair, decide which style of ergonomic office chair you want. The majority of office chairs today are still the traditional swivel chairs you see everywhere, but you can also find knee chairs, saddle chairs and divided back chairs, each of which is designed to keep your back supported in a different way. While these alternative designs aren't for everyone, you may find that a kneeling chair or a saddle chair helps relieve lower back pain.

  2. Decide how much lumbar support you want from an ergonomic chair. One of the elements that makes an ergonomic chair ergonomic is how the back curves in to support your lumbar region or lower back. While any ergonomic office chair that you purchase should support your lower back (unless you're choosing an alternative design like an ergonomic kneeling chair), just how much lower back support you need is up to you. If you know that you're prone to slouching, which strains your lower back, you may want a lot of lumbar support. If you maintain good posture when you sit, you may not want as much lumbar support.

  3. Look for ergonomic chairs that are adjustable. Even if you buy an ergonomic computer chair that appears to match all of your preferences, there will still be things that you want to change once you sit in it for a while, like the height of the chair and the tilt of the seat, and you'll quickly appreciate a chair that's fully adjustable. While nearly all office chairs have adjustable heights, some also have adjustable backs, seats and arms. While you may not want all of these options, choosing an ergonomic chair with several adjustments can ensure that you're satisfied with the fit of your new chair.

  4. Determine whether or not you want an ergonomic chair with arms. While arm supports are often useful on an office chair, ergonomic chairs without arms may be preferable if you have an active job. If you have a secretary position or are frequently moving around to take care of different tasks around the office, arm supports can get in the way. On the other hand, if you often turn around in your desk chair to hold conversations with people, or if your desk doesn't have enough room to rest your arms when you type, then you probably want a desk chair with arms.

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