Did you know that in America, 67% of us absolutely hate sitting, and yet 86% of us must do it all day at work? The American Medical Association has actually stepped in to make recommendations about alternatives to sitting, but not everyone can have a standing or treadmill desk. For the rest of us, we must find comfortable office chairs and try to get in more activity around our work schedules.
There are significant dangers to sitting for long periods of time. Unfortunately, our jobs still require that of us. Sitting too long in the wrong kind of chair can result in neck and back pain, hip pain, muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and even more serious concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, and degenerative disc disease. Here are some tips to help you pick out comfortable office chairs.
Mesh office chairs are very popular because they easily conform to most people, and are very breathable. Leather office chairs are wonderfully comfortable, but offer less breath-ability. The material that your chair is made out of is obviously important, and will mostly come down to individual comfort levels. Other considerations include the degree to which the chair swivels. If you sit at L shaped desks, you will want a chair that swivels so that you do not strain yourself too much. The same goes if you sit at corner computer desks.
Aim for a chair with a seat height that is between 16 and 21 inches off of the floor. The seat width and depth should be between 17 and 20 inches wide, and the backrest should be anywhere between 12 and 19 inches wide. Especially important to comfortable seating is the lumbar support. Look for adjustable chairs. Since the lower portion of the spine naturally curves it is important to find lumbar support that supports your spine without forcing it to flatten out, which can result in poor posture, hunching, and back pain.
Quality, ergonomic, and comfortable chairs need not be wildly expensive. Keep in mind how your desk will accommodate the chair that you choose, and choose materials that you find comfortable. If you must sit all day, find a chair that promotes good posture for your comfort and your health. More on this.