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Bill Lumbergh in an Office

Ergonomic Office Chair Necessities

Finding the right office chair can turn into quite a chore. I know my brain has been dizzied by staring at the seemingly endless amount of dimensions and armrest options. It’s overwhelming and I’m always left with one question:  What does this all mean?

Luckily, I stumbled across this fantastic chart that lays out a cause-and-effect for the standard office chair options.

It’s a nice cheat sheet for those of us in the market for a new ergonomic office chair, and helps the consumer come to an informed decision.  So educate yourself in the fine art of office chairs, figure out what features are actually important for you and make a purchase that is based on substance.

For those of you who don’t like to follow links, I’ll recap the meat of the article.

Alright, so what exactly should you look for in an office chair, and what does it mean? So many factors, but this will help you boil it down to the brass tax, the most important feature for yourself.

The main components of comfort in an ergonomic office chair are:

Recline-Ability
Yes, it’s a cool feature, but is it necessary? Very much so. The ability to recline has a number of beneficial side effects, among them: Less strain on your eyes, spine and sitting bones. (Yes, you have sitting bones.)

Example: The IRON HORSE 4000 features 45° Of Recline

Chair Height
The height of your potential chair is actually important. And since everybody is different, the ability to customize your chair height with settings is an absolute necessity. One inch too low or high and you will be putting added pressure on your knees or sitting bones. (Not the sitting bones!)

An ideal fit is a chair that offers the ability to place your feet on the ground or on a foot rest and allows your thighs/forearms to be parallel to the ground. In fact, I just realized that my chair was too low, this blog really does help!

Or there’s the sit/stand route that we will cover in another blog. For those of you already up on the new ergonomic trend check out the Sola.

That chair will prevent you from the potential loss of circulation that comes with an incorrect chair height. Ever try getting a cup of coffee after your leg falls asleep? Hilarity ensues. Essentially, this chair will stop you from becoming the laughing stock of the office.

Seat Depth
Again, everyone has different leg lengths, so the ability to adjust the depth of the seat is a great perk. Ideally, you’d like to have a distance of three or four fingers from the back of your knee to the front of the seat. As silly as it sounds, it’s important. If the length of the seat is too long then you could be sacrificing the benefit of a backrest altogether, putting strain on your back and legs.

The IRON HORSE Seating line is soon to feature a seat slide. In the meantime, there is the KAB K4 to help you taller folk.

Oh hey, what do you know, that chair has an adjustable seat depth.

Armrests
COME ON.  An armrest is an armrest, right? Well, not exactly. You should be able to adjust your armrest to allow you the ability to get closer to your work so your shoulders do not hunch. Your form while you are typing/writing is very important and even though you might be rolling your eyes right now, having adjustable armrests is good for your overall comfort.

Tilt-ups or Tubular – your choice!

That chair will do just fine, even if you are a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Lumbar Support
No, not Lumbergh Support.

This is the area behind the small of your back and it controls the firmness and position of that region. Having this properly fitted to your back will allow an increased flow of blood to your brain and improve your focus throughout the work day. Even Bill Lumbergh could get behind that. He might even support it.

There are plenty more factors to consider when deciding on an office chair, but I think these are often overlooked as novelty features and not perceived as necessities. They are necessities. Now, consumer, you are informed. Isn’t that comfortable? Your body should match your mind.