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How to choose an office chair

Buying the right office chair

On average we spend around 1,900 hours a year sitting on a chair (and that’s just in the office), for this reason alone choosing the right office chair is absolutely vital!

We’ve tirelessly spoken about office ergonomics and what chair features do what, however, we haven’t yet spoken about how to choose the right chair for YOU.

Choosing an office chair isn’t just about finding something that’s going to be comfortable when you sit on it, it’s about your body posture, your blood circulation and most importantly keeping you and your body healthy.

In a previous post we looked at the many types of chair features and what they do, aptly names ‘chair jargon’.

So lets look a little further into what those chair features mean for us.


Seat height adjustment

The most common feature we’d all expect to find on our office chair, it means we can adjust the chair so we can reach the desk…right? Wrong, many people think a height adjustment feature is there simply to ensure we can reach the keyboard. What they don’t know is sitting at your desk at the correct height is an exact science.


The diagram above describes accurately what position a user needs to undertake when sitting at a desk to gain the best body posture; all of this is done using the seat height adjustment. Firstly adjust your seat so that when your feet are firmly on the floor your legs are bent to 90 degrees, this assists the pressure applied to your lower back. Your arms should also be bent to 90 degrees whilst your hands are flat on the desk, assisting you upper back this also aids your shoulders and should prevent slouching.

Is your desk too high for your arms? You might want to look at height adjustable desks, not only for sit stand working but a great tool for those of us who may be vertically challenged as the desk will lower to around 680mm high (standard desk height 725mm).

Seat Depth Adjustment

Not as common as seat height adjustment but becoming more and more of a standard feature. The seat depth adjustment allows even further support for your legs whilst sitting.

The ‘rule of thumb’ is that the back of your knee should be a few centimetres from the edge of the seat pan and certainly not touching. Seat depth adjustment allows you to easily achieve this whilst not having to awkwardly alter your body.

Backrest Height Adjustment

A great feature that allows you to adapt your chair to suit your needs. Ideal on chairs with fixed lumbers and also great for taller people to independently adjust the height of their backrest.

360-Degree Swivel

Yet again a feature we’d all expect to see on our operator chair, but what benefit does it have? Whilst working at our desk we’re never still, we’re always reaching across the desk for something or other. Without a 360-degree swivel feature we’d end up twisting our back, which doesn’t seem that bad, but continuously twisting and reaching can lead to long-term damage.

Syncro Tilt Mechanism

Your backrest, seat and arms all move together allowing for a synchronising tilt mechanism (click here to view diagram or view above). It’s healthy for us to be able to sit at our desk and be able to bend at the waist. It’s been said that sitting up straight all day is bad for your posture and you should be sat with your back angled somewhere between 90 degrees and 100 degrees. Coupled with a Tilt Mechanism lock allows you to lock you chair to the desired angle. Tension Control allows you to control the rate and ease of your recline dependent on your weight. Another feature that allows this type of motion is the Back Tilt Mechanism, although very similar only the backrest will tilt with this feature.

Width Adjustable Arms

You don’t need to be a genius to understand what this means, it’s exactly what it says it is, chair arms that are width adjustable. Allowing users to adapt the chair to their exact requirements, body shape and size.

Height Adjustable Lumber

If you suffer with back problems this could well be one of the most important features for you. Being able to independently adjust the height of the lumber will allow you to place the lumber in the perfect position on your back. A correctly placed lumber will create a fully ergonomic chair!

So now you know what to look out for, take a look at our range of chairs HERE

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