Choosing the right office chair

Eliminate unnecessary health issues by choosing the right ergonomic office chair for you. Joy Turnbull, sales director at AngelShack, shares her list of criteria when deciding on the right office chair.

Slouch means ouch
That is my sales-motto this month. Lower back support in an ergonomic chair is extremely important. Ergonomic chairs should have a lumbar adjustment (for both height and depth) so everyone can achieve the right fit and support the inward curve of the back.
It’s not just about looks
Try look for a cloth fabric that breathes. Our product range, for example, has open weave textiles for air flow and thermal comfort. The material on the chair should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended hours, but at the same time, you don’t want it to be too comfortable since it needs to aid back support. And while you are at it, try and look for furniture which adds a bit of colour to the workspace. Why should our office furniture be so boring and bland?

Size matters
Let’s be honest, our nation comes in all shapes and sizes, and so too should the chairs we sit in. An office chair should have enough width and depth to comfortably support and accommodate all staff. A recommended guide for width is anywhere between 17 to 20 inches (43cm to 50cm). In terms of depth, ensure there is enough space between two to four inches (5cm to 10cm) between the back of the knees and seat of the chair. One of the many features on our recently launched POP Chair was its arm rest and width adjustments to cater for all shapes and sizes, be sure to look out for this feature when deciding on an ergonomic chair.

How high can you go?
For all multitasking staff and employees out there, they will understand that the last thing we want to do is jump off the office chair to make adjustments while in the middle of a meeting or important phone call. Therefore the seat height of your chair should always be easily adjustable. A pneumatic adjustment lever is the easiest way to do this. Always make sure that your feet are firmly flat on the floor, your arms are even with the height of the desk and your thighs are horizontal. In addition to this, ensure all height, tilt and swivel adjustments are close at hand, especially for female work colleagues, to avoid jumping back and forth.

Put your back into it
The backrest of a chair must support the natural curve of the spine. If the chair has the seat and the backrest together as one, then the backrest must be adjustable in forward and back angles with a locking mechanism to secure it. One of the key areas we focused on when designing our locally made ergonomic chair was back and lumbar support which was done through body shape-sensing mesh technology.
Working long hours, five to seven days a week, involves a large part of our routine sitting in a chair. The office chair you are sitting in right now is probably adding further health issues to the problem. To avoid back problems it’s important to have a chair that is ergonomic and that supports the lower back and promotes good posture.

“We sit on average for 8,9 hours a day and new research is converging towards a shocking conclusion: sitting is a public-health risk,” says Turnbull.

Pictured: AngelShack’s Perfect Operation Position (POP) chair is a proudly South African product which has already scooped two design and innovation awards. It has nine ergonomic operating positions.

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