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Did you know that the average Canadian works more than 1,600 hours a year? For many workers, that also means spending more than 1,600 hours sitting in an office chair.
How comfortable is your office chair? Is it the kind of seat that you want to spend over a thousand hours in every year, or do you need an upgrade?
If you’re not sure how to pick the best office chair for you, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that will help you find the right one.
Is it that important for you to sit in a high-quality office chair?
Short answer? Yes.
In a lot of ways, your office chair can make or break your work experience. Here are some specific reasons why you ought to consider upgrading your office chair:
Many of us start our workdays with the intention of checking these boxes. By the time lunch rolls around, though, most of us are hunched over like we’re trying to cover answers during a test, or we’re slouched down so low you can barely see us sitting behind our computers.
A good office chair supports your efforts to sit with good posture. You still have to do some work to keep your back straight. However, the right chair will make this position much more comfortable and easier to sustain.
A good office chair can also minimize or prevent some of the issues associated with poor posture, such as back pain, neck pain, or hip pain.
If you struggle with these problems during the workday (or all of the above), upgrading your office chair might be a smart move. When you have more support and aren’t placing as much pressure on certain joints, you’ll experience less pain and discomfort while working at your desk.
Even if you aren’t fully aware of it, there’s a good chance your poor posture (especially if it’s coupled with chronic pain) is affecting your productivity at work. When you’re comfortable at your desk, it’s easier to stay engaged and make sure you’re getting projects done on time.
High-quality office chairs can be adjusted to fit your unique needs and preferences. You can make sure the headrest actually supports your head, for example, and you can raise or lower the armrests so they serve their intended purpose.
At first, you might assume that you don’t need to adjust every aspect of your office chair. Once you’ve customized it to work for you and you alone, though, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
A good office chair will last a long time. If you’re replacing your office chair every year or so, it’s probably not a very good one.
You may have to spend more money upfront to get a high-quality, long-lasting chair. That investment will last for a while, though, and it won’t wear out or lose its shape shortly after you clip off the price tag.
Most quality office chairs also come with a warranty. This means that something does go wrong within a certain timeframe, you can get it fixed or exchange it for a new one.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why you might want to upgrade your office chair.
What should you be looking for when you start shopping, though? What kinds of features does a good office chair have?
Here are some tips that will help you narrow down your options:
When shopping for an office chair, look for a fully adjustable one. An ergonomic office chair will be easy to customize to support your body and ensure you feel as comfortable as possible during the workday.
How much adjustment is needed for a good office chair? At a minimum, you should be able to adjust the following elements:
Look for adjustable tilt tension, too. Ideally, you should be able to lean back with minimum effort, but there should still be enough resistance that your back is supported in a variety of positions.
Your office chair ought to have a full back. A full back will give you a sufficient amount of support and make it easier for you to maintain proper posture throughout the day. This feature is especially helpful for those who struggle with back pain (lower back pain, in particular).
When you’re choosing between different chairs, take note of how wide and deep the seat is.
The average seat is somewhere between 43 and 50 centimetres in width. You should look for a chair that offers at least this much width, but what’s more important is whether or not it’s wide enough for you to sit comfortably.
In general, this means having at least a couple extra centimetres of space on each side of your hips. It shouldn’t be so wide that you need to stretch your arms out to reach the armrests, though.
As for depth, choose a chair that is deep enough for you to sit with your back all the way against the backrest. There should also be enough space for 2-4 fingers between the end of the chair and your knees.
At first, the upholstery might not seem like a top priority for your office chair. It can make a big difference in the overall quality, though.
Do you want to sit in a chair that’s covered in scratchy fabric? Do you want to deal with fabric that doesn’t breathe well and causes you to start sweating around your lower back or behind your knees?
If these issues resonate with you, look for upholstery that’s breathable and feels soft and comfortable to the touch. Consider the colour of your chair’s upholstery, too, so you can find one that looks good in your office and won’t show signs of wear and tear or stains over time.
Lumbar support is a must. Only invest in an office chair that offers plenty of lower back support.
Low back pain is one of the most common complaints among office workers. If you choose the high-quality chair that provides enough support, you’ll likely find that you deal with fewer aches and pains throughout the day.
Always read reviews before choosing a specific office chair. Online reviews can provide more insight into the pros and cons of different chairs and help you narrow down your options.
Reviews matter, but try not to get too hung up on outliers (positive or negative). Pay attention to the averages and the reviews that seem most relevant to your job and lifestyle.
Try to test your office chair in-person before you buy it. If you can go to a store and sit in a chair before purchasing, this can help you avoid buying one that looks great but doesn’t feel great.
If in-person shopping isn’t an option, look for an online store that offers free returns and exchanges so that you can swap it for something different if needed.
Finding a high-quality, ergonomic chair in Canada isn’t easy. If you keep these tips in mind, though, you’ll have no trouble choosing a chair that is comfortable, cost-effective, and maximizes your productivity. Treat your butt and your back to a better chair today with one from our collection!