You’ll get the best comfort from a chair that’s the right size. A decent chair should just fit, like a good pair of shoes! Ergonomic chairs will have many adjustments to help you make it fit, but this can also be confusing when working out what they all do, so check dimensions.
Good lumbar support is essential in my book, and it does not have to be adjustable. A well-designed backrest will encourage you to sit properly, but this will only work if you have the right-sized seat. Don’t just focus on back support either, the posterior is equally important.
Unless you’re the type that gets up and down a lot throughout your day, then a balanced movement that moves with you is an essential option to look for. Chairs are not magic and sitting static for too long will make even a good chair feel uncomfortable on occasion. A free-float mechanism sounds comfortable, so if the budget allows make sure you tick that box.
Function over form would always have been my advice. However, there are plenty of amazing-looking ergonomic chairs available today. As a rule, the shape should contour the body so avoid minimalist design or overly bulbous back cushions, as these typically force you into an awkward posture.
If you’re serious about a good chair then you should consider your purchase as an investment in your health, as well as your productivity. Ask for a ‘try before you buy’, get independent advice, buy a product that has a robust warranty and try to avoid buying cheap. A personal favourite of mine is the Rookie Chair by Vitra and Konstantin Grcic.
Image courtesy of Vitra
As featured in OnOffice 156, Autumn 2021. Read a digital version of the issue for free here
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