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    Choosing The Right Desk Chair

    Have you ever been in the following scenario: You are working away at your desk for a couple of hours and you start to feel discomfort in your back. You feel restless and want to move away from your desk, and you are find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on the work you are undertaking. You leave your desk to have a walk around the office and then return but feel frustrated because you haven’t managed to achieve anything in the past few hours because of being distracted by your pain or discomfort.

    Sound familiar? The culprit might just be the layout of your workstation, in particular the chair you are using.

    The type of chair you use can have a massive impact on the way you work, and your performance at work.

    Why is chair selection so crucial?

    The short answer is, if you are not comfortable you are not going to be productive. Annoying aches and pains that manifest can lead to prolonged discomfort that is more difficult to manage, and can result in lost time from work as well as reduced engagement in leisure activities.

    Around 80 – 90% of adults have some sort of back pain in their lifetime. We have seen time and time again, people sitting in a wrongly selected chair for them which has resulted in pain and discomfort. Not only lower back pain, but if you are not supported well whilst seated then you may experience discomfort in the hands, wrists, upper arms or neck. Poor seating in conjunction with poor workstation setup is a recipe for disaster!

    What to consider when purchasing a new chair

    The issue most people face is “WHICH ONE”. With the term ‘ergonomic’ branding many pieces of office furniture in the market, it is very easy to believe that one with this label is the best option. Something is only ergonomic if it fits YOU! Your body size and shape is different to your neighbours, and what works for you may not necessarily work for someone else.

    There are many different things to consider when purchasing an office chair the most obvious listed below

    • If you are taller, you may need a higher gas lift than someone of average height. It is important that your chair allows you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and with your elbows in line with or just above the edge of your desk (a footrest can assist to compensate for this too).
    • Back rest height and angle adjustability: many chairs these days skimp on the back rest height adjustability feature. We see this as a key feature as it allows the prominence of the lumbar support to be suited to your shape spine.
    • Some seats have a seat base length adjustability feature which is great for taller people. But you can also get chairs with a larger (both wider and deeper) seat pan to accommodate.
    • The feature we love the most is the seat base tilt function. This assists to open the hip region, reducing pressure through the lumbar region of the spine associated with sitting. You can vary this up with a flat seat pan for those times that you are engrossed in work and just can’t move away from the desk. Not all chairs come with this feature but its one to certainly look out for.
    • Other features to consider are the fabric, arm rests vs none (make sure they are removable or are adjustable to ensure you can get in close to the desk), size of castors, weight restriction (most are approx. 120kg, if you weigh in excess of this a more heavy duty base support can be supplied).

    Choosing a chair that appeals visually can really help you enjoy your work day more. But comfort is key, so make a choice that will keep you comfortable as you work, prevent pain and discomfort, and help you work better.

    An option that we think is has stayed true to itself in terms of adjustability and support is the Spectrum 3 chair. It comes with the full range of adjustability features. A recent client of Sarah's has given some feedback on the service she provides and also the Spectrum 3:

    "Having Sarah McEntee come to my office and complete an assessment on my workstation and make the recommendations she did, has changed my day to day work life. The chair gives me the support that I require to remain at my desk for lengths of time I was previously unable to remain seated. I now no longer experience the pain and discomfort I used to have on a daily basis. All in all, I could not complete an 8hr work day without my chair."

    This blog was written by Sarah McEntee from Back On Deck.