I’m not sure if you know this, but sitting for too long can be really bad for your health. Most people don’t realize how much time they spend sitting each day. If you sit all day at work, and then come home to plop in front of the TV or on the sofa – that’s an entire day spent seated! To make this worse, most chairs today are not ergonomic because they’re made to look good instead of feel good. The result is a lot of back pain and soreness from spending hours in one position without moving around or stretching out (or worse yet, slouching). Ergonomic chairs do not just help you feel better and more comfortable when seated, but also extend the life of your back muscles. The best way to maintain your health is by sitting upright in a chair without leaning too far forward or back. A good ergonomic chair will support you when sitting upright with proper lumbar support that fits your back.
Why are ergonomic chairs so expensive?
A lot of people like the idea of owning an ergonomic chair, however, the price of the chairs themselves is usually enough to scare off all but those with back pain. What is it that makes these wonder chairs so expensive? The answer is simple, because of all the features they come with. An ergonomic chair will not only work to reduce back pain but also help you maintain a healthy posture and avoid slouching in your seat. Chairs designed to fit your body not only look nice but offer superior comfort and functionality. And while cheap chairs may be aesthetically pleasing, they often lack the thoughtful features found on top-of-the-line models. Here are five design elements that make ergonomic chairs worth the investment.
- Isocontoured seat and back
Contour seating is an industry-standard that, by definition, is more comfortable and better for your back. The body’s vertebrae are evenly distributed among the bones of the spine, which together form a column or “columnar arch” loaded with 90-100 pounds of force from sitting upright. But when you sit at a sloped desk or a computer, the weight shifts to one side causing your vertebrae to bump up against each other in an uncomfortable manner.
By contouring the entire seat and back of your chair, you can minimize this undesirable pressure in the spine. “The patient will feel that they are not slipping out of the chair,” said Dr. David Glick, a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. “It’s more comfortable to sit than one that doesn’t have a contoured seat and back-the body feels more settled in the chair.”
- Armrests with arm rests
Using a laptop or tablet computer for extended periods of time places great strain on your arms and shoulders. The improper position of the arms is why most people frequently experience neck and shoulder pain after working at a computer. Fortunately, ergonomic chairs allow you to position your arms the way you want them with armrests that are oversized and equipped with soft pads.
- Three-point seat height adjustment
With three points of adjustment, a chair’s seat can be adjusted 12 inches forward or back, up to 10 inches up or down, and 22 degrees side to side for more precise positioning for the lower back. The best investment in comfort is a chair that allows you to adjust the height of the seat so that when you sit down your thighs don’t touch your knees when you’re standing up.
- Easy-to-use seat controls
Some chairs lack good design that makes them problematic to use. Common problems include small, poorly printed buttons and knobs that require you to look down in order to select just the right setting for your job.
- Sturdy base with locking mechanism
To prevent wobbling and provide a stable base, ergonomic chairs must have a wide base with locking mechanisms for the feet or stand, or both. This feature is very important for people who may have difficulties standing due to nerve damage in their legs, hip replacement surgery, or muscular conditions.
How much should I spend on an ergonomic chair?
No one knows your body better than you do, which is why we’re going to trust you with the most important decision of all – how much should I spend on an ergonomic chair? That being said, there are a few different variables that need to be taken into consideration when buying an office chair.
Firstly, you’ll want to think about how much of your time is spent sitting. If it’s more than six hours per day then it’s worth considering investing in a higher-quality chair. However, if you spend no more than three hours sitting at a time then it may not be worth spending the money. Secondly, when deciding on what to spend on an ergonomic chair take note of the type or style you’re after.
This can be the most important factor. While you may want to buy a low-cost, basic chair, if you prefer the look or comfort of a premium model then that’s okay too. But first, you’ll need to think about where you’ll be sitting in the office. A basic chair may not be the best fit in your office and could cause discomfort or health risks so take your time when considering what style will work best for you.
You can narrow your choice down even further by thinking about how much support an ergonomic chair needs. There are nine different styles of back support available which include lumbar, side-back, and traditional seat designs. You’ll also want to think about your height and weight. If you are shorter than average, for example, a task chair with an adjustable seat will allow you to work at the right height.
A chair with an adjustable backrest will ensure you have the right support as well. The most important factor when deciding how much to spend on an ergonomic chair is that it fits you like a glove. When looking at different styles resist the urge to buy the most expensive model or one that’s in fashion – always go for one that feels good and is comfortable.